NewsCovering Kern County


Nurses, staff at Mercy Southwest picket over personal protective equipment concerns

Posted at 11:42 AM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 14:44:19-04

On Friday morning dozens of nurses and staff at Mercy Southwest hit the streets, picketing over concerns about personal protective equipment.

Those picketing said they were concerned about potentially becoming infected with COVID-19.

23ABC spoke to an intensive care unit nurse who said nurses had received conflicting instructions about when to use their personal PPEs when treating patients.

Dignty Health Mercy Hospital responded to the concerns releasing a statement saying, "There is no higher priority than the safety of our people and our patients. Dignity Health Mercy Hospital has been working non-stop to ensure that all team members who need personal protective equipment (PPE) have the right equipment, at the right time and are using it correctly.

"We continue to follow the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) around appropriate use of PPE and to look ahead to anticipate what we will need to provide efficient and expert care to all of our patients, including COVID-19 patients, over the next few weeks.

"Our approach to supplies and equipment is a big part of this future planning. We are working with suppliers around the world to obtain additional safety supplies and await the arrival of these supplies soon. Additionally, we are working hard to ensure our employees are not only aware of and trained on our PPE protocols, but also that our facility leadership are responding to our staff quickly should they have questions, concerns, or thoughts."