(Centers for Disease Control via Getty Images)
Nurses’ calls for better hospital preparation around Ebola have landed on the bargaining table. California’s powerful nurses’ union has been bargaining with Kaiser Permanente for months over a new contract, and is now adding to its list of demands better training, protection, and insurance coverage for nurses who may treat patients infected with Ebola.
Diane McClure, a nurse at Kaiser’s South Sacramento facility, says nurses still had no meaningful training more than a month after a patient was admitted to the hospital for a potential Ebola infection, though he later tested negative for the virus.
“Kaiser felt all they had to do was pull up some CDC flyers and put them on the lunchroom tables or up in the bathrooms,” she says. Continue reading
Members of the California Nurses Association rallied in Sacramento in May to raise awareness around what they say are patient care concerns in California hospitals. (April Dembosky/KQED)
Going to a nurses union meeting is a little bit like going to an evangelical church service.
Contract talks begin next week on new four-year contract.
“We all have to stand up, and it’s a struggle,” says nurse Veronica Cambra, reporting a grievance at Kaiser Hospital in Fremont as though she’s giving testimony. “And we will overcome this, okay?”
The rest of the nurses respond with the passion of a devout congregation, humming “Mmm hmmm,” and “That’s right,” through the series of speeches.
The union heads at the front of the room interject now and then to rally the group around a unifying message.