Friday, January 14, 2011

We (Still) Have No Cure for the Flu

The flu season is upon us and that means snotty noses, fevers, body aches, chills and generally feeling like crap for a while. You want to feel better quickly and that’s understandable. After all, having the flu sucks. But if you’re an otherwise healthy individual (ie: not old, no pre-existing respiratory diseases, etc), please don’t go to an emergency department demanding that the nurses and doctors give you Tamiflu. You’re depriving yourself of the comfort of your own home and bed and are spreading your germs around to people who are a lot sicker than you. There’s nothing we will do that you can’t do for yourself, like resting, taking Tylenol/advil for symptomatic relief and drinking a cup of hot tea. Also, if you’re a 20-something year old man-child, please don’t send your mother to the nursing station every 20 minutes to ask when the doctor will see you and if he can get something hot to drink. I’ve given your child Tylenol (which the doctor would have told you take anyways) and there’s a Starbucks in the lobby 10 feet away from you. They have all sorts of hot beverages for your precious baby. Following these tips won’t make the flu go away any faster but it will save you a huge wait time next to the drunk who keeps pissing himself that you could have spent sleeping at home.

11 comments:

Cartoon Characters said...

i wholeheartedly agree and continually try to educate people to stay out of the ERs.... I actually tell them that they can catch something worse going there.

NP Odyssey said...

Really, don't go to the hosptial if you already have the flu, it's too late you should have gotten the flu-shot in Oct.

Ask any nurse the last place you want to be with a compromissed immune system is in the hospital

Albinoblackbear said...

There should be an ongoing public service announcement on a channel dedicated JUST to common-sense health knowledge stating what you wrote in your post.

The sad thing is, the old farmers who has a rippin' bacterial pneumonia wouldn't come in then. But the worried well still would.

StorytellERdoc said...

Hello Maha!

Well put. On behalf of 99.9%, hell-make it a 100%, of the medical community, thank you.

One more thing, can you pretty please go get me a chai tea? LOL

Wannabe_NP said...

I love the people who first, won't get the flu shot because they are convinced it will give them the flu. And then they have the nerve to come to you when they get the flu... and want antibiotics.

Seriously?

Go home, get some chicken noodle soup, and sleep it off!

Anonymous said...

Even worse are the nurses that I work with that don't believe in flu shots then come to work with the flu complaining about the people who gave it to them and claiming that they aren't contagious because "I'm on antibiotics!" WT*! This, from a healthcare professional that is responsible for educating the public! facepalm!

Sarah RN said...

I'm a floor nurse on a PCU cardiac floor and I agree with you about how annoying family members can be. I swear some patients think they are the only ones in the world that are sick. Last weekend I worked I was drove crazy by family members. It is usually the younger pts (20-30 year olds) who are the whiney ones lol. You have to love our job sometimes :-)

Sarah RN

Holly said...

We had a patient come back and complain about having to spend $320 for Tamiflu. What were we supposed to do? You wouldn't leave until you had a perscription in hand (because it doesn't matter what it actually is, it's a magic pill) for your whole family.

Richard Wilson said...

Please Go to Hospital Check your Health Condition, Take Some more Treatment

kate said...

I work for a doctor's office that now makes us get a note from our PCP if we're going to be out sick for more than three days...so now, even though my PCP's office has a strict "if you have the flu, dont' come see us" rule, I now have to scrape myself out of bed, drive across town and drag my germy ass all over their office just so that they can tell me what I already know.

"You have the flu. Go back to bed."

"Okay *sniffle-cough-hack* Can I have my note, please?"

Insane. Our doctors don't want us here when we're sick...but they don't have a problem sending us to someone else.

KT said...

I completely agree with your flu post. I especially love parents that bring their kids to the ED with a fever of 105 and haven't given them any acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Sigh. A nice "The More You Know" on CBS on fever/flu relief would be lovely, eh? Thanks for your blog, from another newish ED RN.