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Health, Science & Tech

Union Working with Health Care Facilities on Ebola Care

Executive Vice President Zach Zobrist of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania said the union is working with hospitals in the state to assure that specific protocols and procedures will protect health care workers.  

"That, to me, is the really clear thing the CDC came forward with," he said. "It’s not just providing employees with protective equipment, it’s giving them the training they would need on how to use that personal protective equipment. And that they have spotters and not just, ‘Here’s a handout on how to wear your equipment.’"

A spotter’s job is to make sure caregivers put on their protective equipment properly, maintain coverage of the skin, face and mouth, and they also make sure equipment is removed properly.

Zobrist said the CDC recommends specialized teams for handing Ebola patients.  

"The best way to narrow the universe of folks that have that specialized training seems to be to have hospitals across the state designated," Zobrist said. "We have not heard if the Department of Health is moving in that direction, but we are in the process now of trying to engage them in dialogue on that."  

Simple steps will assure protection of the patient, caregivers and public health.

The union has also come out against mandatory quarantine of health care professionals returning from West Africa who are asymptomatic and test negative for Ebola because it said such harsh measures are not scientifically necessary and will discourage health care workers from helping to stop the epidemic in Africa.