A union that says it represents nurses in every state criticized the Dallas hospital where an Ebola patient died and where a nurse was sickened, saying that protocols to protect workers were not in place at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
National Nurses United, in a conference call with reporters Tuesday, said that several nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian complained of confusion in the days after an Ebola patient was diagnosed there, putting nurses at risk, and that there was little training.
"There was no advance preparedness on what to do with the patient, there was no protocol, there was no system," the group said in a statement.
The group said it was speaking on behalf of several nurses who work at the hospital and told it their stories, but who are not members of the union. When asked several time for those nurses’ identities, the group declined out of fear those nurses would be retaliated against.
The group made the claims after Texas Health Presbyterian nurse Nina Pham tested positive for Ebola after treating Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian who died there from the disease last week. She is in good condition. A hospital spokesman said Tuesday the safety of its employees is a paramount concern.
“Patient and employee safety is our greatest priority and we take compliance very seriously. We have numerous measures in place to provide a safe working environment, including mandatory annual training and a 24-7 hotline and other mechanisms that allow for anonymous reporting,” Texas Health Presbyterian said in a statement.
“Our nursing staff is committed to providing quality, compassionate care, as we have always known, and as the world has seen firsthand in recent days. We will continue to review and respond to any concerns raised by our nurses and all employees."
— Phil Helsel