Some Relief for Nurses Is on the Way

Judy A. Rollins, PhD, RN


Pediatr Nurs. 2021;47(2):57-58. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


In recent weeks, with increasing numbers of Americans being vaccinated, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations slowing down, and fingers crossed that we escape another surge, it is beginning to feel like we may finally be at the beginning of the end of this horrible pandemic. Yet at this writing, many nurses around our nation remain at risk every day.

On March 11, 2021, Pascaline Muhindura, a registered nurse (RN) in the critical care unit at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, MO, testified before a U.S. House Education and Labor subcommittee on behalf of the National Nurses United (NNU), urging the federal government to ensure the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issue an emergency temporary standard that will mandate optimal respiratory protections to prevent exposure for frontline workers (NNU, 2021b). She explained that her hospital continues to ration personal protective equipment (PPE), using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines as their justification:

Every single nurse and health care worker in my unit has contracted COVID because we were not given the protections we need. … Management is still forcing us to unsafely reuse the same N95 for an entire shift and is recommending that we use surgical masks with COVID patients. To be clear, nurses on my unit are still caring for COVID patients without adequate respiratory protection (NNU, 2021b).