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Nurses appear to be getting PPE they need, for now, says union president

However Janet Hazelton says her union has never been given numbers on how much PPE is available, or how large any stockpile might be
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Today marks the first day of National Nurses week in Canada.

The theme of this year is A Voice to Lead - Nursing the World to Health.

When it comes to nurses in Nova Scotia, and how they’re nursing people in this province to health, they are getting all of the personal protective equipment (PPE) they’re asking for.

That’s according to Janet Hazelton, president of the Nova Scotia Nurses Union.

She tells NEWS 95.7's The Sheldon MacLeod Show, nurses have to ask for their PPE and explain to managers why they need it, but so far, she’s not aware of any nurse being denied the request.

“We talk daily with our nurses on the frontline, and we’re being told by them, whatever it is they require, they’re getting it.”

But Hazelton says that the issue of PPE continues to be a concern because her union has never been given numbers on how much PPE is available, or how large any stockpile might be.

As for what needs to be learned from this pandemic moving forward, Hazelton says that COVID-19 is a reminder of how important occupational health and safety is to front line workers, and that includes the protection they need to do their jobs safely.

Hazelton says, you would never send a firefighter into danger without the proper equipment to protect themselves, so we have to start thinking of frontline health care workers in the same way.

“This shows people that our nurses are truly the heroes of health care. They’re in there, they’re working, they know that there’s risk, they understand the risk, and they’re going anyway.”


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