Nurses Serving As Janitors, PPE In Short Supply
Every life in the United States has been, at best, inconvenienced by the COVID-19 pandemic. At its worst, the situation has endangered or even taken the lives of many. Healthcare staff - whether it be doctors, nurses, custodians, cooks or others - continue to perform their duties at great risk.
A large number of hospital janitors in America have had to show up to work despite not being provided the necessary personal protective equipment. Such is the case at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center.
A single mother of two kids, Sophia Lopez is able to sport a limited amount of protective gear during her janitorial shifts at the hospital, reports Los Angeles CBS Local. Lopez wears a face mask that her mother made for her and she changes out of her work clothes and showers as soon as she can after shifts. Beyond that, there isn't much she can do.
Like so many janitorial workers right now, Lopez cannot afford to step away from work because she must pay the bills to support her children. Ironically, that same job that helps her feed and shelter her kids is the same one that prevents her from hugging and kissing them until the pandemic ends.
Lopez and her coworkers are working with their union to try and receive hazard pay and health insurance. Los Angeles County says it is trying to get personal protective equipment for contract workers.
One rural hospital in Oklahoma has been been hit so hard hard by financial burdens over the last few years that its eight remaining nurses also work as janitors, reports The Oklahoman.
Haskell County Community Hospital had a staff of 68 workers two years ago. However, financial difficulties led to a diminished staff - 85 percent of staff had to be laid off this past fall.
Not only are nurses the janitors at this small hospital, but they almost cannot take any time off, because even at full strength the nurses and doctors the hospital has almost dips below state and federal law.
To read the full story on how the hospital is handling things, click here.
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