If “the protocols work,” how did Dallas nurse get Ebola?
“It is deeply concerning that this infection occurred,” Frieden acknowledged. “We don’t know what occurred… but at some point there was a breach in protocol and that breach in protocol resulted in this infection.”
Because protocols only work if they’re followed properly.
Over the years, I’ve known a lot of nurses. I don’t know any who still work in hospitals. Some left hospitals for home healthcare work. Some left the field completely. All of them – over a period of decades and across the country; people who don’t know each – tell similar stories: abusive doctors, doctors trying to shift blame for their own screwups to some nurse, sexual harassment (frankly, I’d consider some of the stories sexual assault), age harassment, lethally (to patients) inadequate staffing, shorting meds to save money and comply with fed rules on pain med “abuse”.
To hear these nurses tell it, hospital administrators love to drive out experienced nurses, who might be approaching retirement age, in favor of cheap new hires of nurses fresh out of school. New nurses who don”t know protocols and don’t get properly trained on protocols because the experienced people are gone.
I know a nurse who quit because a doctor couldn’t keep his hands off her tits, and administration wouldn’t help (doctor knows best, dearie; suck it – and him – up. I know a nurse who was suspended for having white hair. Well, she’s older than me; go figure.
I know a nurse who was left alone to deal with a combative, hallucinating, AND ARMED patient… and was disciplined for not following an instruction left for the ER staff because she was busy in her own section trying to not get killed while disarming a lunatic with a gun. She was alone because the hospital fired other staff to save money. What new nurses they hired couldn’t even consistently start IVs correctly.
So, yeah, sometimes protocol doesn’t get followed because a nurse is trying to avoid immediate death by gunshot from a crazy with a gun. Potential infection by a virus with a “mere” 30% fatality rate might seem like a reasonable risk.
You wonder why the Dallas hospital sent patient Duncan home with a 103° fever and ebola? Probably because hospital administration didn’t give them the personnel and material resources to deal with even a fraction of stuff coming into the ER. To save money and improve their profit margin. Heck, some hospitals are sending people home because they’re “only” having strokes… and t-PA is so expensive.
Don’t expect things to get better, especially with death panels charts (we got a chart; we don’ need no steenkin’ panels)… or simple age limits on life.
I have some big life changes coming up. Blogging is likely to be sporadic. More on that when plans solidify a bit more.