Healthcare workers fear going back to work for lack of protection from COVID-19, and nine out of 10 say access to personal protective equipment (PPE) is a top concern, according to a new national survey of nurses.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) released new findings from a survey of more than 32,000 nurses nationwide who are on the frontlines of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The results echo ongoing concerns about the shortage of protective equipment for nurses, staffing and training. More than a quarter of those surveyed said they have been “forced to create” their own surgical masks. Only half of nurses surveyed have had adequate training to conduct COVID-19 testing, and 68 percent say they are working without the necessary nurse staffing.
“It is distressing to witness our nation’s healthcare system being under siege by COVID-19,” said ANA President Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN in a statement. “While there have been strides to deploy PPE and other critical aid to the frontlines, we are still hearing reports from nurses that they continue to lack basic PPE. As a result, nurses don’t feel safe and are concerned about spreading the disease to their patients and family members and becoming infected themselves. This is leading to extraordinary stress and exhaustion among nurses and other healthcare professionals.”
Since the early stages of this crisis and now pandemic, healthcare workers have been urging hospitals to provide adequate PPE and to support frontline clinicians with the most up-to-date information regarding contact tracing and testing. Data were collected through a survey administered by ANA to identify needs and observations from nurses working during the COVID-19 pandemic.