As concern about the adequacy of U.S. hospital training and protective measures to safely treat Ebola patients mounts, the Dallas hospital at the center of the storm and a national union that represents nurses engaged in an angry war of words late last week, a reflection of the fear that now grips many frontline healthcare workers.
After National Nurses United accused Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas of carelessness in protecting staff treating its first Ebola patient, the hospital released a strongly worded statement accusing “external organizations” of using the crisis to gain attention for their own agendas. “Third parties who don't know our hospital, our employees and who were not present when the events occurred are seeking to exploit a national crisis by inserting themselves into an already challenging situation,” the statement said.
NNU claims to represent 185,000 registered nurses across the country, including 13,000 in 11 states that have signed collective bargaining agreements. Texas is one of those states.