Chief Emory nurse explains why Ebola patients were brought to U.S.

Emory Head Nurse
AP Photo/WSB-TV Atlanta

Information and misinformation about the Ebola virus have spread rapidly in recent weeks, particularly after two victims infected with the virus arrived in the U.S. from Africa and were taken to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Now, the chief nurse at Emory Healthcare has written a letter explaining why the patients were brought to the U.S.

Susan M. Grant, RN, published “I’m the head nurse at Emory. This is why we wanted to bring the Ebola patients to the U.S.” in the Washington Post on Wednesday. The article includes the subtitle, “These patients will benefit—not threaten—the country.”

In the first portion of the article, Grant addresses the fact that some in the U.S. “responded viscerally on social media” with fears that bringing the patients would spread the disease to this country.

“Those fears are unfounded and reflect a lack of knowledge about Ebola and our ability to safely manage and contain it,” she wrote. “Emory University Hospital has a unit created specifically for these types of highly infectious patients, and our staff is thoroughly trained in infection control procedures and protocols.”

But she also went on to say that the core reason for bringing the patients to the U.S. is because of the overall “foundational mission” of healthcare in the U.S.

“The purpose of any hospital is to care for the ill and advance knowledge about human health,” she wrote.

She explains that Emory and the staff working with the patients are fully equipped and prepared to work in a situation such as this. She emphasized that everyone involved in the treatment of the patients volunteered for the job, adding that “at least two nurses canceled vacations to be a part of this team.”

Read the whole article here, then tell us: What do you think? Do you agree with Grant that “we can fear, or we can care”?

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