Eighty-five percent of America’s nurses said their hospitals have not educated them on Ebola, according to a poll conducted by the largest nursing association in the U.S.
Additionally, 76% of the nurses said their hospitals have not informed them how to admit potential Ebola patients in the poll conducted Sunday by National Nurses United which surveyed 2,000 registered nurses at over 750 facilities in 46 states.
“Our call was… based on steady reports from nurses at multiple hospitals who are alarmed at the inadequate preparation they see at their hospitals,” RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of NNU, stated. “The time to act is long overdue.”
Thirty-seven percent of nurses also revealed their hospitals have insufficient supplies of face shields and 39% said their hospitals have no plans to equip isolation rooms for Ebola patients.
In response, the NNU called on hospitals to “immediately implement a full emergency preparedness plan for Ebola,” including full training for health care workers, adequate supplies of Hazmat suits, properly equipped isolation rooms and appropriate procedures for disposal of medical waste and linens after use.
The World Health Organization is calling Ebola the “most severe acute health emergency in modern times.”
“I have never seen an infectious disease contribute so strongly to potential state failure,” Margaret Chan, the agency’s director-general, said in regard to the Ebola-struck African nations.
Here in the U.S., Ebola is now spreading after a nurse who treated the late Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan tested positive for the virus on Saturday.
But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has largely ignored its own disease protocols after Duncan became the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the U.S., is now trying to blame the nurse for a “breach of protocol” which caused to her to contract the disease.
“I think that is just wrong,” Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, an expert on public health preparedness at Pennsylvania State University, said to Reuters. “We haven’t provided [hospital workers] with a national training program.”
“We haven’t provided them with the necessary experts that have actually worked in hospitals with Ebola.”
This is just one of many botch ups by the CDC; for one thing, the agency is responding to only about half of the calls it is receiving from doctors reporting Ebola-like symptoms in patients.
CDC officials were also slow to decontaminate Duncan’s apartment and the ambulance used to transport him to the hospital.