Are U.S. Hospitals Prepared For An Ebola Outbreak? Nurses Say 'No'

As new details emerge about the first patient diagnosed in the U.S. with the deadly ebola virus in Dallas, Texas, many are saying that U.S. hospitals are not prepared to handle an Ebola outbreak.

Media reports have indicated that the patient’s exposure was not properly communicated to staff at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The infected patient was sent home after arriving at the hospital.

Some experts believe this scenario will likely be the same at hospitals throughout the country.

In response, the  Obama Administration and the Centers for Disease Control are scrambling to assure the US public that our hospitals are fully prepared for any possible outbreak of Ebola.

However, a large number of health care workers believe otherwise. A recent survey of nurses nationwide shows that hospitals might not be prepared if an Ebola patient shows up in an emergency room.

According the National Nurses United, more than half of the nurses (60 percent) said their hospital is not prepared to handle patients with Ebola, and more than 80 percent said their hospital has not communicated to them any policy regarding potential admission of patients infected by Ebola.

“What our surveys show is a reminder that we do not have a national health care system, but a fragmented collection of private healthcare companies each with their own way of responding” – Bonnie Castillo, RN

The National Nurses United is calling on U.S. hospitals to immediately upgrade emergency preparations for Ebola in the U.S, as well as significant increases in provision of aid, financial, personnel, and protective equipment, from the U.S. to the nations in West Africa directly affected to contain and stop the spread of Ebola.

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