This year’s flu outbreak shows no signs of slowing down. The end of the season is still months away, so health care workers need to take precautions to keep themselves safe.
Doctors say protecting yourself is key when working in a hospital or doctor’s office. At local hospitals like the Corpus Christi Medical Center, that message is strongly enforced.
“Every employee at the Corpus Christi Medical Center is being instructed to get the flu immunization before the season,” said Dr. Juan Ramirez, a medical director at CCMC.
But for various reasons, not everyone chooses to get the flu shot.
“Whoever couldn’t have it, for allergies, beliefs, or any reason that they didn’t have it, we instruct them to use a mask all the time in the facility,” Dr. Ramirez said.
But for hospital workers that come down with the flu, the plan is pretty similar. The Corpus Christi Medical Center, Christus Spohn Health System and Driscoll Children’s Hospital all said that when an employee is sick with the flu, they are sent home. Employees can return when they are symptom-free.
Each of those hospitals are also making some staffing adjustments. They vary in each hospital.
“We’ve increased the staffing of the doctors,” said Dr. Brian Price, a physician of emergency medicine at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. “We’ve increased the staffing of the mid-levels, and actually increased the staffing of the nursing as well.”
Hospitals also encourage their workers to practice good hygiene by washing their hands. It is the best way to prevent the spread of the flu.