As nurses, doctors and healthcare workers across the country watch the Ebola crisis in western Africa with deep concern, our hearts go out to our colleagues caring for Ebola patients in West Africa and elsewhere -- especially those who are volunteers -- and to patients and families affected by the virus. Given the potential for the virus to spread, we want every nurse and healthcare worker to know the facts, dispel myths and be prepared to screen, identify and treat potential patients in their hospitals, clinics and other facilities.
We also know that many service workers, including those at airports around the country, have a critical role in preventing the spread of infectious disease. I am proud to know that our own SEIU Health and Education Fund, in collaboration with 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East and the Doctors Council of New York is conducting an infectious disease training for New York airport workers on Thursday, October 9. The training will introduce cabin cleaners, wheelchair attendants and terminal cleaners from Kennedy and LaGuardia airports to guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on identifying and protecting against exposure and spread of infectious diseases at airports.
SEIU Healthcare will continue to coordinate efforts with hospitals, clinics, and other workplaces to ensure our fellow workers across the country are prepared.
Last week, members of the Partnership for Quality Care (PQC), a coalition of the nation's leading hospitals, and SEIU nurses and frontline caregivers, were briefed by Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC. Click here to view Dr. Frieden's presentation to the PQC.
Please read and share these important resources for front-line caregivers:
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Ebola Information for Workplace Safety and Health
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Ebola Information for Protecting Workers from Ebola Virus
OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen and Needlestick Prevention