MNA announces march in response to lack of PPE

The Minnesota Nurses Association announced a march they'll be doing in response to continued lack of PPE. The Minnesota Nurses Association announced a march they'll be doing in response to continued lack of PPE. |  Photo: Carl Sauer/WDIO

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: May 09, 2020 06:12 PM

The Minnesota Nurses Association announced a march they'll be doing in response to continued lack of PPE, rising COVID-19 patient levels, and resumption of elective surgeries.

Nurse members of the Minnesota Nurses Association said they will march to the State Capitol while practicing appropriate social distancing on May 20.

MNA members said they will demand, "equipment, training, staffing, and transparency from United Hospital and other hospitals as well as for the Minnesota Department of Health to enforce the highest standards of safety and protection for patients and healthcare workers."

Nurses will deliver a Pandemic Bill of Rights Petition with more than 10,000 signatures to demand the Minnesota Department of Health protect workers and patients. MNA will file the appropriate notices with Allina Health and United Hospital for an informational picket, not a work stoppage, as no nurses will leave their jobs to participate in the march.

"Hospital management has been unresponsive to nurses' concerns," said Brittany Livaccari, Registered Nurse at United. "Nurses have asked, pleaded, and finally just grabbed scrubs to protect themselves and their families from this horrible virus. And our nurses are being disciplined."

At United, several RNs said they were given non-disciplinary counselings for wearing hospital-provided scrubs. A few also said they have been issued disciplinary notices and one has been terminated. They also say several RNs were docked pay.

"All over Minnesota, nurses are being forced to utilize unsafe practices," said Mary C. Turner, an intensive care unit nurse at North Memorial Health and MNA President. "At my hospital, nurses are re-using gowns and masks, that until recently, we threw away. Yet, we're told they're safe now. This is crazy in a state where we pride ourselves on delivering the best care. We've relaxed our standards when we should be setting them by protecting our workers and our patients."

Nurses say they oppose Governor Tim Walz's Executive Order allowing for the resumption of elective procedures until hospitals can show PPE resources have been obtained and healthcare workers' exposure is minimized.

Credits

Alejandra Palacios

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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