Nurses protested at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center Monday for better protective equipment.
The nurses stood in a line about six feet apart in front of the facility in the 4700 block of West Sunset Boulevard in an effort, they said, to practice the requirement for social distancing.
“In the hospital behind us we work inside (and) unfortunately we don’t have the ability to practice social distancing,” one nurse said. “We work in very close quarters with each other, with our patients, and it’s a dangerous environment in there right now.
“We don’t have what we need. We do not have the protective equipment and gear that we need. We are being stripped of everything we need to protect ourselves, our patients … (and) families,” she said.
“We have had changes over the last two weeks,” she said. “We initially started out with some pretty restrictive protective equipment, and now we are going down to just surgical masks or bandannas they are recommending, which, of course, we can’t actually wear in the hospital. So, it’s very concerning to us.”
Kaiser released a statement Monday morning that read in part:
“Kaiser Permanente’s top priority continues to be the safety of our patients and staff. We understand the concerns and challenges we face during this most unprecedented time, but it’s important to know we are providing our staff with the personal protective equipment that is aligned with the latest science and guidance from public health authorities. These are the same supplies and equipment that are also being used by hospital systems in California and across the nation. It is paramount that our caregivers have the right level of protective equipment, and we are committed to ensuring they do — now and over the course of this pandemic.
“Kaiser Permanente has extensive experience in managing highly infectious diseases, well before this pandemic. Our care teams have the training and expertise to screen and treat patients effectively, while protecting our staff, and safely provide the right level of care for patients affected by this virus.
“We are grateful to our entire nursing staff for their dedication to our patients. We understand this is a stressful time and we encourage staff to raise concerns. We are in this fight together and we remain committed to protecting our valued care teams, including our nurses who are at the front line of care, as we continue to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.”