What Nurses Want You to Know About the Flu

There’s no such thing as a good flu season, but 2017-2018 is shaping up to be particularly dangerous. Amidst the many deaths and terrifying complications, there has been plenty of chaos. Nurses understand and even share your fear of the flu. However, NurseCore knows that the best way to combat the flu is to spread information that can help families stay safe and healthy this flu season. This is what nurses wish everyone knew about the flu:

It Has Deadly Complications

This fact isn’t meant to scare worried parents, but rather encourage everyone to take the flu seriously. Influenza itself rarely is the cause of death. However, this virus can cause plenty of life-threatening complications.

Sepsis, inflammation in the lungs, secondary bacterial infections, infections in the heart, and brain swelling can all cause death when someone has the flu. While these complications are more common in the very young, elderly, and people with compromised immune systems, anyone can fall victim to the flu and its co-morbid infections. If you or a loved one has the flu, be sure to know the signs of complications and get help when you need it.

When to Go to the Emergency Room

For many patients, it can be difficult to tell when to head the ER and when to ride it out. After all, normal flu symptoms and emergency signs can be similar. The flu can be particularly dangerous for infants. If your baby shows these signs, do not hesitate to visit the ER:

  • Unable to eat or nurse
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cries but no tear form
  • A significant drop in number of wet diapers

In children, these are the symptoms that require immediate medical attention:

  • Difficulty breathing, including fast breathing
  • Blue skin tone
  • The child cannot keep fluids down
  • You cannot wake the child or interact with them
  • Fever and rash present together
  • The child seems to get better, then the symptoms return with fever and cough

Adults should seek immediate medical attention for these signs:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Sudden-onset dizziness
  • Discomfort and pain in the chest
  • Confusion beyond what is normal for that person
  • Severe vomiting leading to dehydration
  • The adult gets better, but then the symptoms return with fever and cough

You Should Get Your Shot

As a savvy healthcare consumer, you likely heard that this year’s flu vaccine is “not effective” or “less effective.” You may hear that the vaccine is 36 percent effective this year. However, this is an oversimplification of what’s happening. As the flu virus evolves and changes, people need different vaccines to fight against new strains. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must predict which new strains will affect more people in the coming year. Sometimes, the researchers predict this more accurately than other years. However, you should get your flu shot every year, even in “ineffective” years.

No, this isn’t a scam for nurses to get kickbacks from vaccine manufacturers. Our nurses get fair pay, but it is not dependent on how many people get the shot. First of all, a 36 percent reduction in your chances of getting the flu is exactly 36 percent better than not getting the shot at all. Think of it like washing your hands. Sure, it’s not 100 percent effective in preventing illness, but it’s a lot better than doing nothing. In fact, it’s best to use the vaccine as one part of a full toolbelt of flu-prevention techniques.

Furthermore, if you do get the flu, a recent vaccine can help it be less serious. Remember that the flu can be fatal. Any chance of making it less miserable and potentially fatal is a good thing. Remember that the only time it’s too late to get your vaccine is when you’re already sick. It’s better to go get your preventative medicine early in the season, but late is much better than too late.

Other Prevention Techniques

Like we said, the flu vaccine is only one part of prevention. Even if you get your shot like clockwork, you should take other prevention methods like thorough hand washing. Click here to see how the CDC recommends washing your hands. Below are some other important ways to help avoid the spread of this dangerous virus:

  • Use effective disinfectants at home and work
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Do not come into close contact with infected people
  • Stay home if you are infected

Honestly, nurses could write whole volumes about how they feel about the flu. However, these basics will help keep your family safe. Truly, that’s what nurses want most in the world.

Resources:

The Flu is Killing Up to 4,000 Americans a Week

What This Nurse Wants You to Know About the Flu

CDC – FAQ About the Flu

CDC – Flu Symptoms and Complications

How the Flu Turns Deadly

This Year’s Flu Shot is Only 36% Effective. Why You Should Still Get It

CDC – Stop the Spread of Germs

Happy Holidays to Our Professionals

As the year comes to a close and we celebrate the people who matter most to us, NurseCore wants to thank each and every health professional on our team. We are so grateful to work with talented, passionate, and kind people each day.

Here are a few of the ways that you made a difference with NurseCore this year:

1. You Saved Lives

It’s true that saving lives is all in a day’s work for you, but that doesn’t make it any less worthy of praise. Every day that you showed up to work, you were a vital part of keeping a person healthier and happier for a little longer. You are heroes in our book.

2. You Changed Lives

In addition to saving your patient’s lives, you touched the lives of so many others. Each loved one who got to witness your healing powers is better for knowing you. Don’t ever forget that the lives you save go on to affect so many others. It’s a ripple effect of healing.

3. You Inspired People

You never know what child saw your passion and decided to become a nurse one day. You never know who you inspired to be kinder and more thoughtful. You can know for certain that you inspire your NurseCore family each day.

4. You Made Friends

The people you meet in the healthcare industry will change your life, especially the ones in NurseCore. We know we enjoy getting to know you and hope that you have made more friends this year.

5. You Are Set Up for a Great 2018

If 2017 was so great, we can only imagine how incredible 2018 will be. Thank you for being with us this year. We wish you the best holiday season.

Why Everyone Should Give Thanks for Nurses This Year

Turkeys thaw, families travel and leaves fall as Thanksgiving nears. It’s that special time of year in which we give thanks for the things that truly matter.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, NurseCore wants to give thanks to the nurses and other health professionals who save lives each day. Here are a few reasons why you should include nurses on your grateful list this year.

School was Tough

Some people have this idea that nurses chose that profession because medical school was too hard. These people couldn’t be more wrong. Nursing school is grueling, as any nurse will tell you.

Yet, nurses went through it and live with these misconceptions so that they can care for people in their time of need.

