Ohio hospitals evaluating Ebola outbreak preparedness

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - On Thursday the Ohio Department of Health directed all Ohio hospitals to put plans in motion to prepare for the possibility of Ebola cases.

Lori Chovanak, the CEO of the Ohio Nurses Association, sent a survey to union members asking how prepared nurses and their facilities are for possible Ebola cases. Chovanak says the majority of the 500 responses they received said nurses did not feel equipped to handle an Ebola outbreak.

Nurses in the survey identified three areas that will increase the level of preparation; practice drills with the entire health care team regarding the scenario of a possible or confirmed Ebola case, additional education on the virus and how to care for patients and care for themselves, and make sure the proper supplies are available.

The Department of Health is working to change that. Hospitals across Ohio will be conducting a series of training and practice drills within the next two days. Staff will learn how to properly receive, isolate and implement proper infection control practices for a potential Ebola patient, as well as how to properly put on and remove personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Ohio Department of Health also asked hospitals to assess their amount of PPE to ensure they have an adequate supply and let the department know if they require help meeting their needs.

Chovanak says the Ohio Nurses Association will continue to proactively work with the governor's office, other state offices, and healthcare organizations to ensure all healthcare professionals are properly trained, informed and supported.

To find out what Toledo hospitals are doing to prepare for possible Ebola cases click here

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