Get aggressive this flu season

By: American Nurse Today

It’s official, we’re experiencing an especially nasty flu season. Emergency departments are overflowing and patients are waiting for beds. Of course, this means nurses are surrounded by sick patients and co-workers. And while you may have heard all this before, it’s worth repeating…and repeating.

Hand hygiene, hand hygiene, hand hygiene. It’s the best way to stop flu transmission. All that hand washing may be rough on your hands, so talk to your infectious disease department about approved lotions.

Are you sick? Stay home. Of course, check with your organization’s sick day policies, but you know that the best thing for you, your colleagues, and your patients is to stay home if you have the flu.

Share what you know. You’re a fount of knowledge about the flu, so share it with patients and hospital visitors so they can protect themselves and prevent passing it along if they do get sick.

It’s not too late to vaccinate. Ask all patients if they’ve been vaccinated. If they haven’t, remind them to do so pronto.

Get masked. If you suspect a patient in the emergency department has the flu, put a mask on him. And don’t forget to wear a mask and gloves yourself.

Read more about how you can get tough with the flu here.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or recommendations of the American Nurses Association, the Editorial Advisory Board members, or the Publisher, Editors and staff of American Nurse Journal. This has not been peer reviewed.

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