Philippine Nurses Association of Northern California Position Statement: The Filipino American Nurses disproportionately affected by COVID 19 pandemic Jan 30, 2021
Background:The Philippine Nurses Association of Northern California (PNANC) was founded in 1959 by a group of nurses to help newly immigrated nurses from the Philippines. PNANC has 102 members with more than 50 % working as frontline nurses in areas such as ER, ICU, Medical-Surgical, Skilled Nursing and Long-Term Care Facilities. Since the beginning of the pandemic, PNANC focused on finding ways to keep frontline nurses safe by donating personal protective equipment. PNANC raised funds and donated 6709 masks to 31 facilities in the Bay Area in April and May 2020 and donated 400 face shields to 9 facilities in September and October 2020. In March 2020, PNANC initiated the Prayer Warriors who recite the rosary and novenas every day to assist with spiritual wellness. Participation in the prayer group is open to all PNA members. A Peer-to-Peer support group was established by PNANC in August 2020 to help with mental health issues during this pandemic. In November 2020, PNANC sponsored a webinar by Father Gerard Timoner, Master Order of the Preachers on the spiritual health and healing for nurses.
There have been numerous reports that COVID 19 has taken a devastating toll on Filipino American Nurses including the November 24, 2020 CNN report which stated that nearly a third of the nurses who have died of coronavirus in the US are Filipino. (https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/24/health/filipino-nurse-deaths/index.html) The key findings by the National Nurses United Sept 2020 report in Sins of Omission commented that 67 (31.5 percent) of the 213 registered nurses who have died of COVID-19 and related complications are Filipino. More than half of registered nurses of color who have died to date have been Filipino (54.0 percent). (https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/sites/default/files/nnu/graphics/documents/0920_Covid19_SinsOfOmission_Data_Report.pdf)
Statements of position:
- PNANC believe that Filipino nurses are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 because the majority of Filipino American colleagues provide direct care to very sick COVID-19 patients in Acute Care Hospitals and Skilled Nursing and Long-Term Care facilities.
- PNANC support the National Nurses United to demand employers to provide proper staffing, training, personal protective equipment, education and communication from their employers or isolation rooms they need to safely care for COVID-19 patients.
- PNANC urge employers to provide timely COVID-19 testing to Filipino American Nurses with documented exposure.
- PNANC urge employers to provide emotional and spiritual support to Filipino American Nurses.
- PNA Northern California urge employers to provide alternative housing for quarantine after workplace COVID-19 exposure.
Emily Danuco, RN, BSN
PNA Northern CA