Hello? Anybody home? Mr. CDC director? All the doctors on TV and the internet who have been giving their opinions on ebola? The ones who insist we are ready for something like ebola, having been for a long time? Hello?
Guess what? You know those people who have to actually do the practical day to day care of patients with things like ebola? You know the nurses? They don't feel ready to care for them.
Here's the thing, us nurses, we think in terms of reality. How am I going to get that patient to CT through the halls of the hospital? What if the patient vomits all over the elevator? If the patient arrests, will we resusitate? You might think, of course you will. I want you to think about what it would be like to resusitate a patient while wearing a hazmat suit. I want you to think about all the people who run to a cardiac arrest when it happens and the practicality of them having to don the suit before they enter the room. These are the practical realities that nurses think of. Other people don't. They don't have to. They aren't there 24/7.
Even doctors, who work alongside nurses daily in the hospital really don't have a clue what nurses do 24/7, what they have to deal with. That is obvious with there insistence that we are ready, ready to care for patients with ebola. They think we are ready because there are policies on computers.
Here's a practical reality for you: As of September 1st 240 health care workers have developed ebola in West Africa, 120 have died. How did they get ebola when they followed procedure to don the suit, be very careful about contact with patients? They figure most of them probably picked it up removing the suit.
Remember two doctors who developed ebola who were brought back to the United States? A biosafety firm was hired to help the nurses through putting on and taking off the suit. According to Sean Kaufman, president of the biosafety firm that handled this:
According to an article in Newsmax:
"Our healthcare workforce goes through so many pairs of gloves that they really don't focus on how they remove gloves. The putting on and the taking off doesn't occur with enough attention to protect themselves," he said.
"A survey by National Nurses United of some 400 nurses in more than 200 hospitals in 25 states found that more than half (60 percent) said their hospital is not prepared to handle patients with Ebola, and more than 80 percent said their hospital has not communicated to them any policy regarding potential admission of patients infected by Ebola.Another 30 percent said their hospital has insufficient supplies of eye protection and fluid-resistant gowns."
There are 5700 hospitals in this country. At 3, 420 (60%) of them, nurses feel they are unprepared to care for ebola patients. At 4,560 (80%) hospitals no policy regarding ebola has been communicated to the nurses. At 1,900 (30%) nurses don't even feel they have adequate supplies to protect themselves. I wonder if your local hospital is ready?