Have you travelled to Africa is a invasion of privacy?

Posted

Specializes in Pediatrics, High-Risk L&D, Antepartum, L. Has 14 years experience.

I wish I was kidding but I'm not. I was just told that clinics, hospitals, doctor offices and so on asking upon entry if anyone has travelled to Africa recently, been near somebody who had travelled to Africa recently is an "invasive" question and a violation of their privacy.

No joke.

They say this is a battle worth fighting and they won't answer.

They actually believe this is more expensive than their suggestion of following those who eventually came over as already tracked by our government. They believe since the government "knows everyone who has traveled to high risk areas" they should be followed and that these questions should stop.

Don't they have better battles to fight? Invasive question! I just shake my head.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 15 years experience. 1 Article; 7,349 Posts

"Have you been to Africa recently?" is the wrong question to be asking. Africa is the second largest continent on earth and most travelers to Africa are nowhere near Ebola. I went to Africa (Kenya/Uganda) in October and I haven't been asked anything about travel at any of my MD appointments since returning. There are signs up in many hospitals around here saying "Please let us know if you've been to Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea."

IrishIzCPNP, MSN, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Pediatrics, High-Risk L&D, Antepartum, L. Has 14 years experience. 1,344 Posts

"Have you been to Africa recently?" is the wrong question to be asking. Africa is the second largest continent on earth and most travelers to Africa are nowhere near Ebola. I went to Africa (Kenya/Uganda) in October and I haven't been asked anything about travel at any of my MD appointments since returning. There are signs up in many hospitals around here saying "Please let us know if you've been to Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea."

You are completely missing the point.

This is the general question asked by some places and then they go deeper with a yes while others ask more specifically.

This isn't about the proper way to phrase the question. This is about somebody telling me this is an "invasive" question. They are refusing the answer because it is "invasive".

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience. 142 Articles; 9,940 Posts

I'm leery of the government myself, but this is not the hill upon which I would choose to die. Asking if you've been to western Africa is NOT an invasive question---a little absurd, maybe, but invasive? The questions the doctors and nurses ask are the "invasive" ones. LOL

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 15 years experience. 1 Article; 7,349 Posts

You are completely missing the point.

This is the general question asked by some places and then they go deeper with a yes while others ask more specifically.

This isn't about the proper way to phrase the question. This is about somebody telling me this is an "invasive" question. They are refusing the answer because it is "invasive".

Well, to be honest, I'd be VERY tempted to say "no" if any healthcare professional asked me that because it's completely irrelevant to the reason why I'm seeing my Endocrinologist, Oncologist or Ophthalmologist that I went to Africa. That, and since the average American knows nothing about Africa, I'd have to answer all kinds of stupid questions about Ebola despite the fact that I was thousands of miles farther away from Ebola in Uganda than I was from the patients in Dallas, DC or NYC when I'm home. So in some ways I'd have to agree a little with your patients- every aspect of my personal life is not my doctors' business.

TiffyRN, ADN, BSN, PhD

Specializes in NICU. Has 29 years experience. 2,309 Posts

Sir, do you have sex with other men?

Excuse me, but have you inserted anything down there?

Asking someone if they have recently traveled to the countries of Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone, too invasive (and appropriate)

?????

IrishIzCPNP, MSN, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Pediatrics, High-Risk L&D, Antepartum, L. Has 14 years experience. 1,344 Posts

I'm leery of the government myself, but this is not the hill upon which I would choose to die. Asking if you've been to western Africa is NOT an invasive question---a little absurd, maybe, but invasive? The questions the doctors and nurses ask are the "invasive" ones. LOL

I was told it was "invasive" and that it was "discriminating" against people who were "black, had an accent, had a respiratory illness or a GU bug". There are 2 people who are actually telling me this. They believe this is a battle they want to fight and is worth fighting. They believe asking these questions is costly and that if the government just followed everyone who travelled in it would be cheaper. They feel since these questions have not uncovered a single person with ebola it is useless. Now how they know it hasn't uncovered this is beyond me. I can say I have asked these questions so many times and did have somebody who gave us an unexpected response. It turned out to be a false alarm...for now. The person does have reason to be concerned in the near future. These questions uncovered a time for education.

I'm blown away that people would think this is invasive and a battle worth fighting.

IrishIzCPNP, MSN, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Pediatrics, High-Risk L&D, Antepartum, L. Has 14 years experience. 1,344 Posts

Well, to be honest, I'd be VERY tempted to say "no" if any healthcare professional asked me that because it's completely irrelevant to the reason why I'm seeing my Endocrinologist, Oncologist or Ophthalmologist that I went to Africa. That, and since the average American knows nothing about Africa, I'd have to answer all kinds of stupid questions about Ebola despite the fact that I was thousands of miles farther away from Ebola in Uganda than I was from the patients in Dallas, DC or NYC when I'm home. So in some ways I'd have to agree a little with your patients- every aspect of my personal life is not my doctors' business.

It may not pertain to your direct healthcare but understand the reason we are asking is to reduce the risk of exposure within the hospitals and offices. The reality is...much of this is a response to the public fear of ebola that happened.

The question is supposed to ask if you have been to West Africa. The places I have been that asked the question asked for West Africa and have a list of specifics for travel. So unless you said yes to one of the specifics areas...it didn't matter that you were in Africa. You say "no"...done. So they aren't asking Africa in general...they are being specific.

I was told it was "invasive" and that it was "discriminating" against people who were "black, had an accent, had a respiratory illness or a GU bug".

I'm in the ED and we ask this to EVERYBODY who comes in as part of triage -- how can that be considered discriminatory?

IrishIzCPNP, MSN, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Pediatrics, High-Risk L&D, Antepartum, L. Has 14 years experience. 1,344 Posts

I'm in the ED and we ask this to EVERYBODY who comes in as part of triage -- how can that be considered discriminatory?

I don't know. I told these 2 people we ask EVERYONE regardless of color, accent or illness. But...these are people who don't work in healthcare and I actually suspect aren't well educated. There is a clear mistrust of the government being shown too. So I think they believe this is a big government thing. I don't get it. It just isn't invasive or discriminatory nor a battle worth fighting.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 42 years experience. 4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

The question can ans is asked...whether the patient answers it is their choice. If everyone is asked....then there is no discrimination. If a patient told me they felt it was private/discriminatory.... I would tell them it is s routine question just like "Is there anyone hurting you at home/do you feel safe? When was your last Tetnas shot? How much do you weigh" or "Are you allergic to any medicine" "Have you ever been hospitalized/surgery before? What meds do you take?" It is a past of the medical history necessary for the MD to treat them and are usual and customary in the triage process.

If they refuse...make note flag the chart so the MD knows and let it go.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 42 years experience. 4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

I don't know. I told these 2 people we ask EVERYONE regardless of color, accent or illness. But...these are people who don't work in healthcare and I actually suspect aren't well educated. There is a clear mistrust of the government being shown too. So I think they believe this is a big government thing. I don't get it. It just isn't invasive or discriminatory nor a battle worth fighting.
But t them it is....so your responsibility it to educate them. Tell them you are sorry they feel that way but it is routine. They can discuss it with the MD.

Then let it go....you can't fix everyone. Is it crazy? Yes....but there is nothing you can do.