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Dramatic Settlement Sets National Model for H1N1 Hospital Safety Measures
Date:11/2/2009

ia Occupational Safety and Health Administration, to limit the spread of communicable diseases, like proper isolation of patients with H1N1 symptoms. Including the guidelines in the CNA/NNOC contracts gives them the added force of contract law.
  • Assurance that RNs "shall be provided" appropriate equipment and attire to stem contagion, such as single-use, N95 respirator masks when available.
  • Guarantee that the employer will provide information and training for nurses on communicable diseases to which they may have been exposed.
  • The settlement, also averted a strike that had been called for October 30.

    "This is a huge breakthrough that should go a long way to making our hospitals safer and better prepared for containing the spread of H1N1 and stop the unnecessary exposure of fragile patients, their family members, or nurses and other staff to the virus," said Carol Koelle, RN at St. Bernardine Medical Center in San Bernardino.

    "Catholic Healthcare West nurses have stood together to protect our communities and our patients," said Allen Fitzpatrick, RN at St. Mary's Medical Center in San Francisco.

    "We can proudly expect the best possible standards to limit contagion and protect our members as well," said Kathy Dennis, RN at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento.

    "We are proud to have achieved an agreement that will strengthen our ability to provide safe care for our patients," said Portia Fiesta, RN at St. Rose Dominican in Las Vegas.

    In calling the terms a national model, CNA/NNOC repeated that it continues to hear from nurses at other hospitals across the nation of serious lags in hospital readiness in such major areas as isolating contagious patients, distribution of N-95 masks, re-use of the masks, informing staff when they have been potentially exposed, and training everyone on the best policies and procedures.

    "Now that the President has declared a national e
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    SOURCE California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee
    Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
    All rights reserved

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