Nurses: Hospitals 'far from ready' to stop Ebola

A majority of U.S. nurses believe their hospitals are not equipped to treat Ebola, according to the country’s largest nursing union.

Out of about 400 nurses surveyed by the National Nurses United, 80 percent said their hospitals have not taught them about Ebola or how to admit a possible Ebola patient.

About one-third of nurses said their hospitals also do not have a sufficient supply of protective gear.


“U.S. hospitals are far from ready for the Ebola outbreak,” the organization said in a statement, warning that “Everyone needs to do more to stop Ebola.”

The surveys have been conducted over the last several weeks in about two dozen states, the unions said.

The first case of Ebola was confirmed in the U.S. on Tuesday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. The Dallas hospital has faced flak after it initially sent the patient home, diagnosed with a low-grade virus, after staff failed to share information that he had recently traveled from Liberia. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said this week that the hospital "dropped the ball," and said it presented a lesson for hospitals nationwide that have geared up for potential cases. 

Federal health officials have said that other cases could happen, but that a wider outbreak is extremely unlikely. 

The nurses' concerns surface at a time when Republican lawmakers are beginning to question whether the administration is doing enough to help healthcare providers to control the virus.