Latest California Healthline Stories
A maintenance mechanic responsible for changing air filters in patients’ rooms. A psychiatric nurse who promised to throw a family barbecue after he recovered. A neonatal ICU nurse able to coax the fussiest newborn to sleep. These are some of the people just added to “Lost on the Frontline,” a special series from The Guardian and KHN that profiles health care workers who died of COVID-19.
Attorneys say some state workers’ compensation laws leave workers and families struggling for benefits after a COVID illness or death.
Health care workers on the front lines of the COVID crisis have spent exhausting months working and self-quarantining off-duty to keep from infecting others, including their families. Encountering people who indignantly refuse face coverings can feel like a slap in the face.
As health workers in California and other states were dying of COVID-19, federal work-safety officials filed just one citation against an employer and rapidly closed complaints about protective gear.
Health care workers report understaffing, long hours and protective equipment shortages at HCA Healthcare hospitals.
The messaging from the White House coronavirus press briefings is becoming more confusing as President Donald Trump and his science advisers appear to not see eye to eye. Meanwhile, Congress is ready to approve more money to address both the health and economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. And the virus is taking an almost unimaginable toll on the nation’s nursing homes and putting strain on patients and health care providers with non-COVID ailments. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Jennifer Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more.
Labor unions have called for the agency to issue an emergency standard that would define what steps employers must take to protect their workers from the coronavirus. It has not done that, although it offered guidance that it said does not create a “new legal obligation” for employers.
Former officials from the federal agency criticize OSHA for a slow and timid response to a “worker safety crisis of monstrous proportions” unfolding in hospitals, nursing homes.
Francisco Díaz ordinarily works educating seniors about their diabetes, but he has moved to the emergency room, on the front line in the battle against coronavirus. He said his Latino background helps him communicate with the many Spanish-speaking patients and understand their culture.
Many states are dramatically loosening regulations on nurse practitioners as the coronavirus pandemic increases demand for health care workers. But not California.