Healthcare workers: Protect yourself from influenza!
November begins several months of holidays and celebrations, but it is also the start of flu season. If you’re a healthcare worker, following healthcare guidelines is important to maintain the integrity and health standards of any healthcare facility. It’s especially important to maintain your own health. With the start of fall and flu season, you may come into contact with many ill patients.
The flu, or Influenza, is a very contagious viral infection which affects the respiratory system. Severe headaches, body aches and pains, fever, sore throat, and a cough are some of its many nuisances. In severe cases, the flu can be fatal.
Annual flu shots are often recommended by many premier health organizations including The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC).
The United States experiences flu epidemics each year, so it’s considered crucial to get a flu shot if you’re interacting with patients almost every day. As a healthcare worker, you’ll want to protect your patients. Getting a flu shot could help you keep your work environment clean and help everyone, including yourself, stay healthy!
Here are five important reasons to get a flu shot:
1. Avoid severe consequences
Becoming infected with the flu may have serious consequences. If you avoid getting the flu shot, there are cases where your symptoms could get worse and you may have to be admitted to the hospital. Getting the contagious viral disease increases your chances of becoming dehydrated, developing pneumonia, and sinus or ear infections. Fatalities can occur from the flu in severe cases. You don’t want to risk your health or your patients'. While, getting the flu shot doesn’t guarantee to protect you completely, it greatly decreases your chances of seeing the adverse effects on your health.
2. Healthcare workers and students: Your work facility may require flu shots
If you’re a healthcare worker, you may be giving direct care to patients. Your healthcare facility may require you to get a vaccination for the flu each year. Flu shots can help you protect yourself, your coworkers, and your patients from the flu. For this reason, most healthcare employers require you to get a flu shot. Requiring flu shots may help patients trust the healthcare facility more and promote the establishment’s dedication to medical ethics and public health.
3. Myth: Getting the flu shot gives you the flu
Sometimes myths are spread without complete knowledge. One persistent myth is that the flu shot can give you the flu. This is incorrect. You cannot get influenza from the flu shot. The vaccine maintains a dead version of the virus so it cannot make you sick. The shot may cause side effects, such as a sore throat or runny nose for a few days. But don’t worry. These symptoms will go away.
4. Getting a flu shot can be easy and simple!
Checking the flu shot off your to-do list can be easy. Call your regular doctor to make an appointment for the shot. You may also get a flu shot during walk-in hours at your pharmacy like Walgreens, CVS, or many other local healthcare facilities. While you’re out grocery shopping or buying necessities, visit the pharmacy area and ask for your flu shot. It doesn’t have to take long and you can be on your way!
5. All for one, one for all!
Once you get your flu shot, you can feel satisfied knowing you’re helping to protect everyone’s health. Your role as a care giver is to maintain a safe environment for the health of your patients. If you live with others who have a high-risk of becoming infected, then consider getting the shot. Don’t put your patients’ health at risk. Your job is to make them better! When you benefit from good health, others may too.
Flu season is here and peaks in December and March. Now’s a great time to get your annual shot! Consult your doctor before getting a flu shot. You’ll want to make sure that your medical history and current health status allow you to come in contact with the vaccine. Harris Casel hopes our students and nearby health community takes advantage of the health benefits a flu shot may offer!
Harris Casel Institute provides public health articles, student advice, and program-related content in our weekly blog. We offer several healthcare career programs at our Melbourne, Florida campus. To learn more about our training programs; contact us today! You won’t regret being proactive about your future!