Shannon McClendon, 301-628-5391
Keziah Proctor, 301-628-5197
SILVER SPRING, MD - The American Nurses Association (ANA), representing the nation’s 4 million nurses, calls on a concerted effort among all members of the health care team, decision makers and the public to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.
An effective response requires sufficient resources and collaboration among federal, state, and local officials and health care organizations. ANA is gratified that Congress passed and President Trump signed a bill that will provide $8.3 billion in emergency funds to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. These funds are a step in the right direction and will assist with the development of vaccines, deployment of medical supplies, and provide overall aid in preparedness and response efforts.
The nation’s nurses are prepared and ready to respond, and they need proper support to care for patients safely and effectively. This includes clear, evidence-based protocols and the highest level of protection in order to care for infected individuals as well as prevent the spread of the coronavirus in health care facilities and the community.
In order to effectively respond, nurses must have the full support of their employers and government organizations to access the appropriate safeguards and secure the proper supplies. Health care organizations must communicate the organization’s plan to manage coronavirus patients, share updates and supply the highest level of protection, which includes the N95 respirator, goggles, gowns, and gloves. The current lack of supplies, testing kits, proper protective gear, and the lack of a universal set of guidelines, all contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.
ANA acknowledges the challenges of ensuring an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). ANA believes that any decision about reducing the quantity and availability of PPE to conserve supply or adjusting standards is a national discussion that needs to occur with stakeholders and include nurses. ANA urges Congress to increase the supply chain through the deployment of PPE equipment, lab equipment, and other preparedness supplies. Congress can also support the needs of nurses, clinicians, hospitals, clinics and the health systems through infection control measures, surge staffing and all other response needs during the coronavirus outbreak.
Viral outbreaks like the novel coronavirus have been happening for centuries. These pathogens will always present risks and challenges. The best way to respond and mitigate the effects of a viral epidemic is to develop and resource comprehensive preparedness plans in advance of an outbreak.
ANA is ready, willing and able to assist our members, all nurses and decision makers to effectively respond to the challenges the coronavirus brings in the days ahead.
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The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 4 million registered nurses. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org.
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