There is no such thing as a good flu. However, this year’s flu is really bad. During this flu season, there were 60,161 new confirmed cases of the flu. That does not count the people who had the flu and did not see their doctor. As a travel nurse, staying healthy and providing care for patients can be difficult when you are surrounded by germs. While nurses are well-versed in following best practices to prevent getting sick, here are 10 tips for travel nurses to stay healthy during the flu season.

10 Tips for Travel Nurses To Stay Healthy During The Flu Season

Understand Flu Trends In Your New Destination. The flu epidemic can differ state by state. It’s a best practice to research current flu statistics in the location of your new assignment. This will help you stay safe and educate your patients.

Get Enough Sleep. Getting sleep might be tough when you are working long shifts. However, the fact is our immune systems are weakened by lack of sleep. It’s best to get 7 – 9 hours of sleep per day. Whether you can get all of that in one setting or multiple naps, make sure you get enough sleep. This will go a long way and a great tip for travel nurses to stay healthy during the flu season.

Wash Your Hands Frequently. This is one of those best practices that most nurses already follow. But are you washing your hands for at least 20 seconds per wash? Are you washing your wrists? How about under your nails? This type of extensive washing of your hands will decrease the number of germs from spreading. It’s good to use waterless antibacterial solutions during the day. But nothing will beat using soap and water.

Cover Your Mouth When You Cough. One way germs are spread is when we cough; especially we don’t cover our mouths. But be sure you don’t cover your mouth with your hands. It’s best to cough into your sleeve. This will reduce the odds of spreading. If you do cough into your hands, be sure to wash your hands quickly and before touching anything or anyone.

Get A Flu Vaccination. As a healthcare professional, you are always educating and reminding patients to get a flu vaccination. But did you get a flu vaccination? Most employers require flu vaccinations. If your facility doesn’t require getting the flu vaccination, it is still a smart idea to get vaccinated.

Don’t Forget Your Vitamins. Taking vitamins is a great way to help mitigate your chances of getting sick. Historically, we have turned to things like Vitamin C for colds. While Vitamin C can help, there are other options gaining positive feedback to combat the cold and flu. According to WebMD, elderberry might help combat the flu. One study shows that taking 4 tablespoons a day for three days of a specific formulation of elderberry extract appears to shorten the symptoms of flu by 56%.

Exercise Properly. Staying active is a great way to improve your health. However, if you go to the gym remember that germs are everywhere. Bring a towel and be sure to wipe down equipment before and after you use it. If you exercise outside, be sure to wear proper attire so that you don’t open yourself to cold temperatures outside.

Keep A Healthy Diet. Eating well-balanced meals will not only provide you energy throughout the day; but can help you stay healthy during the flu season. Eating healthy food that’s high in protein and low in fat will boost your immune system. Don’t skimp on water. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help you stay hydrated and feeling good.

Stay Stress Free. The end and the start to any year can be stressful. Don’t let that stress impact you. Stress can take a toll on your health if you don’t get a hold of it. Find out what helps stress roll of your shoulders. You can exercise, get in a yoga session, meditate, even get a massage can do wonders to minimize stress.

Call In If Your Sick. As a nurse, you possess a strong work ethic. You want to be there for your patients to help them when they are in need. However, you could be doing them, the other staff, and yourself harm if you attend work when you are sick. Sometimes it’s better to keep your germs to yourself and get rest. The quicker you can recover the better you will be to everyone. This is a great tip for travel nurses to stay healthy during the flu season.

Follow these tips for travel nurses to stay healthy during the flu season and let’s all stay healthy.

Host Healthcare Travel Nurse

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