Health

Nurse Rants About ER Visitors During Flu Season

"Wash your stinkin' hands," she says.

The 2018 flu season has been record-breaking, and according to the Centers for Disease Control, numbers of those infected are only continuing to rise. So, now more than ever, it’s important for everyone to take precautions to limit their risk of contracting or spreading the flu virus. One very tired, very hard-working nurse has some ideas for how people can do that and so she posted a video full of advice based on seeing ER visitors during flu season.

On Jan. 27, nurse Katherine Lockler filmed a Facebook video in her car immediately after ending a 12-hour night shift at the ER. She was exhausted, she had been “yelled at” by hospital patients and was probably just ready to go home and sleep. Instead, she felt it was important to share some advice for the public: Avoid the ER if you don’t have the flu or a medical emergency.

“Please don’t bring your healthy children, especially your newborn babies, into the emergency,” Lockler said. “If you don’t have what I call a true emergency, this would not be the time to come to the emergency room.”

“If you’re not aware of how the flu is spread, the only way you can get it is through your eyes, your nose or your mouth,” she said. Whether you have the flu or not one key preventative measure you can take to avoid getting or spreading the virus is “wash your stinkin’ hands,” the nurse said.

Lockler also recommended self-medicating with the proper dosage of Tylenol, Motrin or ibuprofen if you do contract the flu. Some people come into the ER to complain that they took pain management pills but they didn’t help, she said. Those people simply need to know they can take higher doses.

When it comes to avoiding germs, you should also be mindful of not sneezing or coughing into your hands and opt to use the bend of your elbow to contain the germs instead. She even demonstrated how easy it is!

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Lockler, who has been a nurse for almost 18 years, said there is so much that can be done to prevent to spread of the flu virus that people just aren’t doing.

“The biggest problem for me was seeing people come in to visit and not only being exposed to this awful flu virus, but not taking the correct precautions to get themselves disinfected before going out in the world,” Lockler told the Pensacola News Journal.

Her video has been viewed nearly 10 million times since Lockler posted it three weeks ago. After some people apparently complained that she was a little too sarcastic in her video, it has even spurred an online petition to support her and other nurses and doctors who are “spreading of education during this horrible flu season.”

She would also like to remind you to be kind to the nurses and doctors who are working long hours on their feet to see an overwhelming amount of patients this flu season.

“Please thank an ER nurse — and every nurse and doctor [who] is taking care of sick people right now,” Lockler said. “We’re putting ourselves into the thick of some nasty germs to help.”

So, wash your hands and thank any medical professionals you know!