Bay Area nurses call for emergency preparedness plan for Ebola

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Nurses in the Bay Area are upset over what they say is the lack of guidelines and safety measures in the treatment of Ebola.

They took their concerns public Sunday outside Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland.

National Nurses United gathered to sound the alarm. They said a survey reveals of over 2,000 nurses across the country, an overwhelming majority of hospitals are not doing a good job of training their nurses on how to protect themselves from Ebola.

Most of the nurses say their hospitals, including here in the Bay Area, have not communicated any policy regarding infected patients and they say their hospitals lack proper personal protective equipment.

The nurses are calling on all US hospitals to implement a full emergency preparedness plan for Ebola immediately.

"When the nurses become infected they are blamed when they are not following the protocols. That is not going to work. We cannot blame the health care providers who are on the front lines, who are risking their lives to provide care for patients and who are then faced with possible infection themselves, and infecting their families and community members. That's not OK," National Nurses United spokesperson Katy Roemer said.

The nurses say they gathered in front of Kaiser Sunday because of the Ebola scare at the Kaiser in South Sacramento in August.

The union claims that a patient, who eventually tested negative, was not put in isolation right away.

Kaiser, however, says doctors and nurses were pleased with how that case was handled.

Kaiser released a statement saying, "The patient was placed in a specially equipped negative pressure room, and we provided those caring for the patient with appropriate infection control training, which includes personal protective equipment."

Nevertheless, Kaiser says it will do additional training and simulation drills beginning this week. null
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