North Dakota nurses speak out after measure to allow COVID-19-positive nurses to continue working

Nurses in North Dakota fear Gov. Doug Burgum's recent measure to allow asymptomatic nurses with COVID-19 to keep working could spread the disease in shared working spaces, the Herald Star reports. 

"It's going to make you question every time you want to sit down and grab a five-minute snack with one of your co-workers," Adam Johnston, RN, president of the state's Emergency Nurses Association, told the Herald Star. 

North Dakota is facing one of the worst outbreaks in the country, and the measure, part of the CDC's crisis guidelines, is meant to help hospitals facing staffing shortages. Asymptomatic nurses who continue working will only treat COVID-19 patients, but implementing the rule means infected staff members may feel pressured to work instead of recovering at home, experts told the Herald Star. 

The North Dakota Nurses Association surveyed hundreds of members and said they are not happy with the decision. 

"I know nurses who leave work every day and cry in their car before they go home to see their kids," Tessa Johnson, MSN, RN, president of the association, told the Herald Star. "I don't know how much more we can take."

Some nurses partially blame the state's government for not issuing mandated safety measures sooner. Mr. Burgum issued a statewide mask mandate Nov. 13. 

More articles on nursing:
'They're scared': Demand for Georgia ICU nurses triples in one week
Off-duty nurse helps seizing voter at the polls
Nurses, CNAs made up 36% of healthcare workers hospitalized with COVID-19 this spring, analysis finds

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 

Featured Webinars

Featured Whitepapers