Nurses working for Cambridge Health Alliance are petitioning for a safer work environment while treating coronavirus patients after some said they've have worn trash bags instead of medical gowns. "This organization is complicit in the largest scale violation of occupational health and safety standards in history," said Susan Wright-Thomas, a nurse at Cambridge Hospital and an at-large director of the Massachusetts Nurses Association. Last week, CHA nurses delivered a petition to senior management calling for more personal protective equipment, hazard pay, expanded employee testing and a meeting with CEO Dr. Assaad Sayah, which they say was declined twice. As of Tuesday, 151 of 4,600 CHA employees had tested positive for COVID-19, according to a spokesman, who also said Sayah participated in a virtual town hall with nurses on Wednesday morning. He said there are currently 47 coronavirus patients in inpatient units.
Growing concerns nurses facing retaliation for bringing up safety issues; American Nurses Association president Dr. Ernest Grant speaks out. Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. American Nurses Association president Dr. Ernest Grant explained Monday the predicament nurses are facing while they lack personal protective equipment, which has caused some unions to "retaliate" by filing lawsuits. "This is something that is part of the code of ethics that nurses have, is that they have the right to address concerns when it involves not only the environment, safety for the patient and also safety for the nurse," Grant told "America's Newsroom." Grant said that the American Nurses Association has been receiving reports from members and non-members that they are working without adequate personal protective equipment.
Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey faces disciplinary action over claims she concealed her temperature at an Ebola screening on her return to the UK. The 40-year-old was infected with the deadly virus while working in Sierra Leone in 2014. She is alleged to have given dishonest answers to medical staff when she returned to Heathrow airport. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has been investigating Ms Cafferkey's conduct. The council alleges that she "allowed an incorrect temperature to be recorded" on 29 December 2014 and intended to conceal from Public Health England staff that she had a temperature higher than 38C.
Hundreds of nurses and midwives are expected to join a demonstration in London on Saturday calling for a rethink of plans to scrap maintenance grants for students in England. The Treasury says abolishing the grants, or bursaries, will allow many more nurses to be trained. But a Royal College of Nursing survey claims two-thirds of nurses wouldn't have studied nursing without them. They say it would make an existing staff shortage even worse. Bursaries are a means-tested allowance paid to those healthcare students who qualify, to help with living expenses during their training.