ORLANDO, Fla. - Some Orlando-area nurses will be joining others around the country on Friday during a nationwide 'May Day' call for action, demanding better COVID-19 protections for nurses and other health care workers.
Strikes are taking place at 139 hospitals in 13 states representing more than 95,540 nurses, according to National Nurses United (NNU).
Nurses are demanding optimal PPE. They say so far, at least 60 nurses across the country have died of COVID-19.
“Nurses signed up to care for their patient. They did not sign up to sacrifice their lives on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN.
“Nurses signed up to care for their patient. They did not sign up to sacrifice their lives on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN. “On this day that celebrates the labor movement and working people, union nurses are standing up to demand the protections they need now!”
“Our employer has said publicly that we have all the PPE we need. If that’s true they aren’t sharing it with nurses. Doctors have respirators while nurses have surgical masks. When we do get N95’s, we are sharing them and recycling them, which is unsafe. HCA has the resources to give us single use PPE every time we need it. Our patients deserve the highest level of protection and our employer is putting them at risk” said Marissa Lee, RN, of Osceola Regional Medical Center.
National Nurses United registered nurse members are calling on employers and the government to provide nurses and other health care workers with the highest level of protections. They're asking for high powered air-purifying respirators, and single use of N95s and coveralls that incorporate head coverings and shoe coverings, and gloves.
Orlando Area 'May Day' actions are taking place at Osceola Regional Medical Center Friday morning and at Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford at 6:00 p.m. Friday.