Nurses across the U.S. are joining in protest Wednesday of what they say is insufficient protection for healthcare workers in the fight against Ebola.
This is the second day of rallies after 20,000 nurses picketed across 86 hospitals and clinics in California Tuesday. The union National Nurses United, which is currently in contentious contract negotiations with Kaiser Permanente, has been leading the charge and says hospitals still lack enough personal protective equipment and air-purifying respirators to protect medical workers.
“Ebola is the latest in health threats, there will be more to come,” said Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the union. “Nurses are demanding patient safety.”
Nearly 100,000 registered nurses are expected to join in protest across 15 states, Washington, D.C., and several other countries including Australia and the Philippines. While most nurses will not walk off the job, groups will hold rallies outside the White House and the Federal Building in downtown Oakland, Calif.
The medical community’s concerns come after two Dallas nurses were infected after treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient to die of the virus in the U.S. Both nurses are now Ebola-free.
The Centers for Disease Control released updated standards for healthcare facilities, including specifics on what protective equipment workers should use. The government unit has also ordered $2.7 million worth of personal protective equipment to help hospitals safely care for possible Ebola patients.