Press Release

French Hospital Nurses to Hold Candlelight Vigil at Shift Change to Demand Protections When Treating Patients With COVID-19

To protest the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health care workers during this COVID-19 pandemic, Dignity Health-French Hospital registered nurses are holding a candlelight vigil and media availability at 8pm at the San Luis Obispo County Courthouse, announced California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, the nation’s largest and fastest-growing nurses’ union representing 150,000 registered nurses across the country. Nurses will describe current conditions and the need for more N95 respirators and other protective gear required to safely treat COVID-19 patients.  
Joan Silva, a gastro-Intestinal lab nurse, and Chief Nurse Representative for the French Hospital RNs said “If the nurses aren’t safe, the patients aren’t safe. We want to be protected so that we can care for our patients. We need to stay healthy and we need the right staffing and the tools to do our job and to protect the public.” 

Vicki Bryant, an emergency RN at French Hospital added, “Dignity Health RNs, doctors and support staff need to be provided with maximum levels of PPE, including N95 respirators, plus covering of the eyes or powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRS) as well as gloves, gowns, and other PPE for droplet and aerosol precautions. This should be for all COVID-19 patients, whether those patients have tested positive, or whose results are pending.” Bryant additionally stated, “Dignity Health is telling nurses to reuse the masks they have, which puts us at the risk of infection and puts us at risk of infecting other patients.”

Who: Vicki Bryant RN and other registered nurse members of National Nurses United 
What: Action and RN media availability to speak out against lack of PPE and other protections for frontline health care workers 
Where: San Luis Obispo County Courthouse Annex, 1050 Monterey St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93408
When: Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 8pm