Mountain View Medical Supply

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tips from a Nurse: How NOT to Get Sick

It’s that time of the year again: The “sick” season. Winter and the colder months are referred to as the “sick” season because it’s that time of year when most people who “don’t get sick” get sick.
We spend more time indoors. We spend more time shoulder to shoulder with our fellow humans. We create the perfect environment for those wonderful microscopic mortal enemies responsible for initiating the sickness.

1. Wash Your Hands!
This one always amazes me. For nurses, this means washing your hands obsessively outside of work, also. Don’t reserve the clean hands just for clocking in.
2. Dress Appropriately
Just because your car is parked in a covered garage does NOT mean you don’t wear the appropriate outdoor clothing. I don’t know how many times I see coworkers walking “quickly” from their car with little to no outdoor gear. Oh, and ladies, put something on your head!
3. Get Some Sleep
That wonderful immune system you’ve built up isn’t gonna do you any favors if you’re not properly rested. A sleep-deprived immune system is worth nothing to you.
4. Help Your Immune System
This is that sly reminder to make wise health decisions. I don’t think I need to explain to you what tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption can do to that immune system?
5. It’s OK to Be Around Those Who Are Sick
In fact, it’s a requirement! How else is your immune system going to recognize, fight and develop an immunity to those nasty bugs out there if it’s not being exposed to them? Stop avoiding everyone who looks, sounds or claims to be ill.
6. Don’t Go to Work Sick!
This is a tough one for my fellow nurses. There is absolutely no benefit to showing up for work sick. If anything, it will make you feel worse and GET worse. Stay home. Get that sleep I was talking about.
7. Call the Doctor When It’s Time
Antibiotic resistance is not a myth. Don’t call your PCP just because you have a runny nose. This holds true for the other end of the spectrum, too! Don’t wait 10 days into your cold when you don’t have enough energy to make the phone call, let alone talk.
8. Stop Taking Shortcuts – OTC Meds
The list is endless here. Vitamin C, B12, D, E (pick a letter from the alphabet), echinacea, ginkgo biloba, elderberry, zinc, etc. Stop looking for lightning in a bottle…it doesn’t exist.
9. Eat Healthy 
Give your body a fighting chance and avoid eating foods void of nutrients.  Your immune system needs nourishing!


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