California nurses have gone public with demands that they be provided the personal protective equipment that Cal-OSHA and the highly contagious nature of the COVID-19 virus demand.
Sandy Reding, a Bakersfield surgery nurse who is on the board of the California Nurses Association and a vice president of National Nurses United, issued a plea Friday for hospitals in Bakersfield and across the state to issue a sufficient number of masks. Nurses require several per day, Reding said, because of the risk of cross contamination as they move from patient room to patient room.
“We want to make sure that nurses that are on the COVID-19 units, or if they’re taking care of COVID-19 or rule-out patients, care that they get the N95 mask or the PAPR (powered air-purifying respirator). We also want to make sure ER nurses are safe, and ICU nurses.
“We also have contract language that states that a task force should be formed with frontline workers as well. So we want to make sure that we ensure that that task force is up and running, so that you can get the input much needed input from nurses,” Reding said.
Reding also urged residents to take all recommended precautions.
“This is very emotional because we want to make sure that all of our community is taken care of, that people stay indoors to help prevent the spread, and that nurses get the proper PPE that we need,” she said.
Dignity Health responded with a statement.
“There is no higher priority than the safety of our people and our patients,” the statement read. “Dignity Health has been working non-stop to ensure that all team members who need personal protective equipment (PPE) have the right equipment, at the right time and are using it correctly.
“We continue to follow the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) around appropriate use of PPE and to look ahead to anticipate what we will need to provide efficient and expert care to all of our patients, including COVID-19 patients, over the next few weeks.
“Our approach to supplies and equipment is a big part of this future planning. We are working with suppliers around the world to obtain additional safety supplies and await the arrival of these supplies soon. Additionally, we are working hard to ensure our employees are not only aware of and trained on our PPE protocols, but also that our facility leadership are responding to our staff quickly should they have questions, concerns, or thoughts.”
Adventist Health Bakersfield also released a statement:
“Adventist Health remains in a state of preparedness in caring for our community,” it read. “Because we are part of a multi-state system of hospitals, we continue working closely with vendor partners to provide needed medical supplies and are sharing critical items between facilities when possible for areas with the greatest needs.
“We realize that the supplies needed to combat COVID-19 are limited throughout the nation. We are prudent stewards of resources and continue to collaborate with federal, state and local agencies to provide the right care for patients.”