SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Three more nurses say Providence Saint John’s suspended them because they objected to working without proper personal protective equipment. The California Nurses Association says Providence has suspended a total of 10 RNs for the same reason.
Monday night, on the one-year anniversary of her working at Providence St. John’s in Santa Monica, Allison Mayol, 23, tells FOX 11 the hospital suspended her and two of her nurse colleagues. “We want to take care of our patients especially right now in this dire time but we want to make sure we’re doing it safely,” Mayol said.
“Our employer has the N95s but still chooses to not give them to us. The two other nurses and I tried to even go to another floor to see if another floor would be willing to share their stock with us but they still said they have them but not for us, which is completely insane because we are a med-surge floor. We are taking care of specifically COVID patients and rule-out COVID patients so it was just completely unbelievable."
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The women say two RN’s on their dedicated-COVID floor have already tested positive, as well as more than six others throughout the hospital.
In a statement to FOX 11, Providence Saint John’s says:
'We are so grateful to the heroic work our nurses perform each day and will not let the actions of a few diminish the appreciation we have for all our nurses and their commitment to our community. Saint John’s cherishes its nurses and is taking precautions sanctioned by leading world, national, state and local health agencies to ensure their safety -- the same protocols followed by most hospitals around the country. We have been working for weeks to increase access to PPE and also activate our own local reprocessing centers. We have been successful with these efforts and so we are beginning to expand usage of N95 masks to those who care for COVID-19 patients, to ease the fears our caregivers have during this time. It’s no secret there is a national shortage, and depleting our supply is not an option knowing COVID-19 will remain in our community for weeks and months to come.'
The nurses say they were originally not allowed to use donated or self-obtained N95 masks because the hospital had not fitted and approved them and may give a false sense of security but after the California Nurses Association put pressure on the hospital, they say that action was reversed.