RNs to Hold National Conference Call for Nurses on Ebola Wednesday
National Nurses United, which has been hearing concerns from registered nurses across the U.S. about who believe their hospitals are not properly prepared for the deadly Ebola virus, will hold a national conference call for RNs Wednesday. The call is at 3 p.m. EST, 12 noon PST.
The call comes as at least one nurse continues to be isolated in a Dallas hospital after having tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, and reports of other patients being tested with Ebola-like symptoms.
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, other hospital personnel to confront Ebola.
On the call, for which more than 4,000 RNs have signed up to call in with the opportunity to ask questions, discussion will include what their hospital is doing or not doing to prepare for Ebola to improve safety for patients, nurses and other hospital personnel, and the communities they serve.
“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 U.S. organization of nurses.
“Nurses and other frontline hospital personnel must have the highest level of protective equipment, such as the Hazmat suits Emery University or the CDC themselves use while transporting patients and hands on training and drills for all RNs and other hospital personnel including the practice putting on and taking off the optimal equipment,” DeMoro said. “The time to act is long overdue.”
You may listen in to the call via webcast, at https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/731/6167 or via phone, from U.S. or Canada, 1-877-384-4190 or international, 1-857-244-7412. Participant Code 26306511. (Please register in advance at https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/731/6167)
As of Tuesday morning, 2,300 RNs at more 780 facilities in 46 states and the District of Columbia have responded to the NNU national survey.
Current 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
- 41 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 U.S. hospitals to immediately implement a full emergency preparedness plan for Ebola, or other disease outbreaks. That includes:
- 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 U.S., other governments, and private corporate interests to the nations in West Africa directly affected to contain and stop the spread of Ebola.