How to Navigate Ebola Concerns as a Nurse

Nurses are at the forefront of infectious disease when patients present with symptoms and full-blown cases at hospital and medical facilities. When performing an assessment on a patient experiencing flu-like symptoms, extra care much be taken to ensure that you remain as safe as possible in an era of Ebola and other contagious diseases.


  1. Image titled Navigate Ebola Concerns as a Nurse Step 1
    Stay calm at all times. The more relaxed you are, the better you'll be able to focus, make decisions, and think more clearly. This action in itself can drastically improve overall safety. Remember that most health care workers have and will be exposed almost continuously to many contagious diseases and, with Ebola, it's no exception.
  2. Image titled Navigate Ebola Concerns as a Nurse Step 2
    Ask questions, as trained. Don't be shy to ask this patient as many questions as you need, to complete your risk assessment.
    • Complete the cough questionnaire; if this fits the clinical picture, proceed with the Ebola questionnaire.[citation needed]
    • Don't forget to inform your staff and co-worker of your findings promptly so they can protect themselves.
    • Always err on the side of caution.
  3. Image titled Navigate Ebola Concerns as a Nurse Step 3
    Stick to the basics. The foundation of infection control in health care anywhere is hand washing with soap and water.[citation needed] Water is the best liquid for cleansing skin, so forget about hand cleansing with alcohol based products and, when in doubt, perform a real hand washing with old fashioned soap and water.[citation needed]
  4. Image titled Navigate Ebola Concerns as a Nurse Step 4
    Familiarize yourself with specialized protective gear.[citation needed] This is not new to you, this is what you've always done, so stay calm.
    • Wear a mask when you spot a patient in the ER, ward, or place of work who has flu symptoms, such as fever, coughing, throat pain, generalized malaise, stomach issues, and weakness.[citation needed] Never re-use a mask and, if it gets moist, change it.[citation needed]
    • Wear a gown if the patient has secretions that are expelled when coughing and there's risk these might make contact with your clothes.[citation needed]
    • It's never a bad thing to go overboard with protection, but it can get you in trouble if you don't protect yourself enough.
  5. Image titled Navigate Ebola Concerns as a Nurse Step 5
    Stay updated each day. Meet your facilities Infection Control Officer.[citation needed] Know your protocols, regulations and up-to-date reviews. Updates can be missed, especially if these are sent via email; you are not reviewing emails all day.
  6. Image titled Navigate Ebola Concerns as a Nurse Step 6
    If going into an isolation room, take a buddy.[citation needed] This is always the best thing to do, an extra set of eyes is better than just one.
  7. Image titled Navigate Ebola Concerns as a Nurse Step 7
    Relax. Do you remember when you took care of that TB patient? Exactly, you've got this! Last but first also––put safety always in perspective and no question is dumb!


  • Knowledge is power––arm yourself with knowledge. The more informed you are, the better decisions you'll make for yourself and for your patients. Read about Ebola flu, its history, transmission, updated prevention techniques and watch the news for updated information that might be extremely useful. Go ahead and enjoy what you like doing the most.


  • Respect and love yourself enough to always wear gloves. Always use your common sense.

Article Info

Categories: Infectious Diseases | Articles in Need of Sources