The Government Sucks

As a physician I have many friends who are nurses. I know, I know, this is somewhat unbelievable as that most physicians never even learn their nurses names and just shout things like, “Hey you!” or, “Nurse!”, or “Get over here!”. But it is true, nonetheless that I have several friends who are nurses. I can name twenty to thirty of them quite easily by name! Let me elaborate a little bit about these awesome people.

Most of the nurses I know are hard-working, and underpaid. They clean up the worst messes you can imagine that would turn most people’s stomachs. They clean patients who may not have bathed themselves for weeks. They serve as waitresses. They get yelled at for getting dinner orders incorrect that they weren’t responsible for taking in the first place.

These lovely people got into this profession so that they could make a decent living while helping people and making a difference in a tangible way. They spend nights and weekends away from their precious babies because this is a calling. While most of us are kissing their children good night, these folks are missing theirs.

But I will tell you what they did not sign up for.   They did not sign up for an incompetent government who refuses to protect them from the threat of a deadly illness. They did not sign up to take care of patients that could kill them with inadequate protection. They certainly did not sign up to risk their lives of themselves and their families while being villainized by the same aforementioned incompetent government.

Make no mistakes folks, these nurses are HEROES. If I were faced with caring for a patient with a disease that is 50-70% fatal and the infectious dose of virus required to obtain the disease was 1-10, I would run screaming. They did not. They are HEROES.   If there was a breach of protocol it was on behalf of the CDC for inadequate preparation, not on the part of the nurses who have probably not been trained in that level of safety equipment in ten years if at all.

If this spreads, which hopefully it will not, a lot of health care workers will have difficult decisions to make. Currently, if they stay and take care of a patient with Ebola and get sick they are eviscerated in the media for their breach of protocol. If they refuse and leave, I am sure they will be demonized as well. They are in a darned if they do, darned if they don’t proposition. It is time we start treating these wonderful people like the everyday heroes they are.


  1. Yes. Let’s hope more professionals in healthcare start telling it like it is rather than protecting the facade of underestimations or unpreparedness.

    It is my firm belief is that the CDC were given their marching orders and talking points from this administration and then left to deal with the aftermath of the stupidity. More than one agency under Obama has fallen on their sword due to insane and/or illegal shenanigans…

    • I am a local physician and have had no additional training. Have just been told that if someone comes in with fever and have travel history to walk out the door, isolate them and call the health department. That is not reassuring.

  2. I’ve seen the hardships nurses go through first hand, my wife has lung cancer and frequents the Hospital quite a lot, I always thank the nurses for their hard work caring for my wife.
    I can’t imagine the hard choices they must make when it comes to Ebola and other deadly infections, treat the patient and risk being infected themselves or refuse, the Government SHOULD be providing proper training and proper protections for the nurses and Doctors who have to treat these infectious patients.

  3. I’m an ER nurse and my husband in an intern in his emergency medicine residency. Your blog brought tears to my eyes. Kudos to you. I appreciate your kind words for nurses in general and have tons of respect for physicians such as yourself, who go to bat for the nurses of the world. Thank you!!

  4. I could see these nurses being shunned by the public. Their kids not being allowed to go to school…This whole Ebola issue is so confusing on many levels. Is our government really so incompetent or does it just not care? Maybe both? Why is government scaring the heck out of the public through corporate media and on the other hand ignoring containment protocols? Heck our borders are wide open to anyone, that’s like letting someone come into your house with their muddy shoes on.

  5. If I could reiterate what I said in my blog today which completely agrees with what you say! “Tell me why a huge and self-assured country like America can make so many mistakes over Ebola protection procedure! A nurse who had looked after a patient with a Ebola. Somehow did not follow the correct procedures and somehow manages to come into contact with the virus: She becomes ill. Another person who was involved with the Ebola patient’s treatment is allow to take an internal flight even though they were already displaying signs of fever read more. It looks to me that things need to be taken more seriously and safety procedures need to be tightened up! It is the authorities not the nurses who are to blame . They need more training in how to dress and undress and be prepared to protect themselves against Ebola they need more training!
    William Pooley the English Nurse who has managed to recover from Ebola and is now showing such bravery and is returning to the thick of the outbreak. We are all very proud of our British Medical Core who have already sent out 100, nurses, doctors and consultants to join those already out in Sierria Leone .
    Be assured the public know the truth!

  6. I completely agree with the some of your points, but after having received a talk by a UNICEF official working on the team in the Ebola outbreak centre in Nigeria, she made it apparent that a lot of the healthcare workers had to be coaxed with large sums of money of £300000+ by the Nigerian Government in order for them to volunteer their skills, as barely anyone wanted to come forward to help.

    Just food for thought.

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