In this New time of Ebola

Yes, those few of you who “follow” this random blog may have been looking for a post from me as the news broke regarding Thomas Duncan, the unfortunate Liberian who entered our country by way of Texas, with Ebola.  He of course has since perished, leaving behind 2 infected nurses who have been the subject of much speculation, sympathy and also some nastiness.

I have had a lot to say but not a lot of time to say it.

What I am excited about is that we are nearing the end of the 21 day period for those exposed to Mr. Duncan (God Rest His Soul).

Soon we will also near the end of the time for Ms. Pham and then in early November we will end the exposure time frame for Ms. Vinson.

This lady on a cruise ship…hopefully does not have the virus.  I’m fairly sure she does not but who knows.

Because of this, I have been extra busy.  We are in full Ebola freak out mode.  Our hospital does have the necessary protective gear and we have about 20 nurses and doctors trained.  While Dallas exposed numerous workers our plans intend to limit contact quite a bit more.  none of the preparations make anyone feel any more comfortable with this.  It was at first not that big a deal, but then the two nurses contracted Ebola.  This is likely to a problem taking off the protective gear, and not the big accusation that some of their neck was exposed.  True.  Neck should not be exposed, however, thats a very unlikely place to get contaminated.  My bet is on removal, which is trickier than it should be, but it can be done safely.

Secondly of course we have multiple health care workers in various positions imagining wild scenarios.  Not just at my hospital, but all over the country…lots of statements from surgeons about “Surgery on Ebola Patients”  Never mind that we have not heard about people suffering from Ebola needing surgery…they are just running with it.

So thats fun.

On top of that- I STILL have a November 1 deadline for audit with CMS.  And of course, after I decide that the only way to get that completed is to come in on a saturday, the electronic warehouse I submit to announces that it will be down all weekend.

I have 15 days more of employment with this organization.  I start immediately at the other, where it will continue to be Ebola Madness.

Very much hoping that another case either does not pop up OR that if it does it is handled better than in Dallas…from the get go, and that it isn’t in my area.

Luckily I have a half Marathon race next weekend, so I have been on a taper period for a while, giving me oodles of time to address all of the stuff.

I tell you. It is one thing for me to go over to Africa and deal with this.   It’s a whole other thing to ask any staff member to do it. It has got me nervous.

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6 thoughts on “In this New time of Ebola

  1. I was wondering if you thought your hospital was prepared just in case. I’m sure there’s a lot of practice going on around the country now in relation to taking off the suits etc. . I hope the news hysteria calms soon – it’s just making people nervous and invites speculation like the surgery comment. we have people riding the metro with masks since the poor nurse was transferred here – doesn’t matter that Ebola is not airborne.

    I’m glad you have a race to look forward to.

    • Well, the metro folks are protecting themselves against the flu! That is so crazy. I was so glad that she was able to be transferred to a really good place for care. not too many people go to work with the threat of contracting a deadly virus.

  2. I just read that the woman who’s been kept in isolation on a cruise ship has tested negative for ebola. It was interesting to see people’s and governments’ reactions to this. Mexico refused to let anyone from the ship disembark at Cozumel, where apparently a number of passengers had paid $100 a person to take a tour. The passengers are angry and complaining that they aren’t concerned about getting ebola, so why should Mexico?

    I don’t know why, but that made me laugh a little. One problem, I think, is that no one is sure how serious this is. The CDC keeps saying you can’t catch it from a sneeze or cough or by sitting next to a person with ebola; you have to have had contact with the infected patient’s bodily fluids. The symptoms sound a lot like the flu I caught after a trip to San Diego last year: I was thinking, if hospital staff in Texas didn’t recognize it, how would a layperson like me know if I was infected, versus just having the flu?

    I hope you don’t have to deal with an actual outbreak while you’re finishing up your month in your soon-to-be former job. It’d be nice if you could just quietly finish up your current work, then pack your stuff quickly and be done.

    • For all of us out in public, it’s not going to be easy to recognize, but at the same time, it isn’t spreading like wildfire either. Thankfully today marks the 21 days after Duncan (God Rest His Soul) passed on. The misstep in the first hospital visit is really what set this whole cascade of events off. If they had properly recognized it, and dealt with it during his first visit….lots less exposed, and he may have survived. The staff were just not even trained to be looking out for people from W. Africa.

  3. No one really cared while Ebola ravaged the African continent, but a couple of people, very closely connected contract it in the USA and it is international news and USA goes into melt down. Once again, it shows the divides between the haves and the have nots…

    I have been wondering where you were in all this – I know you are super professional and very cautious, but do take care, dear friend.

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