Prepare Your Staff for Flu Season
Flu season tends to come around every year, but it can sometimes be more difficult to manage than it is at other times. If you have a plan for dealing with what’s about to happen, you’re more likely to get through this year’s flu season with as few issues as possible.
Flu Season Can Be Particularly Hard on Nursing Staff
People who work in the healthcare industry, and particularly nurses, are more susceptible to the flu and to other illnesses than most people simply because they are the ones helping the folks who are getting sick. Germs spread with contact and having a higher concentration of flu germs floating around waiting rooms and examination rooms ups the likelihood that your staff is getting exposed to more than a few versions of the flu.
Vaccinations Help, but May Not Prevent All Cases
Flu vaccinations are an excellent way to reduce the risk of getting the flu. They help to boost immunity against various types of the flu but they can also slow down the rate of infection in the general community. It’s important to remember, though, that just getting the vaccine doesn’t guarantee that someone won’t get a version of the flu that wasn’t covered by this year’s vaccine.
Remind Staff about Self-care and Flu Prevention Ideas
Hand washing and the flu vaccine are the two best ways to prevent the flu. But there are other ways to make sure that staff members are as healthy as possible, too. These tend to fall under general self-care and contribute to stronger health overall. Things like resting when needed, exercising regularly, and eating well all help to keep the immune system as strong as possible so that it can fight off even the flu.
Have a Plan for Supplemental Staffing
If staff members do get the flu, you need to have a plan. First, encourage staff to see their own doctors as soon as they suspect they’re sick. Getting a proper diagnosis of the flu means that flu medications are more likely to be effective. On your side of things, it helps to have supplemental staff that you can count on to come through in a pinch. Just because members of your nursing staff have the flu, that doesn’t mean that patients aren’t still visiting you.
The flu can hit anyone at any time, but if you’re prepared to weather the storm until everyone on your staff is back on their feet, you can still help your own patients. Having access to supplemental staffing options can be the tool you need the most.