April 08, 2020
Nurses still fighting for masks and scrubs
The Nurses Organisation is calling for a package of measures for frontline health workers, including improved access to personal protective equipment or PPE.
Its kaiwhakahaere, Kerri Nuku, says while the situation is improving, there is a feeling many district health boards are rationing supplies of PPE.
She says nurses need to feel confident they have the protection they need when treating patients who may have COVID-19.
The system is put at risk if nurses don’t feel safe.
“We’ve had reports from practice nurses and managers that have said ‘we’ve got nurses that have rung in sick today because of the fear they haven’t got the right clothing they need to feel safe,” she says.
Kerri Nuku says the He Kete Tapuhi Ora response package calls for accessible PPE, counselling and cultural support for nurses, and whistleblower protections if nurses, cleaners or other health workers speak out about access to protective gear.
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