College of Nursing prepares students and faculty for Ebola

Halee Heironimus

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences has taken steps to update the Ashland University community on policies and procedures regarding the Ebola virus.

The faculty is being informed of appropriate responses through professional organizations, including the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the American Nurses Association and the Center for Disease Control. 

On October 16, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences participated in a conference call with nurses across the United States and officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Students were encouraged to sit on the discussion to learn how to safely care for a patient with Ebola while protecting the health of themselves and others in contact. 

“On the day of the Health and Human Services webinar, I had several students and their faculty in my office listening to this national broadcast,” said Dr. Juanita Reese Kline, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Nursing.

“I was thankful for the opportunity to learn- to hear the types of questions others had and to have my own answered as well,” nursing student Kelly Fruth said. “When it comes to dealing with situation like the one the world is faced with today concerning Ebola, knowledge is power. Killing the myths and providing the healthcare team with facts is essential.”

The call leaders from the webinar included Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, The Health Resources and Services Administration and The CDC.

The local Mohican District Nurses Association, associated with the American Nurses Association, also completed a presentation to their members and guests regarding the virus. At a previous meeting, students were invited to participate in the program “Emerging Diseases and Re-Emerging Diseases (Ebola).”

In addition to the conference call and presentation, the College recently launched a page on Ashland University’s website regarding information about the virus.

“The College of Nursing and Health Sciences wanted to provide the Ashland University community with a resource where they could locate up to date, accurate information on the Ebola outbreak, self-protection and safety to our communities,” said Faye Grund, Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

The College determined that providing accurate information through reliable organizations, including the CDC, is the best way to keep the University community informed. The resources may be found on, including symptoms, how the virus is transmitted, risk of exposure and prevention.

“[The] faculty has been encouraging students to stay abreast of issues related to the Ebola virus by utilizing reliable resources such as the Center for Disease Control,” said Dr. Reece Kline. “Their site is updated daily regarding Ebola.”

According to the CDC, the 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. 

The United States have also experienced two imported cases, including one death, and two locally acquired cases in healthcare workers.  

While many are concerned about the travesty of this public health crisis in West Africa, Dean Grund stressed the importance to respond professionally to insure an appropriate response within the U.S. borders and to recognize those who are assisting others internationally.

“One of our own graduates has recently been deployed to Liberia with the U.S. Public Health Service to assist this country in their response to the epidemic,” she said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those impacted by this virus, families impacted by the death of a loved one, those who are involved in treating those diagnosed with the illness, and those who are assisting with the public health needs to prevent further transmission.”

The alumnus’ name cannot be released until clearance from a superior officer. Information may be released at a later date.