USC Verdugo Hills RNs Offer Assistance and Assess Health Risks of L.A. Oil Spill
California Nurses Association, 5/15/14
After learning this morning of the second major oil leak in L.A. in less two months, some of the newest members of CNA rushed to the scene to offer assistance and assess the health risks associated with a gushing leak coming from a ruptured above-ground pipeline.
The newly elected Bargaining Team nurses from USC Verdugo Hills had a scheduled meeting less than half a mile from the spill at the CNA Glendale office to prepare for negotiations with management of the recently unionized hospital. Sandy Mulcahey, RN and Erica Beltran, RN arrived to find a massive cleanup underway. The nurses gathered information from LAPD and LAFD officials, who thanked the RNs for their assistance.
Mulcahey described the smell in the area as "a heinous, burned rubber stench."
Beltran, describing the surrounding air quality, said, "It’s bad even for someone like me, with healthy lungs. When the wind kicks up, it hits you in the face and it hurts. It really hurts. So my mind immediately goes to the children living nearby, the elderly, people with asthma, someone with chronic pulmonary disease. If they’re close enough, this could potentially them send to an E.R."
When asked what role RNs have with regard to the environment, Beltran said, "We take an oath to be patient advocates, and our patients don’t have to just be in a hospital. They’re here in the community. It's our duty to take preventative measures to make sure our environment is safe."
Mulcahey answered, “The list is endless.”
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