Illinois Nurses Demand Tougher Ebola Safety Precautions

From Hines VA Hospital in Maywood to Stroger Hospital in Chicago, registered nurses in Illinois demanded tougher Ebola safety precautions in the nation's hospitals.

"We feel as though there hasn't been enough training," Stroger nurse Elizabeth Lalasz said.

Illinois was one of 16 states where nurses picketed Wednesday. Hospital officials responded in a statement saying more than 500 employees of the Cook County health system have been trained and that drills are ongoing.

Officials also said an appropriate treatment space has been identified and a team of health care providers were "thoroughly trained" to care for possible Ebola patients.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues guidelines on precautions but no enforcement.

Jan Rodolfo of National Nurses United said nurses across the nation are worried the lack of enforcement gives hospitals too much leeway about who gets trained, how much training they get and when they get it.

The Chicago area has a group of hospitals designated to manage Ebola, including Rush University Medical Center, which spent almost $1 million to build a bio-containment unit. But the union believes that safety net hospitals like Stroger also are likely to see a patient with Ebola symptoms.

Contact Us