Nurse in quarantine complains about her treatment

Sorry, but I cant' work up a lot of outrage over this account of her quarantine by Kaci Hickox, a nurse returning from West Africa where she treated Ebola patients. She would apparently prefer to be walking around freely while "self monitoring" her condition.

And her self serving, self pitying account of how she was treated by screening personnel leaves me cold.

I am a nurse who has just returned to the U.S. after working with Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone - an Ebola-affected country. I have been quarantined in New Jersey. This is not a situation I would wish on anyone, and I am scared for those who will follow me.

I am scared about how health care workers will be treated at airports when they declare that they have been fighting Ebola in West Africa. I am scared that, like me, they will arrive and see a frenzy of disorganization, fear and, most frightening, quarantine.

I arrived at the Newark Liberty International Airport around 1 p.m. on Friday, after a grueling two-day journey from Sierra Leone. I walked up to the immigration official at the airport and was greeted with a big smile and a “hello.”

I told him that I have traveled from Sierra Leone and he replied, a little less enthusiastically: “No problem. They are probably going to ask you a few questions.”

He put on gloves and a mask and called someone. Then he escorted me to the quarantine office a few yards away. I was told to sit down. Everyone that came out of the offices was hurrying from room to room in white protective coveralls, gloves, masks, and a disposable face shield.

One after another, people asked me questions. Some introduced themselves, some didn’t. One man who must have been an immigration officer because he was wearing a weapon belt that I could see protruding from his white coveralls barked questions at me as if I was a criminal.

Two other officials asked about my work in Sierra Leone. One of them was from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They scribbled notes in the margins of their form, a form that appeared to be inadequate for the many details they are collecting.

I was tired, hungry and confused, but I tried to remain calm. My temperature was taken using a forehead scanner and it read a temperature of 98. I was feeling physically healthy but emotionally exhausted.

Three hours passed. No one seemed to be in charge. No one would tell me what was going on or what would happen to me.

If it were me doing the screening and testing, I wouldn't be all smiles and sunshine either. We are asking these health workers to expose themselves to a potential carrier of Ebola. What does she expect?

I don't care how small the chance of spreading the disease is, it is up to the authorities to do everything in their power to prevent another American from getting sick. That's the bottom line. And if our screening personnel don't have the interpersonal skills of Dr. Phil, we didn't hire them for that reason.

We should commend Hickox for her service. And we should condemn her for her martyr complex.

 

Sorry, but I cant' work up a lot of outrage over this account of her quarantine by Kaci Hickox, a nurse returning from West Africa where she treated Ebola patients. She would apparently prefer to be walking around freely while "self monitoring" her condition.

And her self serving, self pitying account of how she was treated by screening personnel leaves me cold.

I am a nurse who has just returned to the U.S. after working with Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone - an Ebola-affected country. I have been quarantined in New Jersey. This is not a situation I would wish on anyone, and I am scared for those who will follow me.

I am scared about how health care workers will be treated at airports when they declare that they have been fighting Ebola in West Africa. I am scared that, like me, they will arrive and see a frenzy of disorganization, fear and, most frightening, quarantine.

I arrived at the Newark Liberty International Airport around 1 p.m. on Friday, after a grueling two-day journey from Sierra Leone. I walked up to the immigration official at the airport and was greeted with a big smile and a “hello.”

I told him that I have traveled from Sierra Leone and he replied, a little less enthusiastically: “No problem. They are probably going to ask you a few questions.”

He put on gloves and a mask and called someone. Then he escorted me to the quarantine office a few yards away. I was told to sit down. Everyone that came out of the offices was hurrying from room to room in white protective coveralls, gloves, masks, and a disposable face shield.

One after another, people asked me questions. Some introduced themselves, some didn’t. One man who must have been an immigration officer because he was wearing a weapon belt that I could see protruding from his white coveralls barked questions at me as if I was a criminal.

Two other officials asked about my work in Sierra Leone. One of them was from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They scribbled notes in the margins of their form, a form that appeared to be inadequate for the many details they are collecting.

I was tired, hungry and confused, but I tried to remain calm. My temperature was taken using a forehead scanner and it read a temperature of 98. I was feeling physically healthy but emotionally exhausted.

Three hours passed. No one seemed to be in charge. No one would tell me what was going on or what would happen to me.

If it were me doing the screening and testing, I wouldn't be all smiles and sunshine either. We are asking these health workers to expose themselves to a potential carrier of Ebola. What does she expect?

I don't care how small the chance of spreading the disease is, it is up to the authorities to do everything in their power to prevent another American from getting sick. That's the bottom line. And if our screening personnel don't have the interpersonal skills of Dr. Phil, we didn't hire them for that reason.

We should commend Hickox for her service. And we should condemn her for her martyr complex.