Protect Nurses At All Costs
COVID-19 has brought forth the vulnerabilities nurses face in the workplace. We are taught to advocate for our patients but there seems to be an issue when we advocate for ourselves. We love being a nurse and we deserve the maximum protection when doing my job. If you follow Pill Apparel on Instagram or YouTube then you know one segment of our brand is Pill News. Countless stories have been published recently about Nurses losing their jobs or facing retaliations about speaking out. They are voicing concerns about unsafe work conditions and the lack of PPE (personal protective equipment) during this pandemic.
Our stance is that the safety and well-being of nurses are non-negotiable and we offer zero apologies. You know how when you’re on an airplane and before takeoff, the flight attendants go over emergency instructions. They tell you if you’re with a child apply your oxygen mask first then apply the child’s oxygen mask. The same analogy can be used on the front lines—nurses need to be applied to protect themselves first to ultimately protect and save their patients.
This is an excerpt of an article published on nj.com (1) regarding a nursing home hit heavily by COVID-19: “It was a horror house,” said one nurse, who said she tested positive for COVID-19 and spoke on the condition of anonymity, for fear of losing her job. Andover Subacute has been in the spotlight since the discovery that the nursing home was holding 17 bodies in a makeshift morgue April 13, the day after Easter Sunday. Even before the pandemic hit the nursing home, supplies were scarce, said employees. They would ask for supplies and were told they weren’t coming since the bills were not being paid, said one nurse. And when the nursing home received a shipment of protective gear from the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office, the home’s administration made it clear that it was not available for everyone, said, one nurse.
This nursing home sounds like pure hell on earth and despite that, the nurse is in fear of losing her job for speaking out. In reality, she is a front line hero that's should be acknowledged and showered in praise for trying her absolute best under such horrid conditions. Every nurse has a personal nursing school journey that most likely pushed you to your limits. After all that no nurse should be treated like this and made to feel anonymous.
Nursing is the nation's largest healthcare profession, with more than 3.8 million registered nurses (RNs) nationwide. Of all licensed RNs, 84.5% are employed in nursing (2). Honestly, if nurses don’t show up—medical facilities cant operate. We are healthcare’s most valuable asset and the most trusted profession for 19 years and counted—PROTECT NURSES AT ALL COSTS!!
How do you feel about the treatment of nurses during COVID-19 from employers and the public? Do nurses front line deserve incentives such as hazard pay and student loan forgiveness? Let Pill Apparel know what’s on your mind.
- Smiley, R.A., Lauer, P., Bienemy, C., Berg, J.G., Shireman, E., Reneau, K.A., & Alexander, M. (October 2018). The 2017 National Nursing Workforce Survey. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 9(3), supplement (S1-S54).