New Ebola Hotline for Healthcare Workers Launched

IB ImageThe new hotline will provide a place for frontline healthcare workers to confidentially report concerns that could put them at risk for potential exposure to Ebola, so they can protect themselves, their patients and their communities. The hotline also will support federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines requiring health facilities to have Ebola preparedness and response plans.
 
Call (202) 393-6300 to reach the hotline.
 
"Our top priority as the nation's second-largest union of nurses continues to be ensuring the safety of our communities and our nurses and frontline providers," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. "To do so, those frontline providers need training and resources. In places such as the UConn Health Center in Farmington, I have seen firsthand that nurses and health professionals are working with their hospitals to put plans in place."
 
Click here for photos of Randi's Health Center tour with our University Health Professionals union leaders.
 
"But we know that too many facilities haven't provided the training, support or resources needed. With OSHA mandating Ebola preparedness plans at every health facility, we wanted to create a resource for nurses and health professionals to turn to if their facility is not providing what is necessary to protect them and their communities," Weingarten said.
 
Click here for OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens standard, which covers exposure to EVD.
 
This is the latest step in the AFT's local, national and international effort to combat and contain Ebola. In October, the union released a three-point strategy to protect healthcare workers and communities, including:
  1. Infection-control protocols and worker-preparedness plans at all health facilities;
  2. Dedicated, specially trained and adequately staffed teams of doctors, nurses, lab and X-ray technicians, and housekeeping staff to care for potential Ebola patients; &
  3. Inclusion of frontline providers in the development and implementation of plans.
AFT locals have been working with employers across the country to put these strategies to work. For example, in Washington state, our leaders worked with state officials and hospital management to implement the right training and equipment. And at UConn Health Center, hundreds of members have volunteered to participate in training. 
 
In addition, AFT's online Ebola response toolkit continues to be updated with tools and resources both to help healthcare workers and to support preparedness in public schools.
 
Click here for access to Ebola readiness resources for union members and staff.
 
On an international level, AFT has contributed resources from our Disaster Relief Fund to combat and contain Ebola in West Africa, including support for the organization Doctors Without Borders.
 
Click here for the recently adopted AFT resolution on actions in response to the global Ebola health crisis.