The stories of Ebola survivors nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, and the quarantine of nurse Kaci Hickox, have demonstrated how nurses are at the high-risk front lines of the Ebola pandemic. They’ve also shown that response to Ebola has often been sloppy, dangerous and inconsistent.
Both Pham and Vinson contracted the virus due to the lack resources that included insufficient training and inadequate uniforms and protective gear. Since their diagnosis, National Nurses United (NNU) has been adamant in demanding a safe facility and drastically improved equipment standards for those exposed to the Ebola virus.
“Not one more patient, nurse or health care worker should be put at risk due to a lack of health care facility preparedness,” wrote NNU executive director Rose Ann DeMoro in a letter to President Obama.
NNU is demanding optimal personal protective equipment for nurses and other caregivers who interact with Ebola patients–full-body hazmat suits–and that facilities provide rigorous training for RNS and other health workers who might come in contact with an Ebola patient.
Meanwhile, today has been named Global Ebola Awareness Day, and 100,000 registered nurses are expected to join a wave of actions to call attention to the inadequate preparedness for fighting the Ebola virus–which is seen as symptomatic of a general erosion in patient-care standards.
Yesterday, 20,000 nurses went on strike in California to call attention to the problem, and today many other actions are planned. Find out where you can join the fight below:
District of Columbia
Vigil/Press Conference – Outside White House, 2 p.m. EST, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Contact, Joe Schuman, 213-359-3997.
RN Strike – Providence Hospital, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Rally, 12 noon, 1150 Varnum St. NE. Contact, Korey Hartwich, 301-312-2343.
Ft. Lauderdale – Rally, 10:45 a.m., OSHA offices, 1000 S. Pine Island Rd. Contact Chris Rook, 305-546-7485.
Lake City – Rally, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Lake City VA Medical Center, 619 S. Marian Ave. Contact, Susan Sandoval, 505-377-5909.
Augusta – Rally, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, 950 15th Street. Contact, Irma Westmoreland, 706-421-6690.
Chicago — Picket, 11 a.m to 1 p.m. John H. Stroger Hospital, 1969 W. Ogden Ave. Contact, John Tillar, 312-219-0194
Candlelight Vigil, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., University of Chicago Medical Center, Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine (DCAM), 5758 S. Maryland Ave. Contact, Cindy Loudin, 773-410-3089.
Hines — Picket, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Edward Hines, Jr. VA Medical Center, 5000 S 5th Ave, Hines. Contact, Abass Wane, 312-513-1311.
Bar Harbor – Vigil, 5:30pm, Corner of Main and Wayman Streets, Bar Harbor.
Boston – Leafleting, 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., South Station. Contact, David Schildmeier, 781-249-0430.
Worcester– Leafleting, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Union Station. Contact, David Schildmeier, 781-249-0430.
Lansing–Rally, 11:30 a.m., Governor’s Office, Romney Office Building, 111 South Capitol Ave. Contact, Ann Sincox 517-256-2312
St. Paul – Candlelight Vigil, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., State Capitol. Contact is Rick Fuentes 612-741-0662
St. Louis – Candlelight Vigil, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Contact is Marti Smith 312-607-8619
Kansas City – Rally, 4:30 p.m., Kansas City Occupational Safety and Health Administration office, 2300 Main St. Kansas City, MO 64108. Contact, Julie Perry 816-665-4746
Las Vegas – Rally, 11 a.m., Nevada office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 1301 N. Green Valley Pkwy, Suite 200, 11 a.m. Contact, Jeff Welsh 702-334-2997
New York City – Vigil, 5:15 p.m., Federal Building, 40 Foley Square. Contact, Jonathan Weitz 646-460-7734
Durham – Rally, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Durham VA Medical Center, 508 Fulton St. Contact, Dewey Parker 502-333-2458
Massillon – Rally, 11:30 a.m., Lincoln Way E at First Street SE. Contact, Michelle Mahon 234-207-6706
Memphis – Rally, 11:30 a.m., Rally, University Center, University of Memphis, 499 University St. Memphis, TN 38111. Contact is Cole Weintraub-Duckworth 510-219-6081
El Paso – Rally, 4 p.m., outside office of U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Federal Building, 303 N. Oregon St. Contact, Beth Pease 915-245-1249
Houston – Rally, 10 a.m., Discovery Park, 1500 McKinney St. Contact, Paula Littles 512-971-4901
Abeni Moreno graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Women Gender Sexuality Studies in 2013. She is a volunteer radio co-host at KPFK, Kbeach and is a Ms. intern. Follow her on Twitter @abenimoreno8.