Nurses’ Union Head: Health Care Workers Can’t Be Expected ‘to Use Their Common Sense’

The co-president of National Nurses United, the nurses’ union that represents 185,000 nurses nationwide, said Friday that medical professionals shouldn’t be expected to use their common sense when it comes to Ebola exposure and potentially spreading it to others.

“I think it’s unrealistic to expect that any health care professional that’s working under extremely stressful situations, including Tina and Amber and several doctors – you have to remember that they’re humans. You can’t expect them to use their common sense at that point, because they’re patients,” Deborah Burger told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at a hearing Friday on the federal response to the Ebola outbreak.

As reported, Dr. Craig Spencer returned from working with Ebola patients in Guinea on Oct. 14 and began feeling sluggish on Tuesday. He developed symptoms, however, including a fever on Thursday. On Wedneday, the day before he came down with symptoms, he went bowling and took a cab through the ridesharing service Uber. He even rode on three subway lines in recent days.

“I think one of the concerns of the public is that three health workers have been infected in the U.S., and one actually overseas returning, and I think we’re all looking for the right sort of response,” Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) said at Friday’s hearing.