Nurse Association Files Lawsuits
The New York State Health Department and 2 hospitals were served with 3 lawsuits alleging they failed to protect healthcare workers and the public.
The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) is a union and advocates for nurses for safe staffing, professional pay and benefits and a voice in patient care.
The lawsuits claim that the Department of Health and the targeted hospitals have failed to:
(a) provide proper personal protection equipment (PPE),
(b) properly train RNs redeployed from other hospital units,
(c) provide safe working conditions, and
(d) requiring nurses to return to work when they are still ill.
The suits also claim nurses have been placed in unsafe working conditions without appropriate masks.
According to the NYSNA, up to 70% of active nurses were exposed to COVID. A nurse in 1 hospital was given only a week off to recuperate rather than the federally mandated 2 week period. Another hospital required sick nurses to return to work which, obviously and seemingly negligently put their patients and families as well as co-workers and community at risk.
Overall, there has been a lack of appropriate testing and PPE for staff. Some places provide their workers with only a single N95 respirator for an entire week and place it in a paper bag and others are directed to use the same gown while treating multiple COVID-positive patients.
Intimidation has even been used against nurses who dare to speak publicly about hospital deficiencies.
It is a frightening time to be a nurse. My concern is that when the states do not ease up on sheltering instructions so that we are able to keep our community and healthcare professionals safe.