Friday, October 17

Daily Uncommon Courage

Ebola Virus, from Wikipedia
Pretty much everywhere on the news lately is that Ebola has emerged in the DFW Metroplex. Somewhat lost amongst all the coverage are the stories of courage. That courage comes from the nurses who are the ones on the very front of things. Nurses are on the front line, every day. It's always been that way. If you live, thank a nurse.
Nurses are the ones who form the first and most visible caregivers for anybody who has to receive any sort of serious healthcare. Less well known is that nurses also seem to become the first “people to blame” when things get out of hand. In the case of the Ebola case in Dallas, the first thing we heard was a “breach of protocol” when we heard that a “hospital worker” (AKA nurse) contracted the disease. It was MUCH later when it leaked out that there really was no effective protocol in place, and that there was no effective equipment in place for several days after an active Ebola patient came for care. The nurses and other staff were constantly exposed to fluids from the patient, for at least a couple of days. Confirmation that this was the case came when the CDC approved air travel for a nurse that had been exposed. Now, even the hospital claims that CDC protocol changed quite a few times. Well, duh. A month later, we're finally actually GETTING a protocol in place.
There is a lot of hysteria going about now. Schools with no real danger are closing. Politicians are pontificating. The airline is disinfecting a plane. News programs are feeding the frenzy - panic, as always, feeds journalism. In the meantime, nurses continue to do their jobs and, really, mostly go beyond the call of duty. Daily uncommon courage. The two nurses that cared for the Ebola patient and now have Ebola KNEW they were in serious danger before they cared for the patient. They KNEW they didn’t have all equipment that might have reduced their risk. However, they had a patient in need and they cared for him anyway. It’s what nurses do. I’d be proud to be half as brave. If we are lucky, they’ll be the only two infected. However, I’m totally sure that many other nurses went into harm’s way as well. Mostly, we’ll never know their names unless they contract Ebola. Let's pray that few more are taken.
Let's keep things straight:
  • NO nurse violated any established patient care protocol that anybody has documented
  • NO nurse traveled in violation of what the CDC approved
  • NO nurse spoke as a member of hospital, government, or other sort of management
  • NO nurse union was present at any of the actual events that we're now hearing about in news reports
  • NO member of management, nurse union, or government has gotten infected
  • Nobody that urged the public not to overreact has gotten infected, not even "Judge" Jenkins
  • Hysteria and groundless fear don't help anyone
Full disclosure: my wife is a RN that used to be in critical/intensive care, and was later in hospice care. She got left exposed by two hospitals, and we were fortunate she never got blamed or dead due to those actions. Her experience is no exception. It is a common situation, since hospital management would prefer that the blame not fall on themselves, nor the doctors that drive their tenure. As I stated, amongst nurses, courage is common daily. Keep that in mind if you ever get sick. Salutations are in order…
The Nurse Speaking had her PPE AFTER the Caregivers that Contracted Ebola Showed Symptoms. What about THOSE Who Cared for the First Patient?


Durango said...

Well put, Steve A. The attempted scapegoating of the nurses was disgusting.

cafiend said...


Chandra said...

Well said, Steve.
Peace :)

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