How To Stay Healthy As A Nurse During Flu Season


Cold and flu is fast upon us. You’ve probably heard plenty of coughs, sniffles, sneezing, and throat clearing going on already. And if you haven’t succumbed yet, you’re wondering when it’s your turn to catch it. Up to 20% of the U.S population cathces the flu every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Colds and flus spread quickly, and if you’re not careful, you stand a good chance of catching one, But you don’t have to. By adopting the following preventive habits, you’ll be more ready to get through this season in fine health.

Get your flu shots!

Getting the flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu. This year the flu shot will protect against one influenza A (H3N2) virus, one influenza A (H1N1) virus, and one influenza B virus. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. Some members may require two doses of seasonal flu vaccine. Please contact your healthcare provider for dosage information.

Flu shots are most important for people at high risk and their close contacts. High risk people include:

  1. Pregnant woman
  2. Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old.
  3. Adults 65 years of age or older
  4. Persons with chronic medical conditions, such as Asthma, Diabetes, Obesity, or Heart Disease.
  5. Persons who have a weakened immune system, such as from medications or HIV infection.

Clean hands save lives!

  1. Wash your hands often to protect yourself from germs.
  2. Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds with soap if possible.
  3. Alcohol-based hand wipes or sanitizers work well too.
  4. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth. This is how germs can spread.

Limit your contact with sick people!

  1. Healthy individuals may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after onset of illness.
  2. Cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissue or bend of your elbow.
  3. Pregnant woman, people 65 and older with underlying health conditions and people with weakened immune systems, chronic medical conditions and young children, should avoid close contact with household members who are sick.
  4. Mothers who are breastfeeding should continue to nurse their babies while being treated for the flu.
  5. The health of a company is connected to the health of its employees. Maintaining a positive, active and healthy lifestyle will help reduce sick days and improve workplace productivity.If the symptoms of achiness, sore throat, stuffy nose, and general malaise have already begun, it is important to support and maximize defense mechanisms to reduce the length of illness and return to work in a healthy productive state.

    Where can I get more information on the Seasonal Flu?

    1. Community Information & Referral has a dedicated flu hotline at 1-877-764-2670, 602-324-2814 or visit //
    2. Stop the Spread at //
    3. Arizona Department of Health Services at //
    4. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services at //
    5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at //
    6. Department of Public Health at //
    7. Specific information for schools at //
    8. Vaccinations are being developed and reformulated constantly at this time due to the pandemic threat of the H5N1 Influenza virus, and most recently, the swine flu virus. A little bit of prevention may go a long way in allowing all of us to avoid the misery of a cold. Wash away!!!

Celeste Botonakis

On the Nursing Assistant Guides blog, certified medical assistant Celeste Botonakis explores the daily life of a CMA. She'll keep you up-to-date with the latest on what’s happening in the field, and provides tips for those who are interested in becoming a medical or nursing assistant. Celeste has served in the medical field for over six years, and is passionate about helping people. She currently works at CSR Primary Care in Skokie, Illinois. Click here to learn more about Celeste Botonakis and