Caring for the Caregivers
Boulter suggests that some of the lessons they have learned in the past 9 years could be useful to other hospitals, and not all of these lessons have to do with PPE. For one thing, Boulter believes in identifying the needs of nurses on the frontline of care and meeting them as much as possible, whether that means a place to rest when nurses are tired, food and drink when they take their breaks, or their preferred brand of shampoo or body wash for the shower. She does not ask nurses to spend 12 hours working in full PPE. Her staff is highly engaged in maintaining the skills and knowledge necessary to safely care for patients with infectious diseases, and the nurses take their own temperatures to monitor for possible Ebola infection. The unit also has a dedicated behavioral specialist to provide support to staff, patients, and family members.
It is noteworthy that the PPE used in the Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska Medical Center is not rare or exotic; it is available at most hospitals in the United States. Their meticulous protocol for putting on and taking off this PPE could certainly be emulated, and to assist in this, the unit's photographic donning and doffing protocols are available online. The unit is also making a video to illustrate these protocols. When it is finished, it will be available on the University of Nebraska HEROES website.
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Cite this: How to Contain the Ebola Virus in the Hospital: Lessons From Nebraska - Medscape - Oct 17, 2014.