From California to Florida, from the Philippines to Ireland, 100,000 registered nurses are expected to join a wave of actions to call attention to eroding patient care standards in the U.S. and globally that are symbolized by inadequate preparedness for fighting the Ebola virus.
Major actions, sponsored by National Nurses United, will include a vigil outside the White House in Washington, DC, and a rally of thousands of California nurses outside the Federal Building in downtown Oakland, Ca.
Actions – including RN strikes, candlelight vigils, hospital pickets, and rallies at federal offices – will be held in California, Washington DC, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas.
In addition, nurses and healthcare worker unions are holding similar actions in Australia (where nurses are pressing a heightened response on Ebola and other global health concerns at a meeting of G-20 leaders), Canada, Ireland, the Philippines, and Spain.
“The lack of concern for nurses and patients in a world where corporations have taken over our community health care has been magnified during this deadly Ebola crisis,” said NNU Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro
“If nurses had not taken to the air waves, to the streets and to the legislatures, there would have been inaction on Ebola. Everyone passed the buck. The Centers for Disease Control had no power, and Ebola is the latest in health threats, there will be more to come. Nurses are demanding patient safety. They are heroes. Hospitals should be forced to spend the money on patient safety that they spend on public relations,” DeMoro said.
What NNU is demanding is the optimal personal protective equipment for nurses and other caregivers who interact with Ebola patients. That means full-body hazmat suits that meet the American Society for Testing and Materials F1670 standard for blood penetration, F1671 standard for viral penetration, and that leave no skin exposed or unprotected, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-approved powered air purifying respirators with an assigned protection factor of at least 50.
Second, that all facilities provide continuous, rigorous interactive training for RNs and other health workers who might encounter an Ebola patient, that includes practice putting on and taking off the hazmat suits where some of the greatest risk of infection can occur.
NNU has also repeatedly called on the White House and Congress to mandate all hospitals to meet these standards. “We know from years of experience that these hospitals will meet the cheapest standards, not the most effective precautions. And now we are done talking and ready to act,” DeMoro said.
Major action: Oakland – Rally, 12 noon, Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building, 1301 Clay St.
RN Strikes – 86 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics in Antioch, Fremont, Fresno, Oakland, Redwood City, Richmond, Roseville, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, San Leandro, San Rafael, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, South Sacramento, South San Francisco, Stockton, Vacaville, Vallejo, Walnut Creek. Sutter Tracy hospital, Tracy, Ca., and Watsonville Community Hospital, Watsonville, Ca.
Pickets, Vigils –Bakersfield, Barstow, Irvine, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica.
More California details at www.calnurses.org
District of Columbia
Vigil/Press Conference – Outside White House, 2 p.m., 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Contact, Joe Schuman, 213-359-3997.
RN Strike – Providence Hospital, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Rally, 12 noon, 1150 Varnum St. NE. Contact, Korey Hartwich, 301-312-2343.
Ft Lauderdale – Rally, 10:45 a.m., Occupational Safety and Health Administration offices, 1000 South Pine Island Rd. Contact, Chris Rook, 305-546-7485.
Lake City – Rally, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Lake City VA Medical Center, 619 S. Marian Ave. Contact, Susan Sandoval, 505-377-5909
Augusta – Rally, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, 950 15th Street. Contact, Irma Westmoreland, 706-421-6690.
Chicago – Picket, 11a-1p John H. Stroger Hospital, 1969 W. Ogden Ave. Contact, John Tillar, 312-219-0194
Chicago – Candlelight Vigil, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., University of Chicago Medical Center, Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine (DCAM), 5758 S. Maryland Ave. Contact, Cindy Loudin, 773-410-3089.
Hines – Picket, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Edward Hines, Jr. VA Medical Center, 5000 S 5th Ave, Hines. Contact, Abass Wane, 312-513-1311.
Bar Harbor – Vigil, 5:30pm, Corner of Main and Wayman Streets, Bar Harbor.
Boston – Leafleting, 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., South Station. Contact, David Schildmeier, 781-249-0430.
Worcester – Leafleting, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Union Station. Contact, David Schildmeier, 781-249-0430.
Lansing– Rally, 11:30 a.m., Governor’s Office, Romney Office Building, 111 South Capitol Ave. Contact, Ann Sincox 517-256-2312
St. Paul – Candlelight Vigil, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., State Capitol. Contact, Rick Fuentes 612-741-0662
St. Louis – Candlelight Vigil, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For details, Marti Smith 312-607-8619
Kansas City – Rally, 4:30 p.m., Kansas City Occupational Safety and Health Administration office, 2300 Main St. Kansas City, MO 64108. Contact, Julie Perry 816-665-4746
Las Vegas – Rally, 11 a.m., Nevada office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 1301 N. Green Valley Pkwy, Suite 200, 11 a.m. Contact, Jeff Welsh 702-334-2997
New York City – Vigil, 5:15 p.m., Federal Building, 40 Foley Square. Contact, Jonathan Weitz 646-460-7734
Durham – Rally, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Durham VA Medical Center, 508 Fulton St. Contact, Dewey Parker 502-333-2458
Massillon – Rally, 11:30 a.m., Lincoln Way E at First Street SE. Contact, Michelle Mahon 234-207-6706
Memphis – Rally, 11:30 a.m. Student Union, 1000 South Cooper St. Contact, Cole Weintraub-Duckworth 510-219-6081
El Paso – Rally, 4 p.m., outside office of U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Federal Building, 303 N. Oregon St. Contact, Beth Pease 915-245-1249
Houston – Rally, 10 a.m., Discovery Park, 1500 McKinney St. Contact, Paula Littles 512-971-4901