Following news that the first
nurse has now tested positive for
the deadly Ebola virus, National
Nurses United called for all hospitals to have in place the highest
standard of optimal protections, including Hazmat suits, and hands-on training
to protect all RNs and other hospital personnel to confront Ebola. U.S.
“There is no standard short of optimal in protective equipment and hands-on-training that is acceptable,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, the largest
organization of nurses. National
Nurses United represents 185,000 registered nurses across the country,
including members of the Minnesota Nurses Association. U.S.
“Nurses and other frontline hospital personnel must have the highest level of protective equipment, such as the Hazmat suits
or the CDC themselves use while
transporting patients and hands on training and drills for all RNs and other
hospital personnel, that includes the practice putting on and taking off the
optimal equipment,” DeMoro said Sunday. Emery University
NNU will host a national call-in conference call Wednesday with nurses across the
to discuss concerns about U.S. hospital readiness for Ebola. U.S.
“Our call was set before today’s announcement based on steady reports from nurses at multiple hospitals who are alarmed at the inadequate preparation they see at their hospitals. The time to act is long overdue,” DeMoro said.
On the Wednesday call, National Nurses United, which has been surveying nurses across the U.S. has been calling on U.S. hospitals to immediately upgrade emergency preparations for Ebola -- including proper hands on training for RNs and other hospital personnel and keep proper protective equipment fully supplied for immediate use. As of Monday afternoon, 2,200 RNs at more 750 facilities in 46 states and the
have responded to the NNU national
survey. District of Columbia
Current survey findings show:
-85 percent say their hospital has not provided education on Ebola with the ability for the nurses to interact and ask questions – a percentage that remains largely unchanged
-40 percent say their hospital has insufficient current supplies of eye protection (face shields or side shields with goggles) for daily use on their unit; 38 percent say there are insufficient supplies of fluid resistant/impermeable gowns in their hospital – both numbers are increasing as more survey results come in
-39 percent say their hospital does not have plans to equip isolation rooms with plastic covered mattresses and pillows and discard all linens after use; only 8 percent said they were aware their hospital does have such a plan in place
NNU is calling for all
hospitals to immediately implement
a full emergency preparedness plan for Ebola, or other disease outbreaks. That
-Full training of hospital personnel, along with proper protocols and training materials for responding to outbreaks, with the ability for nurses to interact and ask questions.
-Adequate supplies of Hazmat suits and other personal protective equipment.
-Properly equipped isolation rooms to assure patient, visitor, and staff safety.
-Proper procedures for disposal of medical waste and linens after use.
NNU is also calling for significant increases in provision of aid, financial, personnel, and protective equipment, from the
, other governments, and private
corporate interests to the nations in U.S. West Africa directly affected to contain and
stop the spread of Ebola.
> The article above was written by Deborah Burger of National Nurses United, and is reprinted from WorkdayMinnesota.