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Ebola - Another Side of the Story. The Scary Side!

Professionalism Article   (5,720 Views | 10 Replies | 848 Words)
by servewithlove servewithlove (New) New

3 Articles; 5,333 Profile Views; 13 Posts

This article is a cry for help to nurses, to better educate themselves about Ebola, and STOP STIGMATIZATION related to this disease. Stigmatization only makes things worse, and uninformed nurses greatly downplay the credibility of the nursing profession!

Nurses generally are handling this ebola outbreak in a professional manner

  1. 1. Nurses generally are handling this ebola outbreak in a professional manner

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Ebola - Another Side of the Story. The Scary Side!
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I remember when news about HIV first became public. People were scared and rightly so, because very little was known about this disease. Even though I was much younger at the time, I will never forget the whispers. The whispers when someone died and neighbors thought it should be of HIV. The whispers when someone lost too much weight than the neighbors deemed was necessary. The whispers when someone was deemed unfaithful by the whispering neighbors, who felt it was their right to diagnose people of HIV infection.

This was not too bad, as it remained what it was - whispers!

Then these patients went to the hospitals, and were diagnosed by scientific means. They began to see the subtle changes in the healthcare team when they cared for them. They began to notice that some healthcare workers even went as far as whisper these test results to the whispering neighbors, and this time the whispers were confirmed by science.

These patients realized that they were being STIGMATIZED! So what happened was the scariest part. People stopped trusting the healthcare system. They stopped carrying out HIV testing, because the system became "THEY" and patients became "WE". The system lost the authority it had to contain this virus and it wreaked havoc in a lot of communities. By the time some order could be put to this madness, a lot of damage had been done.

I have the same fears when it comes to Ebola. It is not only the fact that some people have seen this as a huge opportunity to stigmatize people from a whole continent. It is also the fact that some of those people on social media, are calling themselves nurses, doctors, lab technicians etc. I fear that this may become an "US" and "THEM" game once again, but only on a larger scale.

I have always thought that nursing is a way of life. You do not stop being a nurse because your shift is over, and you clocked out of your work place. People still look up to you, whether you like it or not. I feel that it is a moral obligation for nurses to not only educate themselves on what Ebola really is (and is not), but also to pick up a map of Africa and actually look at it. It is important for nurses everywhere in the world to realize that Africa is a continent (the second largest). It is important for nurses especially, and other healthcare workers to know which countries are known to be involved in the present outbreak, so that we do not discredit our profession by feeding the chaos.

It is very scary when nurses post on social media that Ebola is air borne (H-e-l-l-o? What happened to evidence-based practice?). It is even scarier to post that they are scared to go to work because a colleague visited Kenya, which is in East Africa and a thousand miles from the affected West African countries (And what happened to cultural competence? And a short lesson in geography?). And even scarier and scarier when nurses share and like stories about quarantining visitors from South Africa because of the outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. It cannot get worse when nurses ask questions like why other nurses and doctors were allowed to carry out humanitarian services in these countries.

Unbeknownst to a lot of nurses, they are looked upon as leaders in the community. Their opinion on health related issues is taken by some as the gospel truth. And I am scared to mention that at this point, the public is so scared that they are looking for some sort of guidance - any kind of guidance! If a nurse at this point should have an opinion on Ebola, at least let it be an informed one .The other day, an African friend told me that when they said they were from West Africa " the nurse looked at me as if I had Ebola" . This same person said they were seriously considering not admitting to being West African when visiting the hospital. That sent a chill down my spine, because I cannot imagine how dangerous it is for people to withhold such information.

Imagine for a minute that people are so scared of stigmatization that they do not go to the hospital to be tested for Ebola? Or that they chose to seek help from alternative medicine when experiencing symptoms of Ebola? Or they break their travel up, entering countries from other countries and not admitting their country of origin? It will be a disaster! We need the public to trust the healthcare system now more than ever. In my opinion, the scare tactics are best left to the politicians. At least their ignorance is almost always forgiven. However, we need exceptional nurses who can stay calm in the midst of chaos, and educate themselves and the public about what Ebola really is.

Knowledge is power!

Nursing is my destiny.

3 Articles; 5,333 Profile Views; 13 Posts

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MissyWrite has 25 years experience and specializes in RN, CHPN.

193 Posts; 4,647 Profile Views

Thank you for being a voice of reason.

EVERY American should be very afraid right now.

Not afraid of Ebola -- afraid of our government. Every American should be outraged at just how easy it is to violate our basic human rights and our constitutional protections for absolutely no reason except baseless fear and a politician who wants votes.

THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO FEAR IS FEAR ITSELF.

"Coercive measures like mandatory quarantine of people exhibiting no symptoms of Ebola and when not medically necessary raise serious constitutional concerns about the state abusing its powers," said Udi Ofer, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey.

This nurse is NOT even allowed to speak to her lawyer. Even the worst criminals have a right to speak to a lawyer.

To think that ANY nurse would agree with what's happening is unbelievable to me. First, because they should have the knowledge about Ebola that makes it very apparent this quarantined nurse is not a risk to anyone. Second, because of the horrendous way she's being treated.

