Combating A Killer
Do you get a flu shot every year? If so, congratulations…you found the best way to combat the ever-changing, potentially deadly flu virus. Still, many people don’t get vaccinated each year. As a result, nurses may be called in to provide the first line of care for affected patients.
It’s important to start thinking about this now, as we prepare for the start of the next flu season in the fall.
Nurses Are Vital to the Battle Against Influenza
California TV’s “Nurse Barb” has reported nurses often are on the front lines during healthcare issues, such as an uptick in flu cases when people don’t get vaccinated. That puts added stress on those who work in urgent care settings and pharmacy-based walk-in clinics. “They are at the forefront of encouraging flu vaccines, but also see and treat people who would normally be walking into emergency rooms,” according to Nurse Barb.
Nurses are the ones who know when and how to leave emergency slots open for those who need to be seen urgently. If faced with an unexpected hike in flu activity, healthcare providers can get caught off guard. When that happens, nurses must improvise to deal with an increased number of patients.
How Nurses Are Making an Impact
A few years ago, nurses at a Pennsylvania hospital wound up creating “surge tents” to treat patients with flu-like symptoms to avoid spreading the virus. That same year, a New Jersey facility installed a hand hygiene scanning device to ensure anyone entering or leaving patient rooms had thoroughly washed their hands first.
If you or a loved one were ever among those treated for the flu, chances are a nurse played a major role in your or their recovery. Maybe that’s a role you’d like to fill in the future. If so, check out more on what a career in nursing can provide you at Denver College of Nursing.
Dr. Anders directs a 13-state network of nursing campuses, including Denver College of Nursing, that encompasses more than 5,000 nursing students.