Flu Season: Precautions Healthcare Workers Can Take

As a healthcare worker, staying healthy is essential to your ability to perform your job and protect patients. When it comes to infection control, both education and implementation are key. Fortunately, there are several layers of caution you can exercise in healthcare settings to protect yourself and others during flu season.

Here are four measures to follow in protecting yourself, and those you come in contact with, from healthcare-associated influenza infections.

 

Monitor Your Workspace and Follow Procedures

As always, adhere to your employer’s infection control methods and make it a priority to participate in employee training. Disinfect commonly-touched surfaces throughout your shift and limit sharing equipment among coworkers.

Another way to make sure to minimize exposure risks is by making sure essential supplies, like gloves and face masks, are stocked. Notify housekeeping of shortages, rather than waiting until supplies run out.

 

Keep Personal Care a Priority

With COVID-19 still keeping many medical facilities at capacity with sick patients, healthcare workers are even more susceptible to illness due to long shifts with stressful caseloads. Now is not the time to skip basic hygiene measures, even when you’re swamped with work or simply just exhausted. Washing your hands and wearing designated PPEs are critical in reducing transmission.

As well, pay attention to your own body’s needs. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and exercise. In addition, drinking plenty of water and following a healthy diet can also help stave off fatigue. And if you feel a little under the weather or suffer from seasonal allergies, be sure to follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette to protect others.

 

Get Vaccinated

Furthermore, prioritize getting vaccinated against the flu. The CDC says the flu vaccine is the most important measure to prevent seasonal influenza infection. Getting vaccinated, and encouraging coworkers to do the same, can limit exposing immunocompromised patients to the virus and limit time off from work––both of which could needlessly increase your coworkers’ workload.

 

Self- Monitor for infection

As well as protecting patients, self-monitoring may help prevent you from developing serious flu complications, like pneumonia. Not everyone who has the flu will have a fever, so watch for other symptoms that could indicate infection. Be sure to follow your employer’s sick leave policies regarding reporting for work with a fever and when they consider it safe for you to return to work.

Looking for more on-the-job advice or guidance in your next job search? Contact one of our staffing experts today, and we’ll work with you to find a new job and meet career goals. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

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