Demanding Protections When Treating Patients With COVID-19
Roseville, CA- Nurses will be hosting a candlelight vigil to highlight the lack of a staffing plan along with inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE), for frontline health care workers during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Nurses are reporting that they are being told that they will no longer be notified when they have been exposed to a COVID-19 patient further endangering nurses and patients.
We reached out to a Sutter spokesperson who did not dispute the notification claims and added ” We encourage all staff to monitor their health status and stay home if sick, and at Sutter Roseville, we have also implemented mandatory temperature screening for all clinicians, staff, contractors and vendors upon entry as part of our commitment to their safety.”
Registered nurses at Sutter Roseville are holding an action and media availability during their shift change to describe current conditions and the need for more N95 respirators and other protective gear required to safely treat COVID-19 patients, announced California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, the nation’s largest and fastest-growing nurses union representing 150,000 registered nurses across the country.
Where: E. Roseville Pkwy, in Roseville, CA in front of Sutter Roseville entrance
When: 8PM PT, April 1, 2020
Sutter Roseville response
“We value our nurses and the compassionate care they provide each day, and especially during these challenging times. That is why we are so disappointed that CNA is choosing to take this unnecessary action at a time we should all be focusing our attention on the patients who need us. Tonight’s vigil is unnecessarily frightening for our already nervous patients and staff while failing to provide any constructive solutions to the challenges everyone in healthcare is facing.”
On disease tracing
“Many county public health departments have relaxed or eliminated tracing and/or reporting requirements in response to CDC guidance and the wide spread of community-acquired COVID-19 infections. While the increasing incidence of community-acquired infection makes determining the source of an exposure challenging – and will likely prove impossible in the near future-as an organization we have committed to continue tracing and notification for patients and employees who are part of unexpected or high-risk exposure incidents. Our process is also designed to comply with Cal/OSHA regulations requiring employers to analyze and notify employees regarding significant exposure events. Healthcare workers are trained to work in environments that present potential exposure to communicable disease, and right now, COVID-19 is one of them.”
“In addition to following established infection protocols, we have implemented several strategies to reduce risk of exposure. These efforts include separating suspected and positive COVID-19 patients from other patients, providing daily masks for employees in patient care environments – including prioritizing the provision of N95 masks for higher-risk care environments – and implementing mandatory temperature screening for all clinicians, staff, contractors and vendors upon entry to all our clinical sites.”
“We are using our internal labor staffing pool and not experiencing a shortage at this time, but in preparation for a surge, we are also retraining employees and bringing in more advanced practice clinicians and travel nurses to support our staffing needs.”