California Nurses Say They Were Suspended After Refusing To Work Without N95 Masks (VIDEO)
The shortage affects health care workers across the state.
Health care workers across the state face a shortage of much-needed medical supplies. Despite Governor Gavin Newsom's stockpile of 21 million N95 masks, there still isn't enough to go around, leaving medical professionals at risk. Now, these California nurses say they were suspended for refusing to work without N95 masks.
"Nurses are being denied pay and forced not to work for work exposure, we are risking our lives on the line we deserve better," says Mike Gulick, a nurse at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica.
Gulick is concerned he would bring home the novel coronavirus to his wife and two-year-old daughter.
NBC San Diego reports that he and his colleagues expressed concern that caring for patients without an N95 mask was dangerous.
According to Gulick, hospital administrators said they weren't necessary and didn't provide them.
Another nurse at his hospital reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
St. John's told NBC that they're providing N95 respirators to all nurses who are caring for COVID-19 patients and those awaiting results from tests. They declined to comment on the nurses who were suspended.
Now, Gulick is standing up.
On his Facebook page, he posted a call for nurses at St. John's to join him in solidarity this Friday in Santa Monica. He asked his co-workers to bring a sign saying “don’t deny nurses care they deserve" and “sick Covid + RNs deserve workers comp."
He went on to say that nurses deserve "admin pay for any time that is due to quarantine of COVID regardless of test results."
Kaiser Permanente nurses in Fresno are also speaking out to demand additional protective supplies. NBC reported that 10 of their nurses have tested positive for COVID-19.
Kaiser's Senior Vice President, Wade Nogy, denied union claims that their nurses have been exposed unnecessarily.