DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa Department of Public Health says the chances of an Ebola outbreak in Iowa or the United States for that matter remain extremely low, but extremely low doesn't mean zero chance at all.
"I think nurses care about other nurses and realizes if not for the grace of god, it could have been them. They could have been the ones caring for that first Ebola patient,” said Lynn Boess, a registered nurse and attorney with the Iowa Nurses Association.
Boess says Ebola was one of the big concerns at a state nursing convention this weekend.
"I would say that people are aware, they are concerned, and this is serious."
Many of the state's top nurses have played an important role in working with the CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health to develop protocol currently being implemented in local hospitals.
At Iowa Methodist Medical Center, training continues for nurses as they learn to put on protective equipment and help fellow staff members.
Before the equipment goes on, patients who are vomiting or come in with a fever will be asked questions that can rule out the virus.
"We ask if you have traveled to any of the countries mentioned in the CDC guidelines or if have you been exposed to someone with Ebola,” said Debra Moyer, Chief Nursing Executive for UnityPoint Health in Des Moines.
While the Iowa Nurses Association says it approves of the action being taken locally, the organization urges transparency in the future.
The CDC acknowledges its control methods could fluctuate as more is learned about the virus, and Boess hopes Iowa's nurses are the first to be aware of the changes.
"What's really important is that if there are changes or things we don't know, that's what can hurt us. We need to know the truth, we need to know the facts, and need to know things as soon as they are known so we can take those steps to protect ourselves,” said Boess.