The American Nurses Association (ANA) released new findings from a survey of more than 32,000 nurses nationwide who are on the frontlines of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The results echo concerns about the egregious shortage of protective equipment for nurses, staffing, and training.
Access to personal protective equipment (PPE) remains a top concern with nearly 9 out of 10 nurses saying they fear going to work for lack of protection. More than a quarter of those surveyed said they have been “forced to create” their own surgical masks. Only half of nurses surveyed have had adequate training to conduct COVID-19 testing, and 68% say they are working without the necessary nurse staffing.
“It is distressing to witness our nation’s healthcare system being under siege by COVID-19,” said ANA President Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN. “While there have been strides to deploy PPE and other critical aid to the frontlines, we are still hearing reports from nurses that they continue to lack basic PPE. As a result, nurses don’t feel safe and are concerned about spreading the disease to their patients and family members and becoming infected themselves. This is leading to extraordinary stress and exhaustion among nurses and other healthcare professionals.”
Since the early stages of this crisis and now pandemic, ANA’s plea to support nurses has been consistent and urgent. ANA is encouraged by the administration’s efforts to procure and deliver PPE along with endeavors to support state-level public health efforts regarding contact tracing and testing. ANA will continue to advocate for ongoing support to prevent COVID-19, so our communities and healthcare systems can be restored.
Data were collected through a survey administered by ANA to identify needs and observations from nurses working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between March 20 and April 10, 2020, 32,174 nurses responded.
Survey results are available at the online COVID-19 Resource Center here.