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Atlanta Legal Nurse Consultant At “Emory’s Experience With Ebola: The Nursing Perspective”

Highlights of nursing care in the Serious Communicable Disease Unit (SCDU)

Atlanta, Georgia – WEBWIRE
Emory Healthcare
Emory Healthcare

“In life, we can choose to fear or we can choose to care.” – Susan Grant, CNO, Emory Healthcare

Atlanta legal nurse consultant Liz Buddenhagen attended a presentation offered by the Athens Georgia Nurses Association highlighting the nursing care provided by Emory Healthcare for Ebola and Lassa Fever patients at Athens Regional Medical Services on April 18, 2016.
Why Emory?
Sharlene Toney, PhD, RN, Director of Professional Nursing Practice and Development, lead the panel of speakers along with three front line, direct patient care RNs from Emory.
Toney explained Emory developed the Serious Communicable Disease Unit in collaboration with the CDC to care for CDC personnel in the event of exposure to infectious pathogens in one of their Biosafety Level 4 research labs. Until the Ebola patients, this unit had only been used one time.
Emory University Hospital received a request from the U.S. State Department mid-July 2014 regarding one Ebola patient with another coming. The decision to admit these patients resulted in activation and rapid expansion of the EUH SCDU (Emory University Hospital Serious Communicable Disease Unit). In the summer and fall, two more patients were accepted. Outcomes included successful discharge of all four patients.
Flack and Assistance:
Toney mentioned how the staff had to get used to having major TV stations outside 24/7. Emory had 30,000 calls from around the world about how to care for similar patients. Emory received a lot of hate mail for having the Ebola patients in Georgia. The Chief Nursing Officer Susan Grant was quoted in response saying “In life, we can choose to fear or we can choose to care.”
Front line:
The staff nurses were all experienced in Neuro ICU and received a lot of additional training to work in the SCDU. Staff nurses said they frequently have been asked if they were scared. One nurse said “I had a lot of nerves, yet I was very excited.” Another nurse said she “didn’t tell her parents at first and my parents were supportive when I did tell them.”
The nurses talked about specifics of care. They discussed the very strict protocols that were developed and the training and re-training that occurs on a regular basis. The main thrust of protocols was to keep the disease in the patient room. The nurses talked about donning and doffing personal protective equipment which involved many, many steps that had to be memorized and practiced over and over.
“Hats off to these brave and talented RNs” said Buddenhagen.
Atlanta Legal Nurse Consultant:
Liz Buddenhagen, RN, assists Atlanta attorneys with medical legal cases. For more information email , view or call 770-725-2997.

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