A woman exposed to Ebola has flown on a commercial airline within the US. Does this seem well-advised to you? Here is my journal rant for today. When you ask the higher ups, you expect the proper answer, don’t you?
Is it just me or are we having a crisis of medical accountability in this country?
When there is an emergency, all staff, support workers and administrators jump into action by doing what they do best, and that is, to be in charge.
It is like securing a crime scene and when a disease is life-threatening, there is a sense of legal duty. We learned that with HIV.
First rule is to keep people safe. That is why the CDC has investigators.
I took crime scene investigation at the community college level. What I am seeing as I watch the news seems to be less than serious behavior by those in charge. They would have flunked crime scene investigation from the starting gate. You don’t contaminate the area. You don’t send sick (or wounded) people home, or into the public…if at all possible.
I took fundamentals of investigations as well and forensic science at the community college level. I didn’t make it all the way through anatomy and physiology because I had a hard time memorizing all the Latin names for the muscles at the end. But wow, did I study. A classmate was in her 60’s, and studying to be a nurse, an RN. She had taken anatomy and physiology four times; she had to pass the class and nobody was going to stop her from becoming a nurse. *Maria Perez, I admired you so.
I chose to take the anatomy simply because it was a huge challenge, I was in my late 40’s and I just wanted to learn. We had to work on a cadaver. It was a man. His face was wrapped. Seeing the human body in its most raw and real state is quite an experience. I’ll never forget it. We were given a stern lecture on being respectful and to not make jokes. When someone has chosen to donate their body to science, it is like the ultimate gift for learning. We were expected to behave as adults.
Back to infectious diseases, wouldn’t public health officials be quite aware of the serious nature of their work in 2014?
Part of my working life included clinical medical records. When a virus hit or a tragedy occurred, everyone knew about it, and you were trained (or supposed to be trained) to be well-informed. I was trained in school child safety by Head Start. When a contagious situation hits, you call the parents and primary caregivers and quarantine. You notify others. You do not go to school or work when you are infectious.
It is called the chain of command and following protocol.
It is called science.
It is called reducing risk of exposing others.
It is: do no harm.
As I work on writing my husband’s 1950 – current polio stories I am reminded of how important it is to stay informed and educated.
Let’s hope the news gets better with this saga. The United States is not a third world country, or is this Katrina all over again with people standing on rooftops calling for help as helicopters fly over taking videos?
*not her real name