LOS ANGELES – New a survey conducted by National Nurses United (NNU) found that the majority of respondents reported having to reuse personal protective equipment (PPE) intended for disposables and reported the perceived lack of attention to RN and patient safety by their employers.
One third of the nurses participating in the survey said that they were expected by their employers to use their own sick leave, vacation, or pay leave if they were going to a COVID-19 contract.
FILE – Nurse Karen Hayes provides care to patients in the acute care unit COVID-19 at Harborview Medical Center on May 7, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Karen Ducey / Getty Images)
National Nurses United, the largest union for registered nurses in the United States, released a survey on May 20 for more than 23,000 nurses, many of whom cited “total neglect of workers and public health on the part of health care providers and the government.”
- 87 percent reported being forced to use disposable disposable respirators or masks when working with patients who tested positive for COVID-19.
- More than 28 percent of respondents reported having to use respirators with confirmed COVID-19 patients.
- 72 percent of nurses who provide care for patients with coronavirus also report disease without appropriate PPE.
- 27 percent of respondents who gave care to confirmed COVID-19 patients reported having been exposed without an appropriate PPE and had worked within 14 days of exposure.
- Only 16 percent of nurses reported having actually been tested for COVID-19. Of the nurses who have been tested, more than 500 have reported positive results.
In a separate survey released by the California Nurses Association / National Nurses United (CNA / NNU) on May 21, California nurses also report high rates of PPE reuse.
“The richest country in the world will call on nurse heroes without the hassle of investing in N95 respirators and other mass-produced equipment to keep nurses alive,” said CNA / NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN. “Nurses register to treat their patients. They did not register to die needlessly at the forefront of a pandemic. * * Our message to employers and the Trump administration is: Empty words without protection. For our sake, for the public’s sake – give us PPE. “
Just before the new coronavirus outbreak spread in March and April, National Nurses United released a survey on February 24 from 4,700 respondents regarding whether they felt there was an adequate plan or whether they had enough inventory to deal with the possibility of widespread distribution. a virus outbreak in the US
Only 9 percent of respondents reported that they knew of a plan to deal with the isolation of patients infected with COVID-19. Forty-six percent reported that they had access to N95 respirators in their units, while only 20 percent reported access to powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs) in their units.
Maureen Dugan, a registered nurse of 31 years who serves on the board of directors for the California Nurses Association blames the system “for profit” from American health care because of the lack of preparation many nurses feel in the face of the outbreak.
“Things like staffing are very expensive, things like equipment and supplies are expensive, so they are [health officials] want to keep it to a minimum, and in cases like this, we won’t have enough all that is needed to care for the public. “
As of May 21, more than 5 million people worldwide have been confirmed to be infected by the new corona virus, and around 330,000 deaths have been recorded, including around 94,000 in the US and around 165,000 in Europe, according to calculations kept by Johns Hopkins University and based on data government.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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