In the pandemic’s early days, Denise Keeley, a military veteran and nurse of 40 years, begged managers at her Oklahoma City hospital for answers about how to protect herself and how Covid would affect her work. She says the answers never came.
Keeley is 64 and has a heart condition. She had a stent installed less than a year before the pandemic began and asked her manager to keep her off of Covid units. She said she filed a “reasonable accommodations” request to avoid working with Covid patients that was never approved.
Conditions were dire for nurses at her hospital, she said. Keeley claims she was never tested for Covid-19 on the job — it was only required for nurses who worked on Covid-dedicated floors.
She said she was told to make her mask “last as long as it could,” and she wasn’t allowed to wear an N95 respirator, the most effective mask in preventing Covid-19 transmission, because those were reserved for physicians.