Keep your patients as healthy as possible!
The flu is never fun for anyone. If you’re a healthcare worker who helps care for many flu-ridden patients during the fall and winter seasons, then you may understand how important it is to protect yourself and others from catching the dreaded illness.
The flu, or influenza, is characterized by a cough, runny nose, fever, headache, severe muschles aches, and may include other symptoms like fatigue, weakness, and flushed skin.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) highly suggest healthcare workers in all fields and specialties, as well as members of the general public, to get a flu shot annually. This fall season, you’ll want to maintain the integrity of your work environment and offer high health standards to patients who are at an increased risk of getting the flu.
Here are some reasons why healthcare workers should get a flu shot:
1. It’s convenient and easy to get a flu shot
Getting a flu shot doesn’t have to be a drag. Since you’ll be going to the grocery store or purchasing necessities at the drug store eventually, why not stop by the pharmacy? Retail pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens offer free flu vaccinations to the general public. While you’re crossing off some errands on your checklist for the day, take a few minutes to go get the shot. It can be simple, quick, and easy!
2. Your healthcare employer may require a flu vaccination
Most healthcare facilities require that their workers, sometimes including the cleaning staff, get their flu shot. A healthcare staff comes into contact with patients of all types, some of whom may be at a high-risk of catching the illness. Young children, pregnant woman, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses may have weaker immune systems, so it's easier for them to get sick from the flu.
3. Getting a flu shot won’t make you catch the flu
A popular myth can spiral into misinformation! Contrary to what some think, a flu shot can’t give you the flu. The vaccination does use a dead form of the virus, but you won’t get the flu from it. You may experience cold-like symptoms after getting the shot like a runny nose, headache, or a sore throat. However, these symptoms only last for a few days at the most. If you do experience symptoms, you should be back to your old self in no time!
4. Avoid severe symptoms of the flu
If you don’t get the flu vaccination, you could experience severe consequences. The flu could make you more susceptible to pneumonia, sinus infections, ear infections, and dehydration. Feeling ill is awful, so don’t put yourself and the health of your patients at risk. If you have a severe bout of influenza, it could even be fatal. Getting sick also prevents you from going into work and enjoying the holiday season.
5. Proactive protection
Protecting yourself and others can have long-term benefits. Your responsibility as a healthcare worker is to help ensure the protection of patients and other members of the public who visit your facility. You don’t want to be the one responsible for getting another person sick. Getting the flu shot means you’re proactive for maintaining a healthy environment. It represents your dedicated to the health of your patients. You can promote the best patient care practices by protecting the integrity of your hospital or practice. If you get the flu shot, congratulate yourself on being a professional healthcare worker who understands the importance of patient health.
It's necessary to ask your doctor if it's safe for you to get the flu shot just to be safe. Think about all the crucial benefits getting a flu shot can do for you and your patients. We hope you consider these five tips and the power you have to make a great impact on the health of others in your healthcare field!
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