Our nursing school is freaking out about H1N1.
It was mandatory to get fit-tested for a mask so that we would be protected working on the floors. Which, for anyone that hasn't done it before, is a completely weird experience. They basically put a hood on your head, a mask over your nose and mouth, and pump a strange substance (which tastes a lot like hairspray) into the hood. If you can taste it, the substance is penetrating the mask, and not protecting you.
If we feel ill, our professors tell us to stay home, and not bother with getting a doctor's note. Doctors notes used to be strictly enforced in our school, especially when missing clinical time or an exam! It makes sense, but it was so surprising to hear.
I am not sure what to think about H1N1. Some people say that it hasn't killed more people than other strains of influenza. Other people say it may mutate and become more virulent. To be honest, I haven't done much research about it. My only information comes from the media (not the most reliable source) which has done a good job at scaring the public and at scaring me. Are nurses prepared for this global pandemic? So far, almost 5,000 people have died. Am I prepared to enter the rooms of H1N1 patients, risk my health, and provide nursing care? I don't really have a choice, but it is scary to consider. And what about the vaccine - is it safe?
What do you guys think?