Emma Walker, a 26 year old nursing home aide, and single mother quit her job at an assisted living facility after a COVID-19 outbreak when management failed to provide proper PPE and meet pandemic safety standards.
Initially, masks were not provided leaving staff to fend for themselves. Eventually, the facility provided one N95 mask but didn’t provide proper gowns. They were told to use hospital gowns, which are not effective.
After several residents and staff began to fall ill, Emma began experiencing symptoms herself. She continued going to work because she knew they were short-staffed. At one point, she was harassed by a manager to still come in to work even after testing positive for COVID-19. Emma also did not have a babysitter. Her manager’s response? She should “bring the kids to work with her.”
Eventually, Emma’s symptoms progressed and she decided to put herself and children first, so Emma quit her job.
This story is very reminiscent of what so many are experiencing at hospitals receiving PPE at the start of the pandemic. And we have all gone to shift while ill because we know that our unit needs us.
Nurse, ask yourself… What if I reacted like Emma and put myself first? Would the industry do more for us and step up or would they provide pay raises and better working conditions?
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