Press Release

Corpus Christi Medical Center Nurses to Join Nationwide ‘May Day’ Actions Demanding COVID-19 Protections for Nurses and Health Care Workers

Nurse holds "Protect Nurses" signs

Corpus Christi Medical Center (CCMC) nurses will be marking Friday, May 1—International Workers Day, also known as “May Day”—with shift change actions calling for optimal COVID-19 protections. This local action is part of nurse actions taking place at 139 hospitals, in 13 states, representing more than 95,540 nurses, according to National Nurses United (NNU). Nurses say their demand for optimal personal protective equipment (PPE) is underscored by the fact that more than 60 nurses across the country have died of COVID-19; although, due to lack of testing, the number is surely higher.

“Nurses signed up to care for their patients. They did not sign up to sacrifice their lives on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN. “On this day that celebrates the labor movement and working people, union nurses are standing up to demand the protections they need now!”

Kimberly Smith, a registered nurse at CCMC said, Mayday! CCMC nurses are in distress. We are collectively desperate for the appropriate PPEs so we can safely attend to our patients. We are holding a bake sale to draw attention to the need for N95 masks. It is preposterous that CCMC, which is owned by HCA, the richest healthcare corporation in America, would not adequately supply us the protection we need,” said Kimberly Smith, RN, of CCMC.

National Nurses United registered nurse members are calling on employers and the government to provide nurses and other health care workers with the highest level of protections, including powered air-purifying respirators, single use of N95s, and coveralls that incorporate gloves, and head and shoe coverings. Otherwise, hospitals will remain fomites for infection, say NNU RNs, and nurses and health care workers will continue to get sick, sidelined, die, and be unable to care for the next wave of patients.

Nurses say it’s clear that the industry thinks they have produced an acceptable solution to the PPE shortage by implementing widespread use of various N95 decontamination systems. This is unacceptable and unsafe, say nurses, who are calling on President Trump to activate the Defense Production Act to order the mass production of PPE. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) must also pass an emergency temporary standard to mandate that healthcare employers provide protections needed for COVID-19.

May Day action will take place Friday, May 1 at:

Corpus Christi Medical Center

   7101 S Padre Island Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78412

   (SPID corner Rodd Field Road)

   6:30pm – 7:30pm

   Contact: Omar Bantayan, (956) 250-1824

National Nurses United is the largest and fastest growing union of registered nurses in the U.S. with more than 150,000 members nationwide. NNU plays a leadership role in safeguarding the health and safety of RNs and their patients and has won landmark legislation in the areas of staffing, safe patient handling, infectious disease and workplace violence prevention.