Peds office nurse - keep getting sick :(

  1. I started working full time for a Peds office about 2 months ago - after 2 years on a med/surg floor it is such a wonderful change, I love it!!! Only problem is, I keep picking up whatever the choice illness of the week is! Last week I got the whole strep/sinus/ear infection and now I'm home sick with the N/V/D. Is this common for new nurses in an office setting? How long does it last? Any novel ideas how I can prevent it? I know the basics, such as washing my hands so many times they are pealing - just not sure what else I can do and I'm sick of being sick!
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    About indynurse#2

    Joined: Oct '04; Posts: 36; Likes: 4
    UM Nurse
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in Surgical, Peds, UM


  3. by   Nurse Ratched
    You're probably gonna catch most bugs that come down the pike for the next year - takes at least that to develop immunity .

    I'm a big fan now of heavy doses of C as a preventative. I'm generally extremely healthy except 2 weeks ago I went an entire week without my usual vitamins, and got sick with a cough/cold thing this week. (It is true that you don't appreciate your health until you feel like crap lol.)

    Hope your initiation period goes by quickly!
  4. by   NorthER,RN
    Hi Indynurse - I wonder if you have tried the hand sanitizers that are alcohol based - we have them in pumps everywhere, and I find that the skin on my hands is not as bad as when I wash after every patient. I work in ER and have only been sick once this year (Knock on wood). I find that the stuff is so handy (the pun is unintended) to use between patients that I just do it without thinking. I wash my hands after wearing gloves, after every couple of patients, if my hands "look" dirty or if I've touched anything nasty. :uhoh21: It does feel a bit slimy when washing the stuff off, but it does seem to protect my hands and me (and hopefully the patients too!). I guess that all of the airborne viruses are going to attack you, but hopefully your immunity will build up. All the best,
  5. by   laurasc
    I was a pediatric office nurse for almost 10