|Nurses who work on the special clinical studies unit include (from l) Leighann Ebenezer, Debbie Gutierrez, Melissa Hubbard, Kevin Barrett, Kim Adao and Kim Jeffries.
They’re on the job 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They take vital signs, blood and other samples, refill supplies, serve food, disinfect rooms and take out the trash—all while wearing a head-to-toe protective suit and two pairs of gloves.
They are the nurses who care for patients with Ebola or those who may have been exposed to the disease. They work at the Clinical Center’s special clinical studies unit (SCSU), a modern, high-tech facility that provides high-level isolation capabilities.
Caring for these patients presents a set of unique challenges, said nurse Melissa Hubbard, the unit’s clinical manager.
Anyone who enters the patient’s room must follow strict procedures for putting on—donning—and taking off—doffing—protective equipment that covers the whole body, she said. This equipment includes two pairs of gloves, two pairs of shoe covers, a Tyvek suit, disposable gown and a powered air-purifying