Nurses are protesting working conditions under coronavirus — and say hospitals aren’t protecting them

April 20, 2020 / By Janelle Griffith

A nurse at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles said she was sent home after refusing to wear a surgical mask instead of a protective respirator to treat COVID-19 patients — and that she was denied a coronavirus test even after she began displaying symptoms.

A nurse at a hospital in Kentucky said she was reprimanded for insubordination and reassigned for refusing to treat COVID-19 patients when the hospital would not supply her with an N95 mask.

A nurse in New Jersey said he was fired after speaking out publicly about the lack of proper protective gear during the pandemic.

All three nurses said they believe they are being persecuted for simply trying to protect themselves and others, and some experts agree.

“I think it’s important to speak up if you see inadequate conditions for patients or yourself,” said Arthur Caplan, head of the division of medical ethics at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine. “I think we would expect people to do almost as whistleblowers and get protected — not punished.”


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Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Surgio Health as well as COO at Ortho Spine Partners. Chris has close to 20 years of healthcare management experience with an infinity to improve healthcare delivery through the development and implementation of innovative solutions that solve real problems that result in improved efficiencies, reduction of unnecessary financial & clinical variation, and help drive better patient outcomes. Previously, Chris was assistant vice president and business unit leader for HPG/HCA. He has presented at numerous healthcare forums on topics that include disruptive innovation, physician engagement, shifting reimbursement models, cost per clinical episode and the future of supply chain delivery.

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