This article was provided by Travel Nurse Across America
2020 has been a bit of a hectic time for travel nurses, to say the least. COVID-19 has led to an increased demand for nurses, and now with flu season on the way, it seems like it’ll make things even more complicated. That’s why it’s always good to work with an agency that features benefits like a comprehensive support team and day-one health insurance, so you have the support you need going into these colder, busier months. However, there are some things you can do now, which will help you get prepped for a flu season with COVID-19 thrown into the mix.
Flu and COVID-19 Symptoms
As a nurse, you’re probably well-aware of those standard flu symptoms like coughs, fevers, runny noses, etc. The tricky thing is that COVID-19 shares a lot of those symptoms. Not to mention the fact that someone could be sick with both at the same time! As a result, it can be tough to determine right away what a patient may be sick with before they receive a test.
However, there is one thing that’s helpful to keep in mind. With COVID-19, many people report that they lose their sense of smell or taste along with their other symptoms. This can help you get a better idea as to what a patient may be sick with, and help them get the treatment they may need sooner.
Taking Care of Yourself
While it’s always important to take care of yourself when on an assignment, it’s especially important this year. You want to make sure you do all that you can to keep healthy when you’re working. For the flu season, that means remembering to get your flu shot as soon as you can. The sooner you do, the less of a chance there is of you catching the flu yourself!
One nice thing is that many of the steps taken to avoid the spread of COVID-19 double are effective for limiting the spread of the flu. Wearing a mask, social distancing, washing your hands, and other measures can help you stay safe when you’re working and when you’re not. There are also some special steps you can take, which can be helpful. For example, maybe you’re worried about bringing flu or COVID-19 particles home with you on your uniform. By bringing a change of clothes in something like a plastic bag, you can take your uniform, put it in the bag, and then throw it in the wash as soon as you get back to where you’re staying.
Take care of yourself off the clock too
Taking care of yourself also applies when you’re off the clock too. Things like eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising are all helpful forms of self-care that’ll not only help you feel more energized and focused but they’ll also help boost your immune system.
Of course, don’t forget to get tested yourself! The CDC has been sending out tests that can detect both the flu and COVID-19 across the country, which will help both you and your patients. Ultimately, this flu season is going to be unlike any before it. That’s why nurses need to know what they can do to help keep safe and work with an agency that’ll support them every step of the way to continue to provide great care to those who need it!