Tuesday, January 08, 2013

death warmed over

I'm thinking of taking a 3 month leave of absence.  Why? I absolutely, positively, dread the next few months because the flu season is already out of control.  ERs around the country are overwhelmed.  Yesterday our ER saw 60 more patients than we normally do.

Let me tell you how a bad flu season affects hospitals: Not only will ER waiting rooms be full, but hospitals will have no beds.  A lot of the time the flu hits the elderly, the very young and the chronically ill particularly hard.  Those people end up being admitted.  Now add those people to a hospital with a normal census and you have a recipe for disaster.  I already hear talk that there is a shortage of ventilators.

What does this mean for the ER? If you have to be admitted, you will be waiting hours for a bed, in fact you may be in the ER overnight waiting. What does this mean for the normally healthy people choosing to make a bad decision and come to the ER for your flu symptoms?  You will have at least 3-4 hour wait, if not longer, in the waiting with a mask on.  The people who need admission to an inpatient bed have backed up the ER making no beds available to those in the waiting room.    So prepare to set up housekeeping out there.

 Don't come if you are normally healthy and are not severely dehydrated, short of breath, confused,  elderly, a baby or have some other chronic illness.  Please??

Don't have the flu? Don't want to get it?

1) Get a flu shot.  Drugstores give them for $25.  Might be the best 25 you spend this winter.
2) WASH WASH WASH your hands. In fact invest in some of that stuff you can carry around to clean your hands.
3) Stay away from coughing people or people who look like death warmed over.


jimbo26 said...

Take a leave of absence and let your body heal itself .

Nurse Lily said...

We've had people in hall beds for days during flu season waiting for a room. Our docs go from seeing 40+ pts in 9 hrs to 60+ easily. It's exhausting. And annoying.

Tex said...

Add the fact that a decent percentage of staff is sick as well.....

Anonymous said...

Every winter, I get the flu, and loose 5kg. At this point, it's time for the flu shot. I hate shots, but it's better than risking the flu again.

It turns me into a miserable whiny hypocondriac, and I curl up in bed and wait to die.

Stupid shoddy immune system. Grump.

Good call on skipping the season.

Anonymous said...

We have about 150 beds total. About 30 were admitted w flu. We have had ED boarders waiting for beds for up to 4 days. There's nothing anyone can do about the waits. Oh, and norovirus is going around too- our staff are dropping like flies.

My state reports 6 dead from flu this year so far. Must be wrong- I've seen 3 at least, and we are small.

Anonymous said...

Aww yes, I remember the flu season fondly from my ER days....NOT!

hoodnurse said...

Yup. A friend at the old hospital told me they had 15 hour waits the other night. Is it just me, or is this flu season one of the worst in a while? It's right up there with the swine flu scare of '09 for me, except this time people actually have the flu.

Anonymous said...

I worked last night. I work on a Med-Surg floor with 32 beds. How many patients did we have last night? 33. That's right, 33. We cleaned out a storage closet that use to be a room to make room for just one more patient. Also, the last physical bed in the HOSPITAL went into that room. I can't even imagine what it was like down in the ER. My last admit last night said he had been waiting for a room for about 16 hours. :(