WEST READING, Pa. – Health care union members in Pennsylvania are planning to rally Thursday for personal protective equipment (PPE).
Kim Jackson is one of the nurses who will be participating in the rally. She works at the Spruce Manor nursing home in West Reading. She's been a nurse for the past 20 years, and for the first time in her career, she said she's scared to go to work.
"What I'm coming across now is horrible," Jackson explained.
Jackson said, like at many nursing homes and long-term care centers in the nation, health care workers there are running out of PPE. Every day, she said she's having to use the same mask and gown.
69 News has received similar accounts from other health care workers.
"I signed up to be a nurse, but I never thought I would have to be a nurse without the proper protection," Jackson said.
Jackson has asthma and she's twice overcome cancer, so she's considered high risk for COVID-19.
"We're assuming a lot of people are gonna get it at this point, and the people I work with are interacting with people who have it," Jackson said. "Everyday people are scared, and I'm trying to reassure them when I'm not reassured myself."
That's why Jackson and other SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania union nurses are rallying, to ask the federal government for help with PPE. The workers will be posting pictures of themselves at work, using the hashtag #GetMePPE.
"I'm wanting every health care worker to post pictures of their homemade masks or re-used masks," Jackson explained.
Jackson said she hopes the rally and social media campaign make a difference.
"Hopefully, it gets enough attention nationwide that will spark a light and something will happen for us," Jackson said.