Suited, booted and ready to help

Julie Flaherty spent five weeks at an Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone as part of a team of NHS volunteers

Julie Flaherty spent five weeks at an Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone as part of a team of NHS volunteers.

Abstract

UK-Med recruits and co-ordinates healthcare professionals from the NHS to respond to international humanitarian crises.  I am one of the volunteers on its emergency register, and have undertaken humanitarian missions to Uganda and India. So when UK-Med called on NHS staff to help with Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone in September last year, I knew I could make a difference.  

Two months later, and after a selection interview, I was among 32 nurses, doctors and paramedics who underwent training at the Ministry of Defence army base in York. The focus was on the process of donning and doffing the personal protective wear used in Ebola treatment centres in Africa, including a body fluid repellent suit with hood, a separate face mask plus a hood with mask and goggles.

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This article was published in Nursing Standard, 18 March 2015, volume 29, issue 29.

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