Some Health Care Providers Challenge Medical Tradition Of Accepting Elevated Personal Risk During A Crisis
"I literally feel like a coward for running away from this,” said one health care worker who quit over lack of protective gear. “I either suck up that particular feeling and put it in my pocket or I put my family at risk.” Workers across the country, facing dire shortages of things like face masks, are turning to volunteers, social media and others to plead for resources. When that doesn't work, some are putting their foot down about putting themselves and their families at risk.
The Washington Post:
Some Health-Care Workers Resist Orders To Work Without Adequate Protection
Some health-care workers have begun to resist pressure to work with inadequate protection during the coming tsunami of coronavirus cases. To do so, they must buck the pandemic’s all-hands-on-deck ethos, the medical tradition of accepting elevated risk in a crisis and the threat of discipline from employers. Confrontations and difficult personal decisions are occurring as hospital administrators enforce rationing of masks, face shields and other equipment for workers worried about protecting themselves. (Bernstein and Cha, 3/25)
Safety Concerns Spark Hospital-Employee Clash
Healthcare workers are claiming that their employers are firing them, or threatening to, as they debate how to best protect themselves while caring for patients with COVID-19.The quarrel centers around masks, specifically N95 respirators, as federal safety guidelines shift and supply levels dwindle. Nurses are telling their coworkers that the N95 respirators are safer than the standard face masks that their hospitals are offering, resulting in reprimands from their employers. (Kacik, 3/25)
Hundreds Of Mass. Doctors Sign Plea Warning Health System Could Be Close To Collapse
More than 1,000 Massachusetts doctors have sent Gov. Charlie Baker a letter and petition with a dire warning: If the state doesn’t impose stricter limits on public movement, find more protective equipment and increase testing for the coronavirus, the health care system is at risk of collapse. They point out that cases of the coronavirus are continuing to double every two to three days in the state, and yet some healthcare workers are being asked to treat coronavirus patients without protective gear. (Bebinger and Goldberg, 3/25)
Medical Workers On Front Lines Of Coronavirus Express Fear And Frustration
For medical professionals across the U.S., going to work during the coronavirus pandemic can be a frightening task that few have signed up for. Just ask Michelle Gonzalez, an Intensive Care Unit nurse at New York's Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, who worries daily about catching COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. (Gibson, 3/25)
In California, Protective Equipment Shortage Pushes Nurses To Consider Drastic Action
A group of bandana-clad nurses protested outside Kaiser Permanente's Oakland Medical Center on Monday night with a message: "We need PPE." On Tuesday evening, a similar group of Kaiser nurses rallied in the rain — while maintaining recommended social distancing — in nearby Richmond. (Farivar, 3/25)
San Francisco Chronicle:
Why Do California Companies Have So Many Masks To Donate?
The donations from Apple, Facebook, Salesforce and others are welcome developments for nurses and doctors facing a nationwide strain on the personal protective equipment they need to safely help patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new virus. But why do these companies have so many masks to begin with? California wildfires could be the driving factor. (Morris, 3/25)
National Cathedral Finds 5,000 Masks That Had Been Stashed Away By Its Crypt For Over 10 Years
As head stone mason at the National Cathedral in Washington, Joe Alonso knows the ins and outs of the church better than anyone. So as he read news of the coronavirus pandemic, Alonso remembered that there was something stowed away in the cathedral's crypt level that could help efforts to combat the virus: 5,000 N95 respirator masks. (Lee, 3/26)
The Washington Post:
Third Resident Of Canterbury Rehab Dies; PPE In Short Supply
Three former patients from Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center outside Richmond have died of coronavirus since Tuesday, and more than a dozen other patients and staff are infected. But a top local health official said staff at the long-term care facility still lack the protective gear needed to fully contain the spread of what is one of the largest outbreaks of the virus in the greater Washington area. (Vozzella, 3/26)
What Are Surgical Masks And Respirators, And Why Are They Important In The Fight Against COVID-19?
The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 has left many health care providers scrambling for basic personal protective equipment, or PPE. Surgical masks and respirators are two forms of PPE that health care providers need to work safely in a pandemic. (Currie, 3/25)
Some Hospitals Move To 'Universal Mask' Policy. Should Everyone Wear Masks In Public?
As of this week, the largest hospital chain in Massachusetts is imposing what’s called a “universal mask” policy: All Partners Healthcare staffers in public areas are supposed to wear surgical masks to protect their patients — and themselves — from the coronavirus."We’ve never done anything like this, that I’m aware of, here at Mass. General or Partners," said Dr. Erica Shenoy, the associate chief of infection control at Massachusetts General Hospital, which is part of Partners. "I’ve heard of other institutions considering this." (Goldberg, 3/25)
How Medical Students In Georgia Are Helping In Coronavirus Crisis
Brands, 25, is among 400 third- and fourth-year students at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University who are scheduled to begin assisting the state’s 18 public health districts, advising patients about whether they need to be tested for the virus and performing other tasks, the college announced this week. They’re among the many medical students statewide getting an early start to their medical careers as crowded hospitals grapple with the flood of patients seeking care. (SStirgus, 3/26)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Coronavirus In Wisconsin: Nursing Students Ask Board For Waiver
Wisconsin’s 3,000 nursing students slated to graduate this year — and join a workforce where they are desperately needed — are in limbo as hospitals across the state canceled students’ clinical rotations, making graduation unlikely. Facing a nursing shortage even before the COVID-19 pandemic, health care systems will suffer greatly if those students aren’t available to work, said Linda Young, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. (Rutledge, 3/25)