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Nurses Say California Hospitals Unprepared For Ebola Outbreak; Gov. Brown Hears From Healthcare Workers

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- Bay Area nurses say their hospitals are unprepared to handle Ebola patients during a rally Tuesday in Oakland.

Meanwhile, members of California's largest nurses' union met with Gov. Jerry Brown and other health care experts in Sacramento Tuesday a day after federal health officials issued new guidelines for health care workers treating Ebola patients.

Nurses at the rally outside a meeting of the California Department of Industrial Relations in Oakland said protective equipment and training is needed now.

Healthcare workers at the Oakland rally and at the Sacramento meeting said they want the governor the mandate hospitals follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new Ebola protocols.

"I have a hard time believing that there are enough hospitals in the state that could provide safe care to Ebola patients," said Deborah Burger of the California Nurses Association at the Oakland rally.

Burger said nurses did not have a lot of faith in their hospitals and employers to be fully prepared in treating Ebola patients.

In Sacramento, all the major players in California healthcare said they were able to make their case to the governor.

"The nurses talked about the issues in the hospitals, the dangers they see for themselves," said National Nurses United Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro."The dangers they are carrying home to their families and the dangers they could present to the patients themselves."

Healthcare workers at the meeting said Brown gets the big picture as well as the technical aspects of disease prevention, and that they need more training and more equipment.

A national survey of nurses found 84 percent say they have not been given Ebola education where they can ask questions.

DeMoro said hospitals have inadequate equipment, referring nurses to websites rather than deploying teams to interact with them.

The CDC's new Ebola guidelines call for health care workers caring for Ebola patients to wear face shields, hoods, boot covers and other clothing, leaving no part of the body exposed.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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