Following a nationwide nurses’ protests demanding for stronger protections for health workers treating Ebola patients, the state of California now requires that the 300 specialized hospitals for acute care provide hazardous material suits, respirators, isolation rooms, and extensive training for workers treating suspected Ebola patients.
This new health regulation was announced by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration agency, and most health workers and nurses have hailed the new regulations as the best in the country, and a model for other states to follow in order to better protect health Ebola workers. The new regulations are widely acclaimed to be more comprehensive than those set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and which most hospitals have been using to handle suspected Ebola cases.
According to the spokesman for National Nurses United, Chuck Idelson, “the governor and OSHA have really inspired nurses with their dedication to this. They’ve shown an absolute commitment to protecting patients and nurses.” And Jan Emerson-Shea, a spokeswoman for the California Hospital Association expands on this by saying “hospitals will continue to work closely with CAL/OSHA officials as hands-on training sessions continue for those employees who are most likely to provide care to patients with Ebola.”
Although only one Ebola death has occurred within the US, and no single case has been reported within California, the deadly epidemic virus has claimed about 5,100 lives in West Africa and rendered 13,000 more hospitalized. It is also hoped that West African hospitals in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, and Nigeria would benefit greatly from this initiative if they adopt the measures put in place in California to protect health workers.