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Nurses Plan Strikes Over Ebola Safety Issues

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posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:16 AM
Nurses across the country are planning a strike over ebola safety issues. I don't blame them at all. Hospitals aren't prepared and both the guidelines put out by both the CDC and Doctors Without Borders have proven not to be effective. Being a dedicated nurse is a wonderful thing, but to care for ebola patients when there is inadequate safety gear and poor procedures is just suicide. The walkout will effect 12 states and tens of thousands of nurses are expected to be involved.

Kaiser nurses plan two-day strike over Ebola safety issues

Registered nurses from Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics in the Bay Area are planning a two-day strike next month to demand tougher Ebola safety precautions, the union that represents the health care workers, said Thursday.

The strike on Nov. 11 and 12 will be part of a national action in 12 states and Washington, D.C. In California, the walkout will include 18,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners at 66 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics.

National Nurses United representatives say they have been unsuccessfully pressing Kaiser to implement a set of stricter Ebola-related controls, including “optimal personal protective equipment” such as full-body hazardous materials suits that leave no skin exposed or unprotected. They also want National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-approved powered air purifying respirators for their nurses.

Nurses at DC's Providence Hospital plan strike over Ebola preparedness

Registered Nurses at D.C.'s Providence Hospital have planned a one-day strike to protest the hospital's "inadequate Ebola preparedness," The National Nurses United said in a statement released Thursday.

"The walkout is part of a national day of action by National Nurses United in 14 states as well as the District of Columbia that will highlight the demand of NNU for all hospitals to put in place stronger Ebola safety measures," the statement said. The strike is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, November 12th

National Nurses Union plans strike to demand greater protections against Ebola

Stepping up demands to protect nurses from Ebola, the national nurses's union said Thursday that nurses coast-to-coast are planning a National Day of Action on Nov. 12 that includes strikes at 21 Kaiser Permanente facilities in Northern California. Zenei Cortez, co-president of the California Nurses Association, which is part of National Nurses United, said Kaiser nurses plan to strike Nov. 11-12.

When it comes to Ebola, "the message that nurses have been getting around the nation is that we are expendable," said Deborah Burger, co-president of National Nurses United and president of the California Nurses Association. "At first there was shock, then anger -- and now we want action.

November 11 and 12 are the dates of the strike. I would imagine this will effect emergency rooms and there will be nursing shortages for those days in the hospitals. Scabs may cross the picket line. But will the Scabs have the same level of caregiving that a regular full time nurse would have? I support the nurses in their strike. I also hope that no one has to go to the hospital on those dates because health care could easily be interrupted.

edit on 31-10-2014 by Jainine because: spelling

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:23 AM
They have my support too, even though it's scary to think how the already backed up ERs will run without them!

Now, not if or when this gets more full blown, is the time to get the training and equipment and iron out the protocols for isolation and quarantine. And this is one good way to focus attention on the issues, and the people on the front lines are the ones to do it.

(Kaiser, which happens to be my provider, actually has addressed this to a degree. All us members got emails about it which at least acknowledged to me that they were 1.) acknowledging concerns and 2.) realized that they were not prepared and so were taking steps to give people some guidance (as in call and don't come in first if you think you may be infected so we can get the right people out there). Better than nothing and better than most in my view. Although they did fib and say on my last two visits that they had been asking people about out of state/out of country travel all year. Ha. Not true.)
edit on 10/31/2014 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:37 AM
have there been any new cases? i remember about this child in new york, but it was never confirmed, he was just found to have a bad fever...
As for the nurses, i don't know how to think about it really.
On one side, i totally get them, it's scary, and they have the right to be safe while doing their job.
on the other, by not being there at all they will just make things even worse, won't they? what about the patients? i guess the hippocratic oath is more of a vague promise than anything else.
and yes i get they are nurses not doctors, but does that give them the right to just back off and watch it all go down the toilet?

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:43 AM

originally posted by: IShotMyLastMuse
does that give them the right to just back off and watch it all go down the toilet?

They have a right not to go commit suicide and that's what they'd be doing if they used inadequate safety equipment and the hospitals aren't prepared for Ebola. If there are unsafe working conditions, people have a right not to enter them. The procedures and safety gear have been found not to be adequate so they have a right not to put their lives at risk over a job. (in my opinion).

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:45 AM
a reply to: IShotMyLastMuse

A new case could walk in off the street in any country, in any city, at any time.

The purpose of this is to get the attention focused on the fact that we are not ready for this. It's not an indefinite strike. How could they make things worse than they are in regards to unpreparedness?

And the proper attention focused on this now will make things infinitely better in the long run for both them and their patients.

They are not backing off and watching anything go down any toilet. They are raising legitimate concerns and calling for action.
edit on 10/31/2014 by ~Lucidity because: streat? more coffee!

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:51 AM

originally posted by: IShotMyLastMuse
i guess the hippocratic oath is more of a vague promise than anything else.
and yes i get they are nurses not doctors, but does that give them the right to just back off and watch it all go down the toilet?

I get what you're saying, but another consideration is the "first, do no harm" statement. I would think this would include harm to oneself. A nurse with Ebola is much less effective at helping patients.

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:59 AM
a reply to: Jainine

This organization (National Nurses United) has been front and center informing the public about the lack of proper PPE and training for some time now.

