Ebola: Caregiver gets Ebola in Texas as health systems weaknesses exposed
A care provider has fallen while giving their all. The name is not important. What has happened today puts an exclamation point on several subjects and exposes a healthcare system that is not quite ready for the onslaught.
A provider of care taking care of a patient and getting sick happens everyday. A provider dying during that process is a tragedy. And in this moment a caregiver stands in the path of death.
Caregivers in any setting, any range is pretty much a thankless job. We often receive the ire of a drug seeker or a “gimme” patient that thinks a care giver is a punching bag. The expectations of a caregiver goes way beyond normal thinking. The daily grind is just that grinding at best but what keeps us in the game is that one case where years of experience and training is applied and a life saved or a life changed. That is one reason we often do so without complaining. You may say our lives and the daily stress we endure shortens our lives. I say it secures a different level of favoritism in the afterlife. Wishful thinking perhaps but a not so lofty goal.
While our healthcare system is or was at least before it was dismantled by our federal government the greatest one on the Earth, hands down and by far from any who dare compete.
One flaw we as caregivers have is we are human and humans are not perfect and have faults. The next scenario is we do not have the training or equipment to remain safe in place.
With those faults or perhaps our attempt to not make a mistake we over compensate or over guess and we allow an error or a breech in our infection control defenses. Seemingly our best effort within an inadequate system is and will not be enough.
For years, we attempt to keep the spread of disease to a minimum and often we sacrifice our health for the betterment of those we care for.
While setting up this next statement as to not take away from our collective effort we do have breeches in our infection control efforts.
To imagine a world where there is no spread of disease would be to live in a fantasy world.
The spread of disease was bound to happen. It’s gonna happen. Every patient we come into contact with we fear spreading disease into our own bodies and we do so on a small percentage.
Tests confirmed overnight put a healthcare worker in dire straits and has awakened the world to the prospect that Ebola is here and it must be dealt with. Personally, healthcare givers are an open target and have the cross hairs firmly planted on their chests. Is the most we can do is to hope we do not fall victim. Our system should meet our demands and not only rely on the system to step up to meet our needs. The system should take care of us and make us a priority without us begging them to do so.
Our masks do not fit with 100 percent accuracy. We have isolation rooms, PPE equipment, wash our hands incessantly but it’s not a sure thing. We have to date have received no specific training. We joke that when that day arrives when we must face the Ebola virus we will be in big trouble. Our training hours with this disease are at zero right now. I have seen one sheet of paper that speaks of signs and symptoms but any knowledge gained is self taught to date. Most every hospital will be within a few miles of or taking care of an Ebola patient within the next six months or feel many of our brothers or sister in arms will be sick or dying. Our healthcare system in its current form will see many more healthcare workers get sick and die before this is done. Many healthcare workers in Africa went on strike when the spread and ineffective equipment put them in grave danger. I feel with the added stress and demands to care for patients within a system that is not prepared many more caregivers will start echoing nurses in Africa
and doing the same out of desperation out of concern for our own lives.
We need to support our hospitals and their workers. We are not prepared for this disease. As I sit here and listen to “specialists” from the CDC and others say “we just have to give them supportive care and get them to a much better supplied hospital,” my stomach is sickened. Allow me to spread the bad news. There are not better equipped hospitals. We pretty much have the same protective equipment. It’s not efficient. It’s not 100 percent. It has it’s holes. It will not be enough.
Let’s pray this disease that was created for whatever reason is contained and soon. We are facing a scourge that could wipe out a chunk of our population and we will watch the wealthy benefit greatly from our demise. I guess we deal with that and call it capitalism.
Today, as I watch the spread of this disease and the ease and quickness of it I will go on record and say I am convinced it’s gone airborne!
Yes, I said the dirty word. Initially, Ebola was considered airborne but that was squelched by those who would look hypocritical and careless if now they admit that scenario.
For now I sleep and when I awaken I pray that all healthcare workers in the line of fire will be safe and then demand more protection as it seems our best is not good enough.
Don’t believe the words of bureaucrats saying you are heroic and are saving the world with your sacrifice. This is equivalent to blowing smoke up your backside. We do not intend to be guinea pigs used by a system that has created this disease.
Demand change in our healthcare system. Demand better equipment and training. We deserve that much. Contact your elected leaders and demand they push our healthcare system to make the needed change to keep us safe.
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