|ER Nurses, Doctors and Techs. Can you tell the difference?|
A classic example of how "shit rolls downhill"...
DALLAS (AP) - A Dallas emergency room sent a man with Ebola home last week, even though he told a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, and officials at the hospital are considering if they would have acted differently had the entire medical staff been aware.
The patient explained to a nurse last Thursday that he was visiting the U.S. from Africa, but that information was not widely shared, said Dr. Mark Lester, who works for the hospital's parent company. "Regretfully, that information was not fully communicated" throughout the medical team, Lester said. Instead, the man was diagnosed with a low-risk infection and sent home.
When in doubt, when trying to cover your ass...blame the nurse.
I 'get' that hospital spokespersons are under a great deal of pressure to explain how Ebola was not suspected in the first ER visit. I 'get' that the community has a right to know where the lapse occurred. However, I doubt seriously that in 24 hours, there was time for an in depth review of this case before making the nurse a scapegoat.
For those of you who are not familiar with working in an ER... It is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of nurses, doctors, techs, clerks and therapists who work together in order to accomplish their goal. They literally risk their lives caring for the physically, mentally and emotionally ill, 12 hours a day,every day they work. Exposure to physical violence and a host of communicable diseases such as Tuberculosis, Hepatitis, HIV (and now, Ebola) keeps everyone on their toes in this dynamic and many times chaotic environment.
In the first hour of a 12 hour night shift, I recall approaching the triage desk when my arm was grabbed by a strange man who came from behind me. He threw me up against the wall as he demanded to know where his "kid was at". Security soon intervened but despite the fact that I had been assaulted, I continued my task and called my next patient. After completing my nursing assessment and documenting the details, I stepped outside of the room where I assisted in apprehending a naked woman running down the hallway. Walking away from that scene and attempting to shake off the bad ju-ju of the night, I was confronted by Dallas Fire Rescue Paramedics who presented me with a huge man, actively spewing bright red blood...it was going to be a long night.
Can you spot where a communication failure could happen here? And this was my experience only. It does not detail the experience of the doctor, techs or therapists in that same hour.Failures in communication happen. It's the nature of the ER beast.
Assigning blame to any one member of the ER team is a slippery-slope. It creates an 'us' against 'them' mentality and has the potential to fracture a department.
Instead of finger-pointing, perhaps a response that included an explanation of the complexities involved in this volatile case and support of the Presby Dallas ER Team would have been most appropriate as I am confident that the intent was to deliver the best care possible.
And Yet Another Update: ... and now, the administration admits that the ER Doc "did have access to his travel history after all" . Presby Dallas Hospital Administration...You're killing me.
Hospital: Ebola Patient in Critical Condition
Hospital spokesman Wendell Watson said Saturday he could provide no further details, saying, "We're still looking into the entire chain of events."