Healthcare Workers: Get Your Flu Shot!

5 essential reasons for healthcare workers to get a flu shot!

‘Tis the season for your flu shot! October brings cooler weather, changing leaves, and —unfortunately—the start of flu season. If you’re a healthcare worker, it’s important to remember to get your flu shot this fall.

Influenza is an extremely contagious viral infection in the respiratory systems. The illness may cause severe headaches, aching, a fever, sore throat, cough, and more symptoms. The flu may sometimes be fatal.

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 recommend that healthcare workers and general members of the public get a flu shot annually. Healthcare workers who should get the shot include doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, technicians, dental professionals, emergency personnel, students and trainees, and many other staff members. You can check the CDC’s facts on recommended personnel who should get a flu shot.

It’s essential that you protect yourself and your patients, especially since you’re at a higher risk of getting the flu if you give direct care. The Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health wants our students and all healthcare professionals to be responsible and caring individuals, especially during a busy flu season. The best way to do that is to keep your workplace germ free and stay healthy! Here are five essential reasons to get a flu shot for your healthcare job…and for the benefit of everyone!

1. Avoid severe illness and possible hospitalization

If you become infected with the flu, sometimes your symptoms could become serious to the point of hospitalization. Healthcare workers don’t want to get sick enough to infect their patients or ill enough to enter the hospital! If you don’t get a flu shot, you increase your chance of catching the contagious disease which may cause dehydration, pneumonia, and sinus and ear infections. The flu can also be fatal in severe cases. Reduce your chances of catching it this year. Remember, getting a flu shot won’t necessarily guarantee complete protection from the flu. But you will feel better knowing you helped protect yourself and the health of your patients.

2. Many healthcare facilities require vaccination

If you’re a caregiver, you’ll likely be interacting with many ill or high-risk patients on a daily basis. It is likely you may be required to become vaccinated for the flu each year. Flu shots can help you protect yourself, your coworkers, and your patients from the flu epidemic. During a busy flu season, you may also be interacting with many patients who have the flu. A flu shot may prevent your chances of catching it and then spreading it to even more patients, causing a greater epidemic in your area. When the healthcare facility where you work requires their staff to get the flu shot, they can build a stronger reputation with their communities and maintain a healthier environment.

3. You won’t get the flu from the influenza vaccination

Contrary to myths popularized in past years, you cannot get influenza from the flu shot. The vaccine employs a dead version of the virus so it can’t give you the contagious disease. The shot may cause side effects like a sore throat or a runny nose for a few days afterwards. However, this can be natural. Don’t fret! These symptoms will eventually go away.

4. Getting a flu shot is convenient

Getting a flu shot doesn’t have to be a chore! It can be easy! Just make an appointment with your family doctor. However, you can also take advantage of walk-in hours at local pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS, or other healthcare facilities. During your next outing to the store, simply stop by your local pharmacy for the flu shot. It’s that simple!

5. Maintain a healthy and responsible environment 

Healthcare workers will understand that others rely on you to provide a safe and healthy environment. If you live and work with individuals who have a high-risk of catching the virus, like children, pregnant woman, and the elderly, then you increase your chances of getting sick if you don’t get the shot. Decrease your chances of compromising the healthcare environment you work in.  Continue to provide the highest care possible to your patients by being proactive and protecting your health. You and your coworkers have the power to maintain a healthier environment for your patients.

Flu season is already here so it’s recommended that you get the flu shot as soon as possible. Before you get the shot, check with your doctor to review if it may pose any threats to your health. Salter Nursing wants our students and graduates to provide the utmost care for their patients! We hope you are mindful of the benefits a flu shot may provide to your health and your patients’ health!

Salter Nursing features public health advice, student tips, and program-related material in our weekly blog. We offer three healthcare training programs at our Manchester, NH campus. Contact us today to find out more about out career training programs or to learn about how you can apply.

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