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Mass. Nurses Worried About Ebola Preparedness

BOSTON (CBS) - Nurses across the country and here in Massachusetts are sounding an alarm that they haven't been properly trained to deal with Ebola. It's a concern heightened after two Dallas nurses contracted the disease.

The chief of infection control at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston says his days are now consumed with Ebola preparedness, and that training involves all staff including nurses. "We don't usually feel ourselves at risk when we take care of patients, and for a disease as serious as this one, we can certainly understand their anxiety," said Dr. David Hooper.

Training at MGH has stepped up in recent weeks with more layers of protective equipment and learning how to suit up and remove it. But the Massachusetts Nurses Association insists training for dealing with Ebola cases isn't reaching all nurses who are on the front lines of care. The union points to a nationwide survey of members who say their hospitals have provided no instruction, some just getting emails from the Centers for Disease Control.

"Nurses are very frightened and concerned about the lack of resources available to them," said Donna Kelly-Williams MNA president. Around the country nurses have been staging protests calling for better instruction and equipment.

Dr. Hooper insists at Mass General it's become the highest priority. "It's redoubled our attention to make sure we get it right."


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