WE DEMAND HAZARD PAY AT YALE NEW HAVEN HOSPITAL
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We are scared on the frontline. We are emotionally charged, tired, frustrated and yet still we show up. We the nurses, clinical techs and respiratory therapists, stand united. We are in this together. Here is what we are experiencing in the COVID-19 pandemic at YNHH as of 4/9/2020:
- Inadequate PPE, while it changes day to day or week to week, it has been a constant issue
- One N95, one surgical mask and one face shield per day, not per patient, only to be recycled and possibly reprocessed for later use
- Reusing the same gown in between patient care
- Cutting sani-wipes into fours and putting them in bags to make the supply last
- When intubating, extubating or during codes- reusing CAPR face shields and the learning curve associated with new equipment that is not in adequate supply
- Unclear instruction to staff about maintaining safety in patient care areas
- Rooms that had not been converted to negative pressure were in use with COVID positive patients in which aerosolizing procedures were performed but the staff had not been informed until a later date that they should have been wearing N95’s all shift to protect themselves outside the rooms
- Unsafe nursing staff and RT ratios
- Special assignments (1 nurse to 1 patient) are no longer utilized to stretch staffing
- RTs who are >65 years old cannot work with COVID positive patients, and while this is a respected decision, it puts a burden on the limited staff as it is that care for these patients
- Adding trash removal, linen removal and sharps container removal from rooms to the list of nursing staff responsibilities
- Adding dietary responsibilities such as passing out meal trays to all patients with diet orders
- Inability to use PTO for previously scheduled vacation time and no clear availability to receive it at a later time
- RT using new vents and equipment they are not familiar with or have ever practiced before such as using one vent for two patients
The emotional stress of being isolated from family, from many of our significant others being laid off, from knowing that our patients may not have gotten to know the last time they saw theirs would be the last, being a middleman for loved ones in the most stressful and scary situations, feeling worried for our own family members and friends, loved ones and ourselves.
What we are asking is simple. We will continue to show up, but we will not be silent about our experiences and we will not stand in the line of fire without support. We want hazard pay. We demand to know that we are in this together and that means fair pay! Stand with us!
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