We wanted to share with you updated information regarding Inspira’s COVID-19 policies and procedures. Our union has been advocating at the local, state and federal level for an increased response to this crisis. We want to ensure our members and other healthcare workers have the equipment and tools they need to protect themselves and their patients. Here is some new information, but please keep in mind that this is a fluid situation and things can change at any time depending on regulations and guidelines from the CDC and OSHA.
- We had been pushing hard for staff to be allowed to bring their own mask into work to wear. We won the ability for staff to have that right and now starting on 3/31 all staff will be provided, by the hospital, with a surgical mask to wear at all times when you are at work. You can request a new mask if it becomes soiled or damaged during your shift. This does not replace the use of N95 masks when appropriate.
- We are asking all nurses to carefully document whenever they have an exposure to a COVID-19 positive patient or become symptomatic at any point. You should report this to employee health and send this information to one of your local officers in an email as well. Please be mindful to guard any HIPAA protected information.
- We were able to push for a change in the visitor policy for all labor and delivery units. Now all laboring mothers will only be allowed to have one support person with them for the duration of their stay. This support person will be screened upon arrival and will not be allowed to exit the hospital and re-enter. Each support person will also be provided with a meal since we noticed that some visitors could not afford to purchase food from the hospital.
- Perioperative unit staff are being asked to volunteer to work on other units. These nurses could also act as helpers later on if there is a spike in the census.
- HPAE has been working with the NJ State Troopers to collect and distribute donated supplies to hospitals.
- President Trump has invoked the Defense Protection Act to force GM to make ventilators, but he has not extended this to much needed PPE. HPAE is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and we have signed on to a letter with other healthcare unions pushing for this order to be extended for making PPE.
- HPAE held a tele town hall last week giving information and taking questions from members throughout the state. We are planning to do these meetings on a continuing basis.
For more resources on COVID-19 please visit: https://www.hpae.org/issues/coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/
Thank you for working hard to keep our communities safe and healthy. We need to support each other now more than ever.
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