America’s latest Ebola patient, Dr. Craig Spencer, was admitted to Bellevue Hospital on Thursday, despite passing the enhanced screening process that is now being used with travelers from Ebola-ridden countries in West Africa.
But Bellevue Hospital has an unforeseen problem.
Nurses are calling in sick and, in doing so, refusing to treat Spencer.
After Thomas Duncan’s death, two nurses who had treated Duncan were diagnosed with Ebola. Despite our CDC director blaming a failure in protocol, it has been said that no protocols were in place.
In light of the failures in Dallas, could you blame anyone who didn’t feel safe in treating Dr. Craig Spencer in New York?
The New York Post reports:
An extraordinary number of Bellevue Hospital staffers called in sick on Friday rather than treat the city’s first Ebola patient — and those who showed up were terrified to enter his isolation chamber, sources told The Post.
“The nurses on the floor are miserable with a ‘why me?’ attitude, scared to death and overworked because all their co-workers called out sick,” one source said.
The Daily Mail adds:
‘One nurse even went as far as to pretend she was having a stroke to get out of working there, but once they cleared her in the ER they sent her back up.’
Though it is easily understood how some health workers might be concerned about safety, it brings to mind the words of Dave Hodges from a recent article about fear and Ebola:
What will happen when the nurses really do strike as they are promising to do over a lack of training and the absence of equipment to combat Ebola? What will this do to the public confidence in the healthcare system? Literally, overnight, such an event could cripple the healthcare system.
How long would police, fire, EMT personnel, hospital personnel, people that service our water supplies and the doctors that service our infirm, stay on the job following an Ebola outbreak of any degree? An examination of this question, by using Hurricane Katrina, as a comparison, tells us that by the third day, virtually all essential services would be seriously compromised because of personnel defections.
Is Dave correct in his assessment?
Pray that things don’t worsen.
I don’t think any of us really want to find out.