The Washington State Nurses Association, which represents 900 nurses at St. Joseph hospital, said Saturday in a statement that it is “appalled” by the hospital administration’s response and said that healthcare workers are being “muzzled.”
“Dr. Lin bravely spoke out for the safety of hospital staff, patients and the public,” the association’s release said. “He has been the voice for many nurses and other health care workers who are afraid to speak up out of the very real fear that they could be disciplined or fired. We salute his courage, and we demand that he be reinstated so he can continue his life-saving work.”
The association also said it has filed a complaint with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries over what it believes is the hospital’s failure to provide a safe work environment.
“Our members on the front lines at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham report that they have run out of proper gowns to care for suspected and positive COVID-19 patients, are being directed to re-use and share personal protective equipment (PPE) without proper cleaning per manufacturer guidelines, are being given one surgical mask per day and being told to keep it in a paper bag between patients, and other unsafe measures,” the association said.