October 27, 2014 – Nurses and Ebola


Anchor lead: Why have nurses contracted Ebola in the western world?  Elizabeth Tracey reports

Two in Texas and one in Spain- how is it that nurses are developing Ebola infection while other members of the Western healthcare teams remain uninfected? Karen Davis, director of medical nursing for Johns Hopkins Hospital, comments.

Davis: I think it’s because the bulk of the work in taking care of an Ebola patient falls into the practice of the scope of nursing. We’re in the room, we’re doing the things that patient needs, which is usually keeping them hydrated, keeping them clean and dry, providing emotional support.  Imagine how scary it would be to be that patient, alone in that room, you can have no visitors, you have one nurse coming in to take care of you, you feel terrible, you need the psychosocial piece of that as well, and that’s what we do, that’s what we’re trained for. So we want to be at the bedside of those patients, they need our support.    :28

Davis says many of the nurses she works with are more than willing to be on the front lines in caring for Ebola patients, having cared for many patients with other serious infections over the years.  She feels confident that such care can be delivered safely as protocols, procedures and drills are in place to prevent infection.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.