Nurses Call on U.S. Hospitals to Improve Emergency Preparedness

The call for improvement comes from the recent U.S. Ebola discovery

National Nurses United (NNU) is calling on U.S. hospitals to immediately upgrade emergency preparations for Ebola in the U.S. following reports that a Dallas hospital failed to hospitalize a patient infected with the Ebola virus and failed to properly communicate essential information to caregivers about this health status.

“At a rally of 1,000 nurses last week in Las Vegas, we warned that it was just a matter of time in an interconnected world that we would see Ebola in the U.S.,” said NNU executive director RoseAnn DeMoro in a statement. “Now, everyone should recognize that Texas is not an island either, and as we’ve heard from nurses across the U.S., hospitals here are not ready to confront this deadly disease.”

NNU members from the California Nurses Association met with officials of Kaiser Permanente, a hospital chain in California, and proposed that Kaiser immediately upgrade its pandemic disease preparedness, including planning, communications, hands on training and availability of proper protective equipment, including hazmat suits.

Kaiser went on to insist its hospitals are prepared, despite a situation in Sacramento in which a patient feared they had been exposed to Ebola. No information was given to the staff until it was reported by the local media.

NNU is calling for all U.S. hospitals to immediately implement a full emergency preparedness plan for Ebola and other disease outbreaks. That includes: full training of hospital personnel along with proper protocols and training materials for responding to outbreaks; adequate supplies of Hazmat suits and other personal protective equipment; properly equipped isolation rooms to assure patient, visitor and staff safety; and sufficient staffing to supplement nurses and other health workers who need to care for patients in isolation.

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