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New BCNU FAQ Aims to Provide Answers Around PPE Protocols, Access

  • Bulletin; Health & Safety; COVID-19
In many worksites, nurses report protective equipment is locked up, express concerns around pandemic planning

Despite being months into the COVID-19 pandemic, questions remain around what unfettered access looks like, and what routine precautions must occur in the absence of unequivocal scientific evidence. BCNU has developed this Frequently Asked Questions resource aimed at providing clarity on a variety of PPE related inquiries. We ask that you take a minute and familiarize yourself with this material.

BCNU firmly believes that employers must ensure risks are reduced to the lowest level practicable through all forms of safety controls. It is our position that health employers must give nurses sufficient access to PPE. Should you have issues, we ask that you report to your manager/supervisor and directly to BCNU. We will continue to work to advocate for the safety of nurses across BC.

A recent BCNU survey called "COVID-19 in the Workplace" collected the experiences of more than 3,000 members with accessing PPE and has helped to highlight the ongoing challenges nurses face around acquiring the equipment they need to safely work through the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than half of members working in acute care (59%) reported seeing unfamiliar types of PPE, many indicating that much of the unfamiliar PPE is of poor or inadequate quality. Furthermore, a majority of members reported that they weren't confident their employers had an effective pandemic plan in place prior to the outbreak, particularly in the community sector (79%).

The survey collected members' experiences from a variety of health settings, including acute, long-term care and community. 

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