The latest case of Ebola is certainly raising concerns about the safety of those caring for patients. Hospitals across the OKC metro say Ebola, and what to do in a possible case, is at the top of their mind.
At Integris hospitals, administrators say they are continually training and updating their plan on not only treating the patient, but protecting staff. All the hospitals have designated Ebola rooms and only two nurses and two doctors will have access to the patient.
Mackenzie Borden is on the Ebola team at Southwest Hospital.
“I'm single. I don't have any children. I don't even have a pet that depends on me to come home at night. I just wouldn't want to ask any of my co-workers who have people who depend on them to do this,” she said.
But volunteering to be on the front lines in a possible case is a risky endeavor. One misstep could have possible deadly consequences, as evidenced in Texas where now two healthcare workers who cared for Thomas Duncan have been diagnosed with Ebola.
“I just know that panicking about it isn't going to do any good. So just start taking it one day at a time, every time I come to work I know it's a possibility,” said Borden.
Doctors at Integris say they are continually updating their procedures. Staff met again on Wednesday after the second healthcare worker in Texas was diagnosed to upgrade their plan.
“I feel like the preparations hit another level when the first case was diagnosed,” said David Chansolme, MD, the Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control for Integris Metro facilities.
Patients are screened at the point of entry to the hospital. Possible Ebola cases would be taken to the designated area and isolated. Mackenzie and another nurse would work rotating twelve hour shifts. Chansolme and another doctor would also care for the patient.
“I don't know that anybody can be ready for it, but we're going to be as ready as we can be,” said Chansolme.
And Mackenzie is trusting with her life that they are.
“If it happens, I know what to do.”