Nurses Ask for Standard Ebola Hospital Procedures
Nurses' groups are speaking out, saying their hospitals and staff are not prepared to handle Ebola patients. They sent a letter asking President Obama to use his executive authority - and mandate uniform hospital standards.
Thursday, October 16th 2014, 2:59 PM PDT
11,000 nurses from around the country took part in a conference call with National Nurses United to voice concerns that their hospitals are not prepared for Ebola.
"What we were told by the Dallas nurses was heartbreaking, outrageous and totally preventable. We want to make sure this never happens again," says Deborah Burger.
They're demanding more protection and hands on training after two health care workers caring for Ebola patient Thomas Duncan got the virus.
"We wouldn't send soldiers to the frontlines without weapons and armor," says RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United.
The American Nurses Association also says information needs to be shared more quickly so the right protocols are in place.
"What we are hearing is that there is a lot of variability in terms of preparedness. We know that organizations are taking this seriously but I think without the threat at their doorstep many of them are not as prepared as we believed was true earlier," says Dr. Pamela F. Cipriano.
To get ready for a possible Ebola patient, nurses at Maria Parham Medical Center in North Carolina are using chocolate syrup in their training.. to make sure workers can take off their gear and not contaminate themselves.
"Our infection prevention specialist is going unit-by-unit and helping them practice," says Cindy Faulkner.
Nurses on Wednesday's conference call say 85% of hospitals have not provided education on Ebola.. and that many simply refer healthcare workers to the CDC's website.
Nurses from Spain - where a nurse contracted the disease - also participated in the call. They want all organizations, from West Africa to the United States, to share information on procedures.