Nurse recounts experience treating Ebola patients

Nurse recounts experience treating Ebola patients. | Courtesy of Shutterstock
The American Journal of Nursing published the personal account of a nurse who supported Ebola outbreak efforts this week.

Deborah Wilson, a registered nurse spent five weeks managing a nursing team at an Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in Foya, Liberia. The ETU that Wilson worked with consisted of two hospital buildings that were surrounded by tents with high- and low-risk zones.

In her account, Wilson noted the difficulty of treating patients and establishing that connection necessary to provide health care services while wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). These garments were a necessity in order to prevent the spread of the disease, especially in the high-risk zones. She said that confirmed and probable Ebola patients were on mattresses in high-risk zones.

The ETU’s psychological team offered emotional and psychological support for patients. Wilson said that they often facilitated communication between patients, their families and staff.

The ETU in Foya admitted 384 confirmed cases and reported an approximate 40 percent survival rate.

Wilson reported that it was unusual to have a shift where no patients expired during treatment.

"As an international community, we cannot forget West Africa," Wilson said. "Rather, we must continue to provide support to the affected countries and their people as they recover and begin to flourish again."

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