17-Nov-14 11:00 AM  CST

California Becomes the First State to Enact Laws Protecting Health Care Workers from Ebola Virus

California has become the first state in the Nation to establish stricter guidelines for health care workers caring for patient’s stricken by the Ebola virus. The tighter regulations, announced Friday by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, mandates that acute- care hospitals provide hazardous materials suites, respirators, isolation rooms, and comprehensive training for health care workers who are or may be caring for patients that may have been infected by the Ebola virus.

            This move comes after a disastrous string of events placed Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas, at the front of the news last month. Although California has not had any documented cases of Ebola, Nurses’ associations have praised the move from the state across the Country, as being a bold move, and one that is essential for protecting the lives of those administering care to patients struck by the disease. The newly adopted guidelines are said to be more stringent than those recommended by the CDC.

            The new guidelines also requires health care facilities to provide medical services to staff involved in the care of patients diagnosed with the Ebola virus. The services, which include monitoring, testing, and temporary quarantine if exposure occurs. Along with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and health care services, employees must be permitted to practice donning and removing PPE. This requirement is also in direct response to issues, which came to light during the events at Texas Presbyterian Hospital.

            Finally, the new regulations also mandate that health care facilities name a site manager, whose job will include oversight of protocol during an event involving care of a patient diagnosed with Ebola, as well as training procedures for staff. California’s move towards protection of the its health care workers is hailed as a move in the right direction, and one that will most likely have other states taking notice.

 

 

 

 

Resources:

Jones, C. “ California Adopts tough Ebola-protection rules for health workers”, SF Gate, http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/California-adopts-tough-Ebola-protection-rules-5894274.php, referenced, 14.November 2014

“Responding to Ebola”, SEIU.org, 11-7-14, http://www.seiu.org/a/responding-to-ebola.php, referenced 14.November, 2014

 


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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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