Nurses on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center in East Hollywood voiced outrage at the hospital’s response during a rally Monday morning.
Dozens of nurses gathered in front of the hospital, and some spoke out claiming the hospital was ill-equipped and unprepared to handle healthcare amid COVID-19. Nurses said they are concerned with the inability to practice social distancing while working in close quarters with patients and coworkers, as well as the lack of protective masks and equipment needed to be safe on the job.
Allesha Jeffries, a Kaiser nurse, referred to inside of the hospital as a “dangerous environment.”
“We are being stripped of everything we need to be safe, to protect ourselves, our patients and then to go home to our families,” Jeffries said.
Another nurse said there was not adequate training before the quarantine unit opened at the hospital, and that nurses are vulnerable to catching the virus because critical supplies have been lacking.
“Nurses cannot get a N95 mask issued to them until a patient tests positive for the coronavirus, and by the time test results of the corona test returns, nurses may have contracted the virus themselves, and brought this virus home to their families,” Bill Lukfin, a Kaiser nurse, said at the rally.
The Kaiser nurses also voiced frustrations about the alleged lack of communication from their employer.
In a statement to KTLA, Kaiser said the healthcare provider is committed to giving nurses what is needed.
“It is paramount that our caregivers have the right level of protective equipment, and we are committed to ensuring they do — now and over the course of this pandemic,” the statement read.