You have better things to do than being sick

Well, I just got my flu shot.  It cost me $28, not covered by my insurance until after the Nov. 15th “flu season” officially begins.

So why did I go out of my way to get the flu shot?

Well, to begin with, I have much better use of my time off than to use it actually being sick!

The very small risk of a reaction to the flu vaccine (.02 %) is much less than the consequences of getting the flu (each year, between 3,000 and 30,000 people die from the flu and secondary illnesses. In 1917- 1918, that number was 5.4 million people, and where did that pandemic start? Here in Kansas at Ft. Riley, as soldiers were being shipped overseas for the WWI).

Secondly, my hospital clinical contract requires that all allied health personal get the flu vaccine. So I got my vaccine documentation sent in early, and that is no longer on my list of things to do.

A third reason came to light about the time I received my flu vaccine: the Ebola infections. This fall/ spring looks to be a very challenging time for hospital and health personnel. Are the symptoms that the patient is reporting  (fever, muscle aches, headaches, etc.) simply the flu, or symptoms of the very minuscule risk of it being Ebola? I don’t think that the staff in Dallas had any thought that the first patient to die from Ebola in the US had anything other than the very common flu, and they were wrong.

Moral:  Get you flu vaccine, protect yourself and those around you, and use your time off for much more pleasant things that being ill!

niemanns1About Sharon Niemann, CRNA, MHS

Sharon Niemann, M.H.S. is Assistant Professor of Nurse Anesthesia and Director of the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia Program at Newman University. She was Assistant Director of the Nurse Anesthesia Program since its inception at Newman in 1999 until being named Director in 2004. Niemann entered the healthcare field as a paramedic, then earned her Associate of Nursing degree from Newman in 1982 and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Newman in 1986. She earned her Master in Nurse Anesthesia degree from Texas Wesleyan University in 1995, and is currently working toward a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice degree, also at Texas Wesleyan. As Director of the Nurse Anesthesia program, she teaches the majority of the anesthesia-specific classes and serves as program administrator. Niemann is married, and has two children and six grandchildren.

Struggles and triumphs as a small town nurse

My original job in nursing was at a small, rural facility (20 acute care beds, 40 long-term care beds). Most people would consider that a narrowly focused position, with little to offer in comparison to a high acuity urban facility. I have to say that the experiences I had over the 7 years working in this “pooh-dunk” facility were some of the most valuable of my career. Continue reading