As I woke up this morning to learn that another healthcare worker has been infected with the Ebola virus at the Dallas Hospital where the patient was treated, it evoked an emotional response, as it may have with you as well. Thoughts like:
This could be any of us.
It sure feels like they initially placed blame on the nurse.
Is my facility doing everything necessary to protect everyone from all the scary potential exposures?
How would you feel if your staff publicly stated:
“There were no protocols in place”.
As a facility leader, I think we can all take action and do everything possible to protect our staff from exposure. There is a great article in the July 2014 issue of Infection Control Today titled “Back To Basics: the PPE Primer” that reviews when and what is needed for protection, it’s limitations, and how to take it off. This may be a great time to re-visit PPE training. Here is the link:
There is a new social media outpouring of support that has been circulating (no pun intended) for the medical professionals affected, as well as all medical professionals to show support for all that we do:
I think the best lesson we can learn from this is to stand together, work together to offer solutions instead of blame, and do the best we can to support our staff in staying safe while providing great care. I hope the nurses in Dallas have positive outcomes, and that we all learn from these events to be proactive in infection prevention.
Leslie Mattson, Author