Head of nurses union explains lawsuit against New York hospitals over lack of protective equipment

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American Nurses Association president Dr. Ernest Grant explained Monday the predicament nurses are facing while they lack personal protective equipment, which has caused some unions to “retaliate” by filing lawsuits.

“This is something that is part of the code of ethics that nurses have, is that they have the right to address concerns when it involves not only the environment, safety for the patient and also safety for the nurse,” Grant told “America’s Newsroom.”

Grant said that the American Nurses Association has been receiving reports from members and non-members that they are working without adequate personal protective equipment.

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Grant reacted to the lawsuit by the New York State Nurses Association against New York’s Health Department and two hospitals -- Montefiore Medical Center and Westchester Medical Center-- for failing to adequately support nurses' health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit calls out Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration and the two hospitals for failing to supply nurses with masks and gowns.

“NYSNA executive director Pat Kane said that more than 70 percent of her nurses reported being exposed to the dangerous disease and that most are still untested,” The New York Post reported.

 

Grant said procuring personal protection equipment is a challenge across the country, especially as more "hotspots" pop up in states like Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan.

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“Nurses are still feeling concerned enough to want to express the need or want to report when they are finding what they consider to be unsafe conditions," he said.