As hospitals across the country ready themselves for a possible outbreak of Ebola in the United States, WakeMed is pulling staff together to learn more about handling the deadly virus in a health care setting. Trainings, organized and led internally by the WakeMed Emergency Services Institute (ESI), began in September and will continue throughout October for employees of the Adult Emergency Department, pediatrics, the critical care departments, Infection Prevention & Control, Occupational Health, the hospital intensivist team, Labor & Delivery, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Respiratory Therapy, among others.
These trainings have allowed WakeMed’s health care providers to get better acquainted with using more extensive personal protective equipment (PPE), such as thicker gowns, three sets of gloves and powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs), while performing patient care and to gain insight on other necessary protective procedures should Ebola ever come to WakeMed. Several select employees, from areas such as Environmental Health & Safety, CapRAC, Infection Prevention, Occupational Health, Materials Processing & Distribution, Environmental Services, the Adult Emergency Department and others, will be trained to be part of a Support Team that can assist the Clinical Team with things such as the correct donning and doffing of PPE, managing specimens and waste correctly, and managing the traffic into and out of a controlled area.
Additionally, WakeMed ESI is actively working with other internal hospital departments to assess and enhance the current PPE available for staff and to develop long-term plans for the handling of infectious diseases that we may not be used to dealing with or have never dealt with before. Recently, Dr. Barb Bisset, executive director of WakeMed ESI, told The News & Observer that none of the preparations are particularly tricky, as the hospital frequently has to set up protocols for contagious diseases that haven’t appeared here, but they are necessary.
Learn more about what WakeMed and other area hospitals are doing to prepare for the possibility of Ebola in this recent News & Observer article.
See a photo gallery from a recent employee training class below: