Nurses marched through downtown Oakland, Ca to the Federal Building on the Day of Action for Ebola Safety
Nurses are celebrating California's recent announcement of precedent-setting Ebola patient care guidelines
that call for strong healthcare worker protections and provide a model for federal and state action for all U.S. hospitals. The new guidelines came in the wake of the Nov. 12 worldwide Day of Action for Ebola Safety by 100,000 registered nurses (see more on the Day of Action below).
The new California standards, an elaboration of existing Cal/OSHA regulations on Aerosol Transmissible Disease and other existing regulations, go well beyond the faulty procedures and protective gear employed by hospitals across the U.S., and surpass the Center For Disease Control's recommendations which, in addition to being inadequate, carry no enforcement power.
By contrast, California regulations are mandatory and hospitals that fail to comply will face civil penalties. The regulations stipulate requirements for the optimal level of personal protective equipment (PPE) and rigorous training and drills. They break new ground in identifying modes of possible transmission of the virus and clarifying when safety precautions must be engaged for nurses and other front line health workers who encounter patients with the deadly Ebola virus.
“These rules are a testament to the outspoken efforts of nurses who have repeatedly pressed for the highest level of mandatory safety precautions to protect nurses, patients, and the public. Nurses have raised their voices, and California has now listened, acted, and once again set a benchmark for the nation,” said NNU and CNA Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro.
Learn more about this exciting news here:
> Overview of the New California Standards on Ebola
> Press Release: Dramatic New California Ebola Mandate Inspired by RN Actions
> Nurses urge you to sign the Petition to President Obama and Congress Demanding the Federal Government Adopt the Same Standards as California
Global Day of Action Energizes Nurses Campaign to Protect Nurses and Stop Ebola
Across the US, from the White House to the Federal Building in Oakland, CA, thousands of nurses took part in National Nurses United actions Nov. 12, demanding that US Hospitals dramatically ramp up preparedness for Ebola. The Nurses also called on the President to mandate the highest Ebola safety standards citing the laxity and unenforceability of current CDC guidelines. Nurses and healthcare worker unions also held actions in Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Philippines and Spain.
In over 150 locations in 16 states nurses held strikes, die-ins, rallies, candlelight vigils, bake sales, "walk-ins," and pickets in front of hospitals and Federal, State and OSHA office buildings. Each action site featured red banners and life-sized placards of a nurse wearing a full-body HAZMAT suit illustrating the optimal standard of PPE/personal protective equipment RNs require to safely care for Ebola patients.
Nurses from the DC area staged a "die-in" in front of the White House to underscore the urgency of providing healthcare workers with the optimal standard of personal protective equipment. “I put my heart into being a nurse every day and I want my patients to get the best possible care," said Donna Fleming-Cobey, an RN at Providence Hospital, who participated in the die-in.
Over two thousand nurses in red scrubs marched on Kaiser Headquarters and then rallied at the Federal Building in downtown Oakland, California. Nurses chanted "n95, We deserve better, n95, We deserve better," and then tossed the shoddy respirators into large boxes that were shipped to the President after the action. You can watch some of the rally here.
More photos and media coverage of the Day of Action:
Washington Post: Nurses win battle in California for mandated protections against Ebola
Children joined the Day of Action with enthusiasm!
Reuters: U.S. nurses hold strikes, protests over Ebola measures
The Guardian: US Nurses strike over Ebola protection
Sacramento Bee: Nurses Strike is Park of Larger Labor Push
San Jose Mercury News: 18,000 Northern California Kaiser nurses walk out over contract talks
Blog Round Up of National Day of Action for Ebola Safety with Many Fotos
Visit National Nurses United's Flickr site to see more Day of Action photos!