https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/covid-19

Initial material posted by Maurya Simon, Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 12:27 PM
Subject: Re: working nurses to death
To: Michael Davis

Yes, I hear very dire reports from my daughter, Leah, who’s an oncology and critical care nurse at City of Hope. She used to be the union rep and says their union is scrabbling to improve working conditions there, but they must deal with things as they are, which is frightful.  Here’s part of a text from her from yesterday:

“There are many issues that the union is protesting. Issues like nurses and NPs aren’t given N95 masks, goggles, etc. I see some MDs wearing N95 [masks], which is upsetting because nurses are given only surgical masks.”
Maurya

National Nurses United Response To COVID-19

About the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

In December 2019, a newly identified coronavirus, known as COVID-19, emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China causing illness in humans. Multiple clusters of COVID-19 have since been reported across China and in more than 70 other countries including Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.
 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the virus to be a nationwide health emergency following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration of a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020.
 
On January 21, 2020, China announced for the first time that health care workers have been infected- at least fourteen by recent counts. In recent days, dozens of U.S. health care workers have been exposed due to their employer’s lack of protections.

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National Nurses United Response To COVID-19

About the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

In December 2019, a newly identified coronavirus, known as COVID-19, emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China causing illness in humans. Multiple clusters of COVID-19 have since been reported across China and in more than 70 other countries including Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.
 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the virus to be a nationwide health emergency following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration of a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020.
 
On January 21, 2020, China announced for the first time that health care workers have been infected- at least fourteen by recent counts. In recent days, dozens of U.S. health care workers have been exposed due to their employer’s lack of protections.

Tell Congress: We demand
nurses are protected during COVID-19

SIGN THE PETITION

Is your hospital prepared?
NNU wants to hear from you

FILL OUT OUR SURVEY

Read the statement by a quarantined nurse from a Northern California Kaiser facility


About COVID-19

While much has been learned about COVID-19 in a few weeks, there is still a lot we don’t know:Expand AllAbout the VirusSymptomsTransmissionNurses’ Precautionary Case DefinitionAdditional Resources


Employers Must Prepare to Keep You Safe

In situations like this one where knowledge is lacking about a health threat, there is often debate about what actions to take and when. Too often healthcare employers prioritize saving money over safe care and wait to act— this is unacceptable.  

Hospitals and other healthcare employers have the duty and responsibility to prepare ahead of time to protect staff and patients. And in situations like the current outbreak, to follow the precautionary principle. The precautionary principle states that we should not wait until we know for sure that something is harmful before we take action to protect people’s health. Full precautions mean anticipatory or protective action must be taken to prevent possible or further harm.

Following the precautionary principle is necessary to protecting nurses and other healthcare workers from the hazard posed by an emerging infectious disease like COVID-19. Nurses and other healthcare workers have a fundamental right to a safe and healthful workplace and infectious diseases should be no exception. Full protection of healthcare workers is a fundamental and necessary part of limiting the spread of viruses.  

Of employers, NNU is asking the following:

  1. Employers shall implement plans and protocols in response to COVID-19 based on the precautionary principle, which holds that lacking scientific consensus that a proposed action, policy, or act is not harmful – particularly if that harm has the potential to be catastrophic – such action, policy, or act should not be implemented and the maximum safeguards should be pursued.
  2. Employers shall clearly communicate with all RNs/health care workers, including notifying nurses when there is a possible or confirmed COVID-19 case.
  3. Employers shall provide education and training for all RNs/health care workers, including on protective gear, donning and doffing, and all other protocols relating to COVID-19.
  4. Employers shall provide the highest level of protection, including functioning negative pressure rooms and personal protective equipment for nurses providing care to possible and confirmed COVID-19 cases. Employers must ensure negative pressure rooms remain functional at all times during use. Highest level of PPE must include PAPR (powered air-purifying respirator), coveralls meeting ASTM (American Standard for Testing and Materials) standard, gloves, temporary scrubs, and other protections.
  5. Employers shall plan for surge of patients with possible or confirmed COVID-19, including plans to isolate, cohort, and to provide safe staffing.
  6. Employers shall conduct a thorough investigation after a COVID patient is identified to ensure all staff and individuals who were exposed are identified and notified. Any nurse/health care worker who is exposed to COVID-19 will be placed on precautionary leave for at least 14 days and will maintain pay and other benefits during the full length of that leave.

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