Nurses Demand Better Ebola Preparation

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SACRAMENTO-

Diane McClure is a registered nurse at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center.

She told FOX40 if there were ever an Ebola outbreak in the United States, California nurses would be grossly unprepared.

"They should have gotten on the ball and started that education and training and getting the proper equipment right away," McClure said. "We need to have proper equipment in place and proper training in place in order to do that."

McClure said at her hospital the equipment is questionable and her staff has done no drills preparing for an Ebola patient.

"We need to practice drills that are not just something you learn via video or training session," McClure said.

She said that's especially concerning, considering in August the same hospital had a patient who had the symptoms of Ebola, which eventually turned out to be a false alarm.

"And ever since that happened we asked for proper training, because there were a lot of holes in that training which was kind of on the fly," McClure said.

Tuesday, McClure and others with the California Nurses Association are meeting with Governor Brown to change all of that, and to get everyone on the same page.

"Right now you've got different entities doing different things and we need to have everything done the same way so we've got the optimal training and the optimal equipment that we need," McClure said.

Currently only two people in the US have known cases of Ebola, and both are nurses.

Even though that number is very low, McClure points out it's better to be safe than sorry, and that most medical providers can afford the best equipment.

"Kaiser profits 12 million dollars a day and that's profits after bills are paid. They actually have a reserve of 21 billion dollars in the bank right now, so this shouldn't be a matter of trying to save money," McClure told FOX40.

The Director of Kaiser Hospital Operations and Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Stephen said the claims of no training are untrue.

Kaiser said it already had Ebola identification and isolation guidelines in place in August when there was that Ebola scare in the Sacramento area.

They are training Ebola response teams at every medical center and have increased education efforts like lectures at each medical center, along with print materials, videos and training sessions for putting on and removing personal protection equipment.

Kaiser also claims to hold simulation drills at every medical center.

Currently both Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association are in contract negotiations.

Lance Klug contributed to this report.