LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- Amid concerns of protective gear and hospital bed shortages, local nurses on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic are hoping to get help from the federal government.
A vigil was held Monday night to celebrate improvements they've seen at UCLA and demand action on behalf of nurses everywhere.
"Our country had time to get ready for this," ER nurse Marcia Santini said. "It's all failing."
During their shift change in Westwood, dozens of nurses with the California Nurses Association gathered for the vigil.
"Our federal government needs to be doing everything in their power to make sure our healthcare with the proper [personal protective equipment] and ventilators so we may meet this impending COVID-19 surge," said one attendee.
UCLA nurses say that in the last week, they got increased access to protective gear, like gloves and masks, but that the federal government also recently delivered broken ventilators to the state from the national stockpile.
"This is unacceptable," the attendee added.
The candlelight vigil shows solidarity for nurses across the country in hopes that federal officials will take additional steps to protect health care workers and patients.
Monday's event marked the fifth time nurses have protested and they say they'll continue to do so if the federal government doesn't give them more protective gear and work to protect the nurse to patient ratio.
for more features.