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Nurses call for more preparation, safety equipment from M Health Fairview

Nurses voted "no confidence" in hospital management's response to the coronavirus pandemic, while M Health says it shares in frustrations about PPE shortages.
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ST PAUL, Minn. — Nurses at M Health Fairview hospitals are frustrated with hospital management's response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement issued by Minnesota Nurses Association.

In a press release, the MNA says nurses "overwhelmingly" indicate that they have "no confidence" in their management's handling of the COVID-19 crisis. The MNA's full statement is available here.

The MNA, which represents nurses at the University of Minnesota Medical Center-West Bank, Fairview Southdale, St. Joseph's, St. John's and Bethesda hospitals, is calling for better preparation and more protection, which includes Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as the number of presumptive coronavirus cases rise.

According to the MNA's release, they've filed a Request for Information (RFI) with M Health Fairview looking for equipment levels, proper procedures, instructions and resources for protection for nurses, including gowns, showers, and reassignments. As of Thursday, that information has not yet been made available.

M Health Fairview issued the following response:

At M Health Fairview, our focus is on delivering the best care for our patients while protecting the health and safety of our staff. 

Our work to stand up the area’s first dedicated COVID facility at Bethesda has moved fast, by necessity, and we have been in conversations with our MNA team members throughout this process, asking them to be our partners in meeting this unprecedented challenge.  We worked tirelessly to include them, bringing them in early on our planning and decisions, to respond to this unprecedented and highly fluid situation.

We share their frustration with the national shortage of PPE. We continue to work with state and federal officials to obtain necessary supplies, purchasing whatever is available, and with the support of the community for donated supplies.

We are proud of the work of every single M Health Fairview employee, including our nurses, in responding to this public health crisis.

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The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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