The fall and winter are a tricky time of year for healthcare workers. It’s a constant battle to keep yourself in your best health to attend to those who rely on you for care. This is especially true for travel nurses, as you will almost certainly spend a portion of your day taking care of the very people who can make you ill—those suffering from the flu. There’s no way to prevent the flu completely, but with a few smart precautions, you can reduce your risk of getting ill while on assignment.
Tips for avoiding the flu
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend vaccination as the single most important way to avoid getting the flu. Flu shot clinics pop up every fall—usually as soon as September—in pharmacies, grocery stores, and possibly even within your facility. Your employer may even cover your flu shot at 100 percent in an effort to keep you well this flu season. If not, it may be available at a discount through your healthcare benefits plan. Check with your recruiter for more information.
In addition to a flu shot, follow these tips for good health during flu season:
- Wash your hands frequently. This helps prevent germ transfer. Use hot water and soap and wash up to your wrists and underneath your fingernails. Be sure to wash your hands in between patients; before you eat or handle food; and after you’ve handled pets.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Unless you’ve just washed your hands, avoid contact with these common entrances for germs.
- Exercise regularly. Basically, by keeping yourself in great shape, you’ll be at your peak to avoid the flu. Of course, if you feel run down, skip exercise until you’re feeling back on your feet.
- Get plenty of rest. This helps your immune system give its very finest performance. The days are shorter during the fall and winter, so take advantage of the extra darkness by getting to bed on time each night.
- Stay hydrated and eat well. Lots of water can help feel your best as well as flush germs through your system. Also, eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains will help you stay healthy with the vitamins and minerals your body needs for wellness.
- If you get sick, stay home. This gives you the time you need to heal, and helps prevent the spread of germs to your patients and co-workers.
Be the healthiest you can be this flu season!
Get vaccinated against the flu and take steps to be well. Help spread the value of preventive care by encouraging your patients to do the same.
Are you looking for a new travel assignment?
MedPro Staffing recruiters work with travel nurses, pharmacists and other allied healthcare professionals for placement in assignments across the country. To learn more about positions we currently have available, contact MedPro Staffing today.