Statement by National Nurses United Nurses About Making Homemade Facemasks for Health Care Workers
National Nurses United RN members are touched and extremely grateful for the many people graciously offering their time and effort to produce homemade masks from cloth and similar materials at a time when our members are severely short of proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
It is true that if nurses are infected and become sick, all of us are at greater risk. If we are sick, who will take care of patients in the face of this terrifying pandemic?
Unfortunately, homemade masks are insufficient to protect nurses and other health care workers from becoming infected if exposed to a patient with the COVID-19 virus. The outcome will be a greater risk of becoming infected themselves and greater risk of infecting everyone else around them -- patients and other health care staff.
It is the responsibility of health care employers to provide proper personal protective equipment to all their staff – at a minimum N95 respirators and full gowns, goggles, gloves, and other protective clothing.
And it is up to our elected officials to make sure there is a dramatically expanded supply of the equipment we need to protect nurses, other health care workers, and patients.
North America’s Building Trades Unions, an alliance of 14 unions representing over 3 million skilled craft professionals in the building and construction industry, just today announced it is allying with NNU to donate N95 masks and other protective equipment to nurses.
We know you want to help. You can immediately support nurses by doing the following:
- Signing and sharing our petition at www.protectnurses.org to Congress to demand that nurses are protected during COVID-19.
- Following us on all our social and mobile platforms to learn the latest news and tangible ways you can help us access PPE. We have provided two sample demands below:
- Demand President Trump use the authority he has under the 1950 Defense Production Act to direct U.S. manufacturers to mass produce N95 respirators and other critical protective equipment for health care workers.
- Demand state and local officials use all available resources to secure the highest standard protective equipment and distribute it to our hospitals immediately.
Thank you again for joining with us in this critical national emergency.