Nurses and other healthcare workers are on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in a critical situation like this, we rely on the leadership of the President and Congress to save lives on a larger scale.
Adequate Supply of Personal Protective and Life-Saving Equipment
Nurses who work directly with patients are reporting a distressing shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks and other resources essential for patient care -particularly ventilators. As a result of these shortages, the CDC recommends using a lower level of PPE than is shown to be protective against the virus. (1)
The Administration and Congress must use every option available to increase PPE production and prioritize distribution to frontline health care providers. This should include releasing the national stockpile of protective equipment and using the Defense Production Act to enable adequate supplies and timely distribution to healthcare providers and healthcare settings. We need our providers to remain healthy so they can continue to provide vital patient care and we need the equipment essential to provide optimal care for individuals affected by COVID-19.
Science-based Decision Making
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major disruption, but it is critical that decisions about how and when to return to our normal lives be made by public health experts. Decisions about PPE and when to relax social distancing recommendations should be informed and guided by the latest science.
As the most trusted profession in the country, the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association believes that nurses have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of their patients through public policy.