As the COVID-19 crisis deepens, SEIU 121RN members are sounding the alarm about what is happening inside hospital walls. Their hope is that these reports will help save the lives of their patients—and their fellow Nurses.

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Riverside Community Hospital RN Monique Hernandez appears on ABC World News Tonight.

‘We’re grossly unprepared’: Nurses share their frustration as the coronavirus spreads with little direction from the government or hospitals on how to mitigate it.
Business Insider
Nurses detailed a lack of coordination between governments and hospitals on protocols that could help stem the outbreak, with mask shortages a notable example.

Think of us’: Dignity RN turns to community for N95 masks.
CBS Los Angeles
A local woman says her hospital is running out of N95 masks. Tali Lee, an ICU nurse at Dignity Health Northridge Medical Center, reconnected with her high school basketball coach to see if he could help.

‘They Are Scared’: Nurses Say Northridge Hospital Not Prepared For Surge In Coronavirus Patients.
CBS Los Angeles

Tents have been set up outside Dignity Northridge Medical Center to handle an expected wave of COVID-19 patients, but the nurses who work inside said Monday that the hospital was far from ready.

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Some health-care workers resist orders to work without adequate protection.
The Washington Post
After 21 years in military medicine, there isn’t much that rattles Richard Barnett. He was part of the Marine force that invaded Baghdad in 2003, where he intermittently came under enemy fire. But during a 12-hour overnight nursing shift at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center in Los Angeles, the working conditions became more than he could accept.

Quarantined Northridge RN to CNN: “We have to send (COVID-19) patients home.”
CNN: The Situation Room 

Speaking out from quarantine, Dignity Northridge Nurse Elissa Rill told CNNs Kyung Lah that she has had to send patients with Coronavirus symptoms home, without ever testing them. “Patients are frustrated, and they’re scared,” she said. See the whole segment on CNN.

Area nurses worry about facing COVID-19 war without ‘any armor’.
Ventura County Star
Hospital nurses across Ventura County fear for their safety as their employers try to protect inventories of respirator masks, shielded head gear, gowns and other protective equipment in preparation for a possible surge in COVID-19 patients that could test capacities.

Doctors and nurses warn that hospitals are filling up fast.
ABC World News Tonight with David Muir
Nurses are speaking out about critical shortages of masks, gloves, and protective equipment.

ER Nurse tells CNN’s Anderson Cooper: “It’s like sending out your soldiers to battle, without the proper equipment.”
CNN Newsroom
“Why aren’t our leaders doing this?,” says Northridge RN Elissa Rill. “Why are Nurses the ones responsible for trying to find the supplies we need?”

“Pandemic Nation”: Podcast launches with Riverside Community Hospital RN
Capital and Main
Today’s launch episode features an interview with Monique Hernandez, a charge nurse who discusses the shocking lack of personal protective equipment at her California hospital and how it undermines the work of doctors and nurses in caring for patients while endangering critical health workers and their families.

Doctors and Nurses Beware: Hospitals Are Watching Your Facebook
Bloomberg
Across the country, hospitals are expanding rules barring employees from speaking to news media to add postings on social-networking sites and in chat-rooms. Health-care workers have been told to take down posts about their work conditions, according to the Service Employees International Union, which represents medical workers including [SEIU 121RN member Jhonna] Porter.

 

COVID-19 — Nurses’ Notes from the Front Line. A series on medium.

A tale of two hospitals.
I’ve been an E.R. Nurse for 12 years at a large Burbank area hospital. I also moonlight at another large hospital near Downtown Los Angeles. The difference between these hospitals’ responses to the coronavirus outbreak is like night and day.

I never expected that as a Nurse I’d have to take a bullet for a coworker.
I’m a hospital Nurse during one of the worst pandemics in modern history. Before this crisis is over, I will probably contract COVID-19. That has been a hard thing to accept, but I’m not afraid, because fear won’t do me any good. My patients need me to keep coming to work every day. Still, some things need to change to make our hospitals safer for Nurses and patients.

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We were like soldiers ready for our instructions, expecting some leadership.
I became an RN 27 years ago. I’ve worked all 27 of those years at a large hospital in Oxnard, California, where I also founded a nonprofit institute to train Certified Nurse Assistants and get them on the path to become Registered Nurses. I’m really proud of that work, because we clearly need more trained Nurses in my community. That becomes dangerously clear when there’s a healthcare emergency.

We can’t keep Nurses in the dark.
Yesterday, I quit my job as a bedside telemetry RN at a large hospital in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. I’ve been there for seven years, after a 21-year medical career in the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman. This included combat experience in Iraq and multiple deployments around the world in multiple healthcare environments.