Monday, September 21, 2009

H1N1 = scary.

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?


  1. Do nurses have a duty of care to put their own lives at risk in order to care for patients? The law (and probably every nurse's conscience) says yes, but employers and hospitals also have a duty of care to their employees to take every reasonable precaution necessary to protect them.

    This is why they seem to be going overboard by protecting you with the masks. Be careful. You patients (and I) need you to be.

  2. I can't help but believe things are being blown out of proportion. But, I gotta hand it to the whole healthcare sector for pulling together in in the efforts of being prepared.. just in case.

  3. i am not a big fan of vaccination (flu ones) I get really sick from them. I had to sign my name 3 times when i refused at work. I was more afraid of really getting sick since it was H1n1. As for helping my patients...i won't be afraid. but i guarentee u my hands will have no hide left from all the hand


Thank you! All your comments are really appreciated.