Nurses are on the frontline of the coronavirus battle and some are feeling the heat.
According to a survey conducted by Holliblu, an online community for nurses, 62% of over 1,000 respondents said they are planning to quit either their jobs or their profession altogether. The nurses said they feel their lives have been put at risk dealing with COVID-19 patients because of poor management and inadequate protective gear.
Masks have been rationed and sometimes shared, nurses claimed, adding N95 masks were often locked up and not distributed. At Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, nurses were photographed wearing trash bags as protective gear, according to Today.
Nurses are one of the 10,000 healthcare workers on the front lines who have tested positive for COVID-19, according to NBC News. At least 70 nurses have died, said the American Nurses Association. Liz Stokes, director of the American Nurses Association Center for Ethics and Human Rights added nurses have had to make decisions every day on how to fulfill their professional obligations while protecting their personal safety.
Three lawsuits have been filed by the New York State Nurses Association against the New York State Health Department and two hospitals dealing with the health and safety of nurses treating COVID-19 patients. The lawsuits claim nurses did not receive proper protective gowns and other equipment, nor did they received adequate provisions or working conditions from management for high-risk employees, like pregnant RNs.
The lawsuits also mention many nurses had been intimated by their supervisors for speaking up on their own behalf and asking for protection and testing.
Stokes told NBC News:
"One of the issues that we are trying to emphasize is that nurses must be supported in whatever decision they make, whether they take the risk or choose not to take the risk to protect families.
"It's a heart-wrenching decision, and many nurses have expressed sadness and sorrow that they are leaving their colleagues and patients."
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