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By Todd Trigg, CRNA

MNA Steward

A few days ago, I was out to do my bi-weekly run for essentials. I had my lists, my route planned, my homemade cloth mask, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes to wipe things down. I was ready. I started by going to my local membership warehouse. Once there, I notice a majority of people wearing cloth masks and practicing good social distancing. I saw a few with N95 masks on, and I wondered where they got them and why they choose to wear this mask since it has become such a sacred, very limited, and treasured item to healthcare providers.
… Read more about: Save the N95s for Those Who Need Them  »

 

By Teresa Koenen, RN
St. Peter Forensic Mental Health
MN Department of Human Services

 

I wish healthcare administrators would just be honest with us.

I am a nurse for the State of Minnesota at our forensic mental health program in St. Peter. We care for people who have mental illness and have harmed others. If a patient contracts COVID, we would care for them in our facility unless they required hospitalization.

We need appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) if we are to protect ourselves and other patients from contracting the virus.
… Read more about: Just Be Honest with Us–Don’t Try to Give Us a False Sense of Security  »

By Megan Chao Smith, RN

MNA Member

 

As a nurse, I am in fear for my life, and feel like I am the only one taking my safety into account. I am less frightened about contracting the virus as I am shaken by the prospect of entrusting my safety to the current, irresponsible thinking and policies of my employer. In the face of a callous disregard for nurse safety, I am forced to weigh self-preservation with the real needs of patients in a time of national crisis. I have to choose between serving my oath, which risks my life and family’s health, and leaving my job and co-workers.
… Read more about: Who’s Got My Back?  »

by Emily Pierskalla, RN

MNA Member

What is it like being a nurse in a pandemic? Every day I bounce through the stages of grief like a pinball. The ricochet and whiplash leaves my soul tired and bruised.

Denial: I have spent less and less time in the denial stage. Still, I see many of my loved ones, politicians, and laypersons still stuck in this phase.

Anger: When our elders and immuno-suppressed folks are referred to as disposable members of society, when the pocketbooks of stockholders are considered more important than human lives, when we’ve known for decades this pandemic was coming, I burn with anger, anger at the system that prioritizes profits over health.
… Read more about: I Want My Death to Make You Angry  »

By Sue Kreitz, RN

Board Member, Member of CARN

I know I’m not the only one in horror watching the situation of our colleagues in places, including Italy and Spain, who are dealing with during this pandemic. I think one of the most heartbreaking stories I’ve heard is that a doctor describing how he had to make decisions about who gets the life-sustaining treatments with ventilators and who doesn’t. Just last week, the Washington Post had an article about hospitals considering placing Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders on COVID-19 patients. Unfortunately, this could become real for us in the USA.

This morning I was listening to a program discussing ethics in the time of a pandemic and what this means for our health and society.
… Read more about: Difficult conversations during a pandemic  »

By Kristina Maki, RN

MNA Nurse Educator

MNA Nurse

It is surreal working as a nurse right now, right?  I am struggling to keep up with all the changes to practice; they seem to be happening daily.  Who’d have thought we’d be talking about reusing N95s, much less having to discuss using cloth masks…

I hate the ideas of cloth masks.  I know that it might come down to having to use them at some point, which makes me really angry.  Truthfully, it scares me to think that our only source of protection is a simple cloth over our faces. 
… Read more about: Cloth masks, really?  »

I’m writing this in the hopes that this will cut through some of the noise. As nurses, I feel it is our role to educate the public, especially in times like this. What I’m about to say is not intended to scare you or make you panic. It’s to help you understand the gravity of the issue that faces us, and to keep you well-informed. In fact, my hope is that, instead of fear and panic, you feel more knowledgeable than you did before reading this. And with that knowledge, my hope is that you will act responsibly, effectively, and with caution. This is especially for people who tune out the news, know others that aren’t taking this seriously, or believe that we are over-reacting.
… Read more about: An Open Letter to the Public on the Coronavirus, from an ICU Nurse  »

MNA members are understandably concerned about their financial situation and how market volatility is potentially affecting their financial plans during the COVID-19 crisis. We encourage members with financial questions to take advantage of the free services available through the MNA Financial Wellness Program and Dorval & Chorne Financial advisors.

Daniel Dorval, CFP, President and CEO of Dorval & Chorne Financial Advisors reached out to let MNA members know program is available during this crisis:

“Nurses serve on the front lines of dealing with infectious diseases. We are so thankful for their duty in helping to keep all of us healthy.
… Read more about: Take advantage of the MNA Financial Wellness Program during the COVID-19 crisis  »

By Mary C. Turner, RN

MNA President

 

Mayo Clinic released its 2019 annual financial report at the end of February, and it surely made more than one person’s mouth fall open. A lot of those people, by the way, probably also work on the top floor, management offices of hospitals—not just Mayo.

 

First, here’s the numbers.  Mayo reported the company earned more than $13.8 billion in 2019. That’s money for everything from patient care to Mayo-branded backpacks ($39.95 in the Mayo marketplace store). Out of that, Mayo spent $12.8 billion. This means Mayo’s “operating revenue” is 1 billion dollars! 
… Read more about: Mayo’s Numbers Show NonProfit Financials are Really, Really Big  »

The upcoming Minnesota presidential primary is a chance for MNA nurses to have their voices heard to elect the next president and to bring nurse priorities that protect patients and the profession into the voting booth. In 2016, legislation passed to make Minnesota a presidential primary state for the first time since 1992. Only the two major parties of the state, DFL and Republican, will participate in this primary this year.

While MNA does not endorse candidates on the national level, NNU’s elected national leadership, representing 150,000 registered nurses in all 50 states, has a comprehensive process that is intended to emphasize extensive involvement of its leadership and NNU members.
… Read more about: Have you made your plan to vote in the MN presidential primary by March 3?  »