Bay Area nurses say they need more personal protective equipment to treat COVID-19 patients as the virus continues to spread. Nurses staged a protest at UCSF Mission Bay Friday to highlight their concerns.
Nurses say they’re fed up with the lack of PPE to treat coronavirus patients. They’ve been told to use one N95 respirator mask per shift or longer. UCSF Mission Bay Registered Nurse Maureen Dugan presented a stand with brown paper bags attached, a symbol of what they’re given to store their masks each day.
“The bags illustrate that they’ve been told to reuse them, which is not proper infection control policy, not proper standards” said Dugan, “these are no standards, we’ve never done this before.”
She and about a dozen other healthcare workers gathered outside the hospital to hold signs that read “Protect Nurses, Patients, and Public Health.” After all, she says, their lives are on the line too.
“We are being told not to worry and to just do as we’re told, and we know better” said Dugan, “we’ve been through this before - we’ve been through H1N1, we’ve been through SARS, we’ve been through Ebola, there’s no reason that hospitals should have been behind the ball on this.”