Petition Obama to invoke executive authority to make adequate PPE for healthcare workers MANDATORY instead of voluntary.
RNs are on the march to protect healthcare workers and patients, to tell the healthcare industry: not one more nurse.
In West Africa, Ebola is known as the “nurse-killer disease.” We cannot standby and let hospitals and their PR spokespersons pretend everything is OK.
“We’ve been lied to in terms of preparation in the hospitals,” NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro told 11,500 nurses on a conference call this week. “We’ve been essentially ignored by the White House and CDC and they are giving the hospitals far too much credit in assuming they would actually be taking their advice.”
The only way to adequately confront the Ebola crisis is for President Obama to invoke his executive authority.
Otherwise, in our fragmented, highly corporate healthcare system, US hospitals and clinics can pick and choose which guidelines they will follow.
Please join National Nurses United – the largest union and professional organization of RNs with 185,000 members -- in asking Congress and President Obama to mandate uniform, national standards and protocols that all hospitals must follow to safely protect patients, all healthcare workers, and the public.
Here’s the NNU proposal:
Every healthcare employer must be directed to follow the Precautionary Principle and institute the following:
* Optimal personal protective equipment for Ebola that meets the highest standards used by the University of Nebraska Medical Center
* Full-body hazmat suits that meet the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F1670 standard for blood penetration, the ASTM F1671 standard for viral penetration, and that leave no skin exposed or unprotected and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-approved powered air purifying respirators with an assigned protection factor of at least 50 — or a higher standard as appropriate.
* There shall be at least two direct care registered nurses caring for each Ebola patient with additional RNs assigned as needed based on the direct care RN’s professional judgment with no additional patient care assignments.
* There will be continuous interactive training with the RNs who are exposed to patients. There will also be continuous updated training and education for all RNs that is responsive to the changing nature of disease. This would entail continuous interactive training and expertise from facilities where state of the art disease containment is occurring.
* If the Employer has a program with standards that exceed those used by the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the higher standard shall be used. The Ebola pandemic and the exposure of health care workers to the virus represent a clear and present danger to public health. We know that without these mandates to health care facilities we are putting registered nurses, physicians and other healthcare workers at extreme risk. They are our first line of defense.
We would not send soldiers to the battlefield without armor and weapons.
Since a third of US hospitals are in severe financial crisis, Congress would also have to make a massive infusion of funds into the Hospital Preparedness Program, so hospitals would have the means to comply.
The above petition doesn't address this. I don't understand why hospital administrators haven't organized to demand funds for Ebola preparation.