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HouTx has 35 years experience as a BSN, MSN, EdD and specializes in Critical Care, Education.

9,051 Posts; 45,767 Profile Views

Totally agree. I am absolutely stunned by the hysteria currently happening in the NE. In the news this morning - Bellevue hospital staff (even non-clinical) are being discriminated against -refused service by merchants & their kids are being shunned in school. C'mon! This is insane. I can't believe that a nurse is being forced to live in a TENT... under the guise of "quarantine" with absolutely no basis. I hope she sues the pants off of the people responsible.

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3 Articles; 13 Posts; 5,333 Profile Views

It is sad indeed. Especially given the fact that people need to self declare that they are coming from countries affected by ebola. I wonder if any of these politicians has thought of what would happen if people decided to not be completely honest about their recent travel. I hear the nurse was released today. I would still sue if I was her!

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stevengarbs has 4 years experience.

29 Posts; 2,780 Profile Views

This is really quite alarming especially if nurses are the one who's creating a mass panic. We nurses should be knowledgeable and should at least provide only the facts to the masses about these disease. This is our responsibility to the world!

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36 Posts; 1,998 Profile Views

Thank you Servewithlove! I am from southern Africa, and have had an earful since the Ebola "fear- fever" broke out- from fellow nurses at work and online! Seriously, I never realized such hate for a people in distress even existed in my career! I am more scared of nurses than I am of Ebola right now, if you ask me…Whatever happened to the Angels of mercy that nurses were once known to be? I am truly disappointed at the mass hysteria, stubborn mis-information and intolerance especially from nurses…Can't believe the attacks on those brave nurses who have literally taken a bullet for their patients and calling!

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41 Posts; 2,601 Profile Views

sorry peeps, but until someone rationally explains how some of the foremost doctors treating these folks while having every protection available, the knowledge and ability to use it correctly, and the stupidity to walk among us while KNOWING they are not absolutely 100% infection free, there will be panic. people, myself included, do not understand how some of the most knowledgable people on the planet about this disease can take risks like this without fully explaining them selves is beyond me. BTW, since you CAN catch this from any bodily fluid like sweat or urine (unlike aids) it is a different animal. And I do not get this nurse…you can go to Africa and live in who knows what kind of conditions and then complain about a tent? Please. Bottom line is that if we had not let one single person into this country from an area affected, there would be NO panic. Perhaps if the government can pull its s**t together enough to provide a single, understandable, coherent argument and policy, there may be time to correct course, but let a couple more infected folks make it though the "screening" or across the border without challenge and you will think you are in a movie.

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sandytoes has 1 years experience.

59 Posts; 3,329 Profile Views

sorry peeps, but until someone rationally explains how some of the foremost doctors treating these folks while having every protection available, the knowledge and ability to use it correctly, and the stupidity to walk among us while KNOWING they are not absolutely 100% infection free, there will be panic. people, myself included, do not understand how some of the most knowledgable people on the planet about this disease can take risks like this without fully explaining them selves is beyond me. BTW, since you CAN catch this from any bodily fluid like sweat or urine (unlike aids) it is a different animal. And I do not get this nurse...you can go to Africa and live in who knows what kind of conditions and then complain about a tent? Please. Bottom line is that if we had not let one single person into this country from an area affected, there would be NO panic. Perhaps if the government can pull its s**t together enough to provide a single, understandable, coherent argument and policy, there may be time to correct course, but let a couple more infected folks make it though the "screening" or across the border without challenge and you will think you are in a movie.

Dude. You totally just made the OPs point. Close borders? Just how would that work exactly? Talk about cresting a nightmare and mass hysteria....

Excellent thoughts, OP. And I think I accidentally liked the border closing post so y'all just ignore me and my fat fingers! Lol

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HouTx has 35 years experience as a BSN, MSN, EdD and specializes in Critical Care, Education.

9,051 Posts; 45,767 Profile Views

Just to reiterate - the number of people dying from influenza this year will completely eclipse the death toll from Ebola. Perspective is important.

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LadyFree28 has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma.

8,427 Posts; 76,169 Profile Views

Just to reiterate - the number of people dying from influenza this year will completely eclipse the death toll from Ebola. Perspective is important.

And that's what people forget...there are far more viruses that are in the community that have produced death and disability than Ebola...let's focus on those. :yes:

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36 Posts; 1,998 Profile Views

Scott5698

And I do not get this nurse...you can go to Africa and live in who knows what kind of conditions and then complain about a tent

[COLOR=#333333]This is telling- no matter what is said about Ebola it is likely to skip your brains because of your ignorant media brainwashing about Africa! If you are a nurse, you should be able to have the basic understanding of Ebola by now... Why would you want the nurse to be imprisoned in a tent when she is clearly not infective? Why don't you quarantine the whole country in flu season, which is clearly more dangerous to you than Ebola is? And BTW while you were busy focussed on the wrong ball, the Enterovirus D68 was ravaging children in your own backyard. The only thing that makes Ebola so fearful to your fear-mongering kind is that Ebola happens to be coming out of Africa, no doubt about that! I would be more concerned about seasonal influenza that will certainly kill more Americans than Ebola which has killed non of them so far!

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