Associations representing Missouri nurses reach out to Governor for COVID-19 needs

1 week 3 days 17 hours ago Thursday, March 26 2020 Mar 26, 2020 Thursday, March 26, 2020 4:51:00 PM CDT March 26, 2020 in News
By: Austin Walker, KOMU 8 Reporter
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MISSOURI STATE CAPITOL - Associations representing Missouri nurses on the front line fighting against COVID-19 are asking Governor Mike Parson for increases in safety precautions.

The Missouri Nurses Association, the Association of Missouri Nurse Practitioners, and the Missouri Association of Nurse Anesthetists are joining together to issue an urgent plea, according to a news release.

Heidi Lucas, State Director of the Missouri Nurses Association, said this this all starts at the state level.

"We have three main issues that we are talking to the Governor about," Lucas said. "The first and probably most important issue is a state-wide lock down. If our nurses are to be able to function in this crisis, so the health system is not over loaded, we are are calling for the Governor to mandate a "stay-at-home" order for the whole state."

Lucas said the second issue is in relation to personal protective equipment. 

"The Governor has come out and said they have bought a lot of PPE equipment," Lucas said. "The problem is, a lot of that equipment will go to big health care systems, leaving nurses in rural Missouri as a loss."

Lucas said community health clinics, nurse practitioners, and women's clinics will have a hard time getting PPE's. 

"We want the Governor to remember that smaller facilities is what a lot of small towns use," Lucas said. "The closest large scare health care system is sometimes an hour away."

Lucas said the third issue is that Nurse Practitioners are so restricted in what they can do, they can't effectively help in the fight against COVID-19.

Thursday afternoon, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson addressed Missourians at a briefing about COVID-19. He said as of now, he will not implement a statewide stay at home order.

"I think the most important think you can do is staying at home," Gov. Parson said. "We have looked at the data and thinking about what it will look like to shut the entire state down."

But Lucas said the shutting the state down is essentials for the nurses and everyone else.

"The fastest way to slow the spread is if you stay inside," Lucas said. "If we shut the state down this can do that."

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