They Do the Gross Stuff

Every day, nurses see things that cannot be unseen, smell some nasty scents, and touch stuff from which most people would run. Best of all, they do this without making the patient feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. It’s part of the job and one that deserves thanks.

They Give Everything

Nurses can’t leave their work stress at work. They worry about their patients when they are off the clock. They mourn the loss of patients, and they wonder how former patients are doing now.

Nurses to all of this because they care. They give 100 percent to each patient. Sometimes, this means sacrificing time and effort with their own families.

They Work on Holidays

We should all give thanks for the many professionals who work on Thanksgiving and other holidays. While most of us stuff our faces with food and laugh with family, many nurses give life-saving care.

Illness doesn’t stop when holidays come, and neither do nurses. It’s just one more reason to be thankful for them today and every day.

They Touch Every Life

At some point or another, you or someone you love will need the care of a nurse. Be thankful that these professionals show compassion so freely and care so openly.

This Thanksgiving, NurseCore is grateful for our nurses.

Ready to Quit Your Nursing Job? Do These Things Instead

Nursing is a difficult profession even in the best of circumstances. When you make life or death decisions as often as a nurse, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. If you’re in a particularly bad spot, you may feel ready to quit the profession altogether. Before you do, consider other options.

A great environment, a few stress management strategies, and pleasant co-workers can make being a nurse well worth the while. If you’re frustrated with your current nursing job, don’t change careers just yet. Try these strategies instead:

Get Out of the Hospital

Despite what some people would have you believe, nurses don’t have to work in hospitals to be fulfilled. Many medical professionals hate the hospital setting and think that means that medicine isn’t for them. However, a change in the environment could be all you need.

At NurseCore, our home care providers have flexibility and the feeling of knowing they make a difference every day. Some of our other professionals work in nursing home settings, offices, and schools. Give another environment a shot and you might find that nursing is right for you after all.

Join a Staffing Agency

If you’re looking for a change in environment, you may not be sure what type of nursing is right for you. When that’s the case, if can be risky to accept certain jobs. What if home care isn’t for you? What if you don’t love being a school nurse?

A staffing agency like NurseCore solves these problems for you. We look for nurses of all kinds to fill a variety of positions. If something doesn’t work for you, we can find you a new gig. It’s a great way to explore new kinds of nursing and find the right fit for you.

Practice Self Care

No matter what kind of nursing you practice, the job can be stressful. That’s why it’s important for all nurses to practice self-care techniques. Be sure to set aside regular time to meditate, get a massage, take a bath, or do something else that makes you happy.

Before you give up on nursing altogether, give these strategies a try. You may find that you’re happier than ever.

5 Signs It’s Time for You to Leave the Hospital Job

As a nursing student, you may have dreamed of working on a busy hospital floor. The chaos can be enchanting, after all. There are so many people to take care of and you know you’re the one to do it.

However, after years of working in a hospital, you may find yourself wondering if it’s right for you. There are plenty of home health jobs for experienced nurses that could be better. So, how can a nurse know when it’s time to leave the hospital? Here are the five signs to look for.

  1. You Hear Monitors and Beeps in Your Sleep

Many nurses have a hard time leaving their work at work, especially after particularly emotional days. However, if you can’t seem to relax because the hospital life gets you so wound up, it might be time to switch to a home health job.

  1. You Want More One-on-One Time

Do you ever feel like you have too many patients to provide the best possible care? It’s a common feeling among nurses who want to care for the whole patient, not just their symptoms. Home health jobs allow you to connect with patients in a way that’s more fulfilling.

3. You’re Stuck in a Rut

In nursing as in many industries, staying in one place too long can leave people feeling stuck. If you do the same work over and over again, you can feel like you’re not progressing in your career. If this sounds familiar, a shakeup might be what the doctor ordered.

  1. You’re Tired of Inter-Staff Drama

Do you roll your eyes every time someone tries to gossip with you? Are you tired of drama interfering with your job? This is a problem with some hospital units. However, in home health jobs, you often work independently.

  1. You’re Reading This Still

Let’s be honest: if you’re considering what it would be like to leave your hospital job, there’s something wrong. A change of pace could be what you need.

Back-to-School Health Tips

Summer is over and it’s time for kids to go back to school. As parents rush to gather school supplies, setup a routine, and get the coveted first-day-of-school photo, you should also remember a few health tips. When kids go back to school, they are exposed to plenty of new germs and can get sick more often. However, you can keep your children healthy and happy as they start their new adventure with these tips:

Get Vaccinated

Vaccines can guard your child and any younger siblings safe from life-threatening diseases. Many school districts require children to be up-to-date on certain vaccinations before they can attend classes. However, if your school doesn’t, it’s still a good idea to visit the pediatrician and get those shots. And it’s not just your kids who need them.

If you ensure that your whole family is vaccinated, you will all be better protected. Take a family trip to the pharmacy to get your flu shot and other important vaccines to stay healthier all year round.

Choose a Backpack

While your kid may choose a backpack based on the colors or characters on it, there’s much more to consider than that. A bad backpack can set your child up for spine problems in the future. Choose a backpack that has wide, padded shoulder pads for support. A padded back can also provide protection to keep your kid healthy and strong.

Get Healthy Sleep

If your children don’t get adequate sleep, their immune systems could suffer. While this is true both in the summer and during school, early waking times during the school year make inadequate sleep more likely when classes begin. Establish a good night time routine that starts early enough to get them to bed on time. A good night’s sleep can help your child night only stay healthy, but also learn more.

Check Their Eyes

Eye health is often forgotten when people think about health in general. However, a comprehensive eye exam is important. Start the school year out right with an updated prescription for your little one. This will make school easier without the squinting, too!

Give your kid a leg up by keeping him or her healthy. These tips can help!

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