Minnesota nurses will call for safety standards for healthcare workers dealing with Ebola and other infectious diseases at a rally and candlelight vigil Wednesday at the State Capitol.
The event will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. on the front lawn of the Capitol.
Registered nurses from California to Maine will hold strikes, picketing, and other actions as National Nurses United, the largest U.S. organization of nurses steps up the demand for tougher Ebola safety precautions in the nation’s hospitals.
One centerpiece of the actions will be a two-day strike by 18,000 RNs and nurse practitioners at 66 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics who have been pressing the HMO giant for weeks to put in place proper safety protocols and training with optimal personal protective equipment. Kaiser has repeatedly dismissed the nurses’ concerns. In California alone, strikes, pickets and other actions will involve at least 50,000 RNs.
A strike will also occur at Providence Hospital in Washington D.C. affecting 400 RNs, the union said.
In addition, Ebola safety actions are tentatively set for Augusta, Ga., Bar Harbor, Me., Boston, Chicago, Durham, N.C., Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Lansing, Mi., Massilon, Oh., Miami, St. Louis, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Washington D.C.
“Nurses, who have been willing to stand by the patients whether it’s the flu, whether it’s Ebola, whether it’s cancer, are now being asked to put themselves in harm’s way unprotected, unguarded,” said NNU Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro, in a press conference announcing the actions.
“Every RN is one patient away from being exposed to Ebola. The message nurses are being given across the nation is that they are expendable,” DeMoro noted. “You don’t ask the nurses to put their lives on the line and then not protect them.”
- Minnesota Africans tackle Ebola (Tom Gitaa, Mshale, 2014)
- Minnesota groups set up Ebola aid, outreach (Sarah Connor, The Minnesota Daily, 2014)
- Ebola and E. Coli (Mary Turck, News Day, 2014)
- Twin Cities’ West African community confronts misconceptions after first U.S. Ebola case diagnosed (Ibrahim Hirsi, MinnPost, 2014)
- Minnesota African Taskforce Against Ebola created (Issa Mansaray, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, 2014)
- University of Minnesota officials monitor Ebola outbreak in West Africa (Haley Hansen, The Minnesota Daily, 2014)
- Minnesota state officials scramble to calm Ebola fears (Issa Mansaray, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, 2014)
- Reflections of New Minnesotans: The Ebola outbreak and its implications, for Liberia and Minnesota (Nekessa Opoti, AM950, 2014)