Nurse Mike Gulick was precise about not bringing the coronavirus home to his wife and their 2-year-old daughter.
But at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, Gulick and his associates fretted that caring for infected clients without first being able to don an N95 respirator mask was risky.
His wife, likewise a nurse, not just used an N95 mask but covered it with a 2nd air-purifying respirator while she looked after COVID-19 patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center throughout town in Los Angeles.
Then, recently, a nurse on Gulick’s ward checked favorable for the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19 The next day physicians doing rounds on their ward asked the nurses why they weren’t wearing N95 masks, Gulick said, and told them they ought to have much better defense.
For Gulick, that was it. He and a handful of nurses told their managers they would not enter COVID-19 client spaces without N95 masks. The health center suspended them, according to the National Nurses Union, which represents them. 10 nurses are now being paid but not permitted to go back to work pending an investigation from personnels, the union stated.
They are among hundreds of medical professionals, nurses and other health care employees across the country who say they’ve been asked to work without appropriate security.
Angela Gatdula, a Saint John’s nurse who fell ill with COVID-19, said she asked health center supervisors why doctors were wearing N95 s but nurses weren’t. She says they told her that the CDC stated surgical masks sufficed to keep her safe.
Then she was struck with a dry cough, severe body pains and joint discomfort.
” When I got the call that I was favorable I got truly frightened,” she stated.
She’s now recovering and plans to return to work next week.
” The next nurse that gets this might not be lucky.
As COVID-19 cases skyrocketed in March, the U.S. was hit with an important scarcity of medical supplies consisting of N95 s, which are mainly made in China. In response, the CDC lowered its requirement for healthcare workers’ protective equipment, recommending they utilize bandannas if they lack the masks.
Some exasperated health care employees have actually complained to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
” I … fear retribution for being a whistleblower and plead to please keep me confidential,” composed a Tennessee medical worker, who grumbled staffers were not allowed to use their own masks if they weren’t straight treating COVID-19 clients.
In Oregon, a March 26 problem warned that masks were not being offered to nurses dealing with presumed COVID-19 patients. Another Oregon complaint declared nurses “are told that using a mask will lead to disciplinary action.”
One New Jersey nurse who asked not to be called out of worry of retribution, said she was trying to find a brand-new task after complaining to OSHA.
” Do I be sorry for submitting the grievance?
Some are requiring to the streets.
On Wednesday, nurse unions in New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois, California, and Pennsylvania scheduled actions at their hospitals and posted on social networks using hashtag “PPEoverProfit.”
Nurses at Kaiser Permanente’s Fresno Medical Center in main California demanded more protective products at a protest during their shift modification Tuesday. The medical facility, like numerous in the U.S., requires nurses to utilize one N95 mask daily, which has raised concerns about carrying the infection from one client to the next.
10 nurses from the facility have evaluated favorable with COVID-19, Kaiser said. 3 have been confessed to the medical facility and one is in critical care, protest organizers stated.
Wade Nogy, a Kaiser senior vice president, denied union claims that nurses have been needlessly exposed.
” Kaiser Permanente has years of experience managing extremely transmittable illness, and we are securely dealing with clients who have actually been infected with this virus, while safeguarding other clients, members and employees,” Nogy said.
Amy Arlund, a crucial care nurse at the facility, stated that prior to the pandemic, following infection control protocols they’re currently utilizing would have been grounds for disciplinary action.
” And now it resembles they’ve tossed all those requirements out the window as if they never existed,” Arlund said. “It’s beyond me.”
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