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California Hospitals Urge Nurses Union to Stop H1N1 Scare Tactics
Date:10/20/2009

nd Arizona. Although CNA claims that the strike is about H1N1 preparedness, the labor union has publicly acknowledged that it is in contract negotiations or organizing campaigns at these same hospitals. CNA did not accuse any other hospitals of being unprepared.

"How can CNA promote a strike against three hospital organizations during the flu season?" Dauner asked. "Protecting patients is about more than bargaining rhetoric. It is about truly putting the interests of patients first. Taking nurses out on strike at the very time that hospitals are being flooded with patients needing care is unconscionable."

Dauner noted that the CNA is well aware that hospitals are "implementing a multitude of measures" to respond appropriately to the unprecedented H1N1 pandemic -- including offering the H1N1 vaccine to all workers as the vaccine becomes available; sending employees home who appear at work with flu symptoms; isolating patients; revising visitation policies to include such things as screening, restricting hours and requiring the use of masks; implementing special triage procedures; developing educational materials and messages; and adopting special testing services.

Hospitals are striving to provide employees with appropriate personal protective equipment. However, a major challenge is the documented shortage of N95 respirator masks. Although many hospitals have some supplies of N95 masks on hand, the manufacturing shortfall has prevented hospitals from obtaining the number of masks that are required.

"Hospitals are doing all they can to obtain the supplies and equipment they need, but there is only so much hospitals can do," Dauner noted. "The nurses union should call a halt to the disruptive strike and instead focus its resources on working collaboratively with hospitals and public health officials to put the needs of patients first."

SOURCE California Hospital Association


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SOURCE California Hospital Association
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