Chloe’ Sizer | November 29th, 2023
Flu season typically runs from October to May, and it can be a particularly challenging time for travel nurses. As a travel nurse, you are constantly exposed to new people and environments, which can make you more susceptible to getting the flu.
Here are a few tips for navigating flu season as a travel nurse:
• Consider the flu vaccine. Some facilities require a flu vaccine while others do not. Based off of your personal preference, ensure that the travel agency as well as facility are aware as to whether you have your flu shot or if you’re looking for an assignment without a vaccine requirement.
• Wash your hands frequently. Washing your hands is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs, including the flu virus. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom, before eating, and after coming into contact with someone who is sick.
• Avoid touching your face. The flu virus can enter your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth. Avoid touching your face as much as possible, especially if you have not washed your hands recently.
• Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for a healthy immune system. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
• Eat a healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet will help to keep your immune system strong. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
• Manage stress. Stress can weaken your immune system. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, yoga, or meditation.
If you do get the flu, it is important to stay home from work and rest. You should also see a doctor if you have any severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, or high fever.
Here are a few additional tips for travel nurses specifically:
• Be aware of the flu season in the area where you are working. Some areas have a longer and more severe flu season than others. Be aware of the flu season in the area where you are working and take extra precautions to protect yourself.
• Talk to your travel nursing agency about their flu prevention policies. Many travel nursing agencies have policies in place to help prevent the spread of the flu, such as requiring nurses to get the flu vaccine and to stay home from work if they are sick.
• Be mindful of your own health. Travel nursing can be a demanding job, so it is important to take care of yourself. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and manage stress.
By following these tips, you can navigate flu season as a travel nurse and stay healthy.
What happens if you’ve taken all of the steps to avoid falling ill but still do? Read more here about what to do if you get sick while on assignment.
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