Oregon Nurses Assn.
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News Release
Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) President Tamie Cline, RN
Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) President Tamie Cline, RN
Patients and frontline health care workers deserve a healthy and happy holiday season (Photo) - 11/24/22

Additional media resources: A video statement from Tamie Cline, Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) President and a registered nurse at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston, OR, is available for download here: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/0aoxb9fwi8otkuk17cra8/h?dl=0&rlkey=7j2skonsl0e8i3dupaqln87ar

(Portland, Ore) - Respiratory infections and other illnesses—including the flu, RSV, and COVID-19—are on the rise in Oregon. Governor Kate Brown declared a public health emergency because “the statewide pediatric hospitalization rate has more than tripled and is likely to exceed its previously recorded weekly hospitalization rate imminently,” according to the Governor’s office. Across the state, hospitals are implementing “crisis standards of care” and nurses and other frontline health care workers are experiencing an influx of patients rivaling that of the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

That's why nurses are asking everyone to do their part to keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe.  

Regularly washing hands, wearing a mask, keeping your hands away from your face, disinfecting frequently used surfaces, getting a flu shot and other vaccines, avoiding large gatherings, asking friends and family who are sick to stay away from gatherings, and staying home when you get sick, can all help slow the spread of these illnesses. Parents and family members of infants should avoid frequent visitors and crowds.  

If you or a family member are experiencing mild symptoms, ONA is urging Oregonians to contact their primary care provider or an advice line first, before going to the emergency room. For those with severe symptoms, the emergency room is always the right choice.  

Hospitals must also take steps to ensure that their nursing staff and other frontline health care workers are supported during this challenging time. 

ONA is calling on hospitals to immediately hire traveling nurses. Oregon’s hospitals can, and should, hire these travelers now because the nationwide demand for travelers will only increase in the coming days and weeks.  

Health systems across the state should try everything they can to keep patients out of hospital beds, including by delaying all elective surgeries. They should also give more incentives for nurses who agree to work extra shifts, relieve nurses of non-nursing duties by hiring more support staff, incentivize more staff for pediatric outpatient clinics and urgent care clinics, increase advice line staff, and do more patient education on when to visit the ER.  

Everyone at ONA believes that patients, frontline health care workers, and all Oregonians deserve a happy and healthy holiday season.  

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) is the state’s largest and most influential nursing organization. We are a professional association and labor union which represents more than 15,000 nurses and allied health workers throughout the state. ONA’s mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit: www.OregonRN.org. 


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