I've got friends who are nurses, or are in school for such. My fiancee's mother is a nurse, and has been for a long time.

All of them tell me much the same thing, the places where they work/attend courses are not ready for a random case to show up and if one did, they would likely not go in as they knew first hand how ill prepared thier institutions are.

And what about the dozens of McClinics that have popped up on every other block (at least where I live) over the last several years? What happens if an ebola-positive person were to walk in to one of them?

Good on these nurses for speaking up!

It's the huge administrative overhead which has driven up costs in healthcare, and these same desk jockeys are the ones who decide whether or not to have proper equipment and training for same available to those doing the work.

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 09:10 AM
now, this something I agree 100%, because its an issue very close to my hart, my daughter is a nurse and I worry about her all the time

I am all for it and will support their protest as a mother of a nurse.
edit on 31-10-2014 by marg6043 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 09:11 AM
While I support the nurses and medical staff not being forced into hazardous situations unprepared, I don't think walking out on their duties is the right way to go about it. How many innocent non-ebola patients do you suppose are rushed into these ER's on a daily basis with life threatening events? Should they just let them die to prove a point? Imagine it's your child, or spouse or parent being rushed to the ER only to be turned away or languish in the bowels of the waiting room. Striking is not the answer

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 09:20 AM
a reply to: AnonymousCitizen
I get it, but living outside the US, i only have what the media tells me, that's why i come to this site, so i can hear from "boots on the ground"
But from what i understand, a kid with a bad fever is seen as a potential ebola case, and rushed to the hospital, now if there are no nurses there, who is going to take care of my kid? even if it's not an ebola case and just a common fever, is he going to be left there almost unattended?
this is the problem with the media creating hysteria, all of a sudden it sounds like people just back off no matter what.
And again, have there been any new cases? or is still really just unnecessary hype?

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 09:23 AM
a reply to: hogstooth

They will no walk out of their duties, they will take turns for protest while off duties.

Walking out of their duties will end on termination of their jobs.

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 09:35 AM
a reply to: marg6043

Good to know. I couldn't imagine them all just not working at once and the chaos that would cause.

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 10:01 AM
a reply to: hogstooth

I know, so don't worry, they will not just walk out, nurses like doctors or any other health care worker have an oath and they will not jeopardize their licenses.

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 01:05 PM
OSHA ensures safe and healthy working conditions for Americans by enforcing standards and providing workplace safety training for all workers. Americans should stand with striking nurses.

Whining nurse Hickox wants to be the poster child for HCWs rights but she's fighting for the wrong ones. Her fight is suspect/self-serving but she's getting all the attention/government action.

Nurse Hickox is more about protecting the rights of a small minority of HCWs, namely her, while the majority here in the sates feel they're not getting appropriate training/supplies. Apparently self-quarantine isn't at the top of their complaint list.

Adequate training/supplies and stringent guidelines concerning self-quarantine for those at risk ensure safe working conditions for HCWs. We need to be careful not to jump on the wrong complaining nurse's bandwagon.

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 02:24 PM
a reply to: Morningglory

This is what I was thinking as well, where is OSHA in all this???? Isn't this in their area of influence to ensure safe working conditions?

My wife is a HCW, and we had a discussion on this topic 2 weeks ago. She woks in an urban hospital lab (that place where all the body fluids go to be analyzed) and she handles this stuff daily. They have a BSL-2 negative pressure room with a ventilation hood they use for that level pathogen. But, they are not equipped for a BSL-4 level pathogen such as Ebola. She had to go through a few CDC sponsored Ebola preparedness seminars the past month too (since Ebola came to the US) and I have had the opportunity to read through the CDC handouts she received, etc..

The current protocol for her hospital in the case of a potential Ebola patient (determined by symptoms and interview of recent travel history) entering the ER is to inform the state health department immediately. Then to quarantine the patient with minimal staff contact until the state response team is on-site with proper mobile containment devices. Each of the staff that were in contact with the patient are sequestered in a room and vitals taken and logged. Based upon their level of contact, they may be asked to self quarantine and be subject to periodically having their vitals taken to monitor their state of health.

At this point, we cannot have a BSL-4 room in every hospital...that is just not feasible at all. However, containment is the best defense against this little bug, and that is the main approach that is being advocated. However, each individual does make their OWN decisions and there is no guarantee someone lies about their contact, or honors the quarantine. Personally, I think there should be at least one containment suit or mobile tent per hospital. In the case of a potential, then that is used on the patient to IMMEDIATELY isolate then from everyone until the properly feared and trained response team arrives to transfer the patient to a suitable location safely.

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:22 PM
UPDATE: She just had new training on Ebola this week at her hospital. The protocol has now completely changed. The CDC is now requiring any patient suspected of having Ebola (per the standard symptoms and travel history as before) is now instantly to be transported from the facility to the nearest major city with proper containment facilities. The staff immediately exposed to the patient are now cataloged and closely monitored for symptoms. She is working this weekend and has promised to take some some of the new CDC literature home for me to read through. Depending upon its content, I may create a new thread on this with the info to share with ATS.

posted on Nov, 12 2014 @ 06:58 AM
Just thought I'd bump this thread to remind people that today is strike day for the nurses.

(post by BigProblem removed for a manners violation)

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