On today, The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (“TAANA”) released a COVID-19 Position Paper in support of frontline healthcare professionals. The Paper was authored by TAANA members Hahnah Williams, Esq, RN, Paula Grant, RN, JD, and Kimberly Kent, RN, JD. TAANA is a national organization whose members practice in academia, private law practice, as litigators and defense attorneys, as legal counsel for healthcare entities, and in health care compliance among other settings. In the Paper, TAANA addresses a myriad of challenges faced by healthcare professionals on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the lack of personal protective equipment, inadequate COVID-19 testing, and professional license/employment issues.
Specifically, TAANA urges:
- the federal government to fully utilize the Defense Production Act to ensure the manufacture and supply of adequate PPE and other medical supplies;
- the CDC to maintain strict COVID-19 PPE regulations and guidelines that are science based and data driven, not supply driven;
- state professional licensing boards to release position statements which offer guidance and support to healthcare professionals regarding practice and ethical issues during this unprecedented time; and
- federal, state, and local government to grant frontline healthcare professionals with immediate access to COVID-19 testing.
For healthcare professionals concerned about potential license complaints arising out of COVID-19 frontline work, TAANA pointed out that several mitigating factors should be considered in any future license disciplinary complaints, including but not limited to ethical dilemmas, involuntary resignations/terminations, reasonable accommodation requests, PPE concerns, personal safety concerns, HIPAA concerns, and mental health issues.
The full Position Paper can be read here.
Hahnah Williams is an attorney, registered nurse, and advocate in Atlanta, Georgia who represents healthcare professionals in professional license, criminal, and business matters at Hahnah Williams, Attorney at Law, P.C.