Improving Ebola Training for Healthcare Workers

Posted by: waadmin
Category: eLearning
Improving Ebola Training for Healthcare Workers

After the unfortunate death of a Liberian Ebola patient in the US and infection of two nurses it is clear however that hospitals and hospital staff around the US are not all ready to care for an Ebola infected patient.

The protocols that were initially set forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and minimal training that has been performed at hospitals have clearly been inadequate for correctly dealing with the disease. The CDC has recently issued more robust guidelines for hospitals and health care workers however that should help hospitals better prepare for handling Ebola patients.

The new instructions now include the recommendation to wear full-body covering (including coveralls and full hoods) for any workers dealing with Ebola patients. They also advise to organize practical sessions on how to correctly put on and take off protective clothing.

The new guidelines are surely a step in the right direction, though many health experts claim they are still not sufficient to protect healthcare workers when dealing with an Ebola patient.

How to Improve Ebola Training in the US

Though the new CDC guidelines suggest full protective clothing and training on how to don and doff these protective suits, many hospitals have not yet followed these recommendations.

It is for this reason that 18,000 nurses went on strike in northern California recently. Their employer (Kaiser Permanente) they claim is refusing to provide adequate protective equipment and implement the necessary safety protocols for dealing with potentially infected patients.

In order to better treat Ebola patients and prevent an infection from spreading, it is crucial that hospitals around the country adopt adequate safety protocols and provide hazmat suits and other protective equipment, such as powered air-filtration masks for their workers. Besides providing the right gear and putting in place safety protocols, safety training should be a priority at all hospitals.

survey performed by National Nurses United, showed that more than 80 percent of nurses that were surveyed did not yet receive proper Ebola training. Thirty-six percent claimed that their employer does not have adequate supplies to treat an Ebola patient and 76 percent report that proper policies on how to deal with Ebola patients have not been put into effect.

It is clear that there is still a way to go for healthcare organizations around the US to be adequately prepared for dealing with Ebola patients. Sufficient supplies, training and policies are of crucial importance to ensure healthcare workers’ safety and guarantee the best possible treatment for Ebola patients. A standardized procedure to deal with these patients needs to be adopted at hospitals around the country. This however requires time and money, resources that are not always easily available.

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