NYSNA nurses continue to staff the front lines in the battle against COVID-19. The number of New Yorkers infected with the virus continues to increase. We are preparing for that surge in patients. We have insisted that our PPE is up to standard. Our objection to “re-use” N95 respirator was successful. But concerns in many corners of the country over depletion of N95s is very real.
On March 11, NYSNA held a press conference at the union’s headquarters in NYC to a full house of print, radio and TV journalists. Executive Director Pat Kane, RN, presented facility data completed the previous day.
Below are three data points in the COVID-19 survey of NYSNA-staffed facilities:
- “How would you rate this facility’s plans for protecting employees during the coronavirus/COVID-19 epidemic?” Answers in the “inadequate” caterory totaled 47%.
- “How would you rate the facility’s protocol (and practice) for screening patients who may have COVID-19?” Answers deemed “inadequate” equaled 36%.
- A third question: “Does the facility have enough N95 respirators?” Answers deemed “inadequate” equaled 49%.
NYSNA President Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, a registered nurse at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, said she never had a problem caring for tuberculosis patients over the last 40 years because “I had the right equipment.”
“This is a national/international emergency,” she said. “And it will take us, if we don’t get control of it.”