Nurses Protest Unsafe Working Conditions, Lack of PPE
The protestors say nurses and other healthcare workers in many hospitals across the country have not been provided with adequate PPE to protect them from exposure to the coronavirus.
Registered nurses from National Nurses United (NNU) protested in front of the White House on Tuesday. The intention of the protests was to “call attention to the tens of thousands of healthcare workers nationwide who have become infected with COVID-19 due to lack of personal protective equipment (PPE),” the NNU said in a statement.
The protestors say they and other healthcare workers in many hospitals across the country have not been provided with adequate PPE to protect them from exposure to the coronavirus.
During the protest, the demonstrators held photos and read the names of other RNs and healthcare workers who’ve been infected or died from COVID-19 while at their jobs, reports CBS News.
“Nurses have been demanding that the Trump administration’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) promulgate an emergency temporary standard so that healthcare workers are provided with the optimal PPE,” the union said in a statement. “NNU petitioned OSHA on March 4, 2020 for such a standard and never received a response.”
Medical workers need N95 respirators or a higher level of protection as well as other protective gear when taking care of patients who may be infected with COVID-19.
NNU is also demanding that President Trump order the mass production of PPE, including N95 respirators, face shields, gowns, gloves and shoe coverings, as well as ventilators and COVID-19 testing kits.
States and some hospitals have been struggling to obtain these supplies, sometimes resorting to extraordinary measures to get their hands on PPE. The national stockpile is greatly diminished, and there have been reports that the federal government is seizing supplies ordered by the states and hospitals.
During the demonstration, the nurses practiced social distancing and wore facial masks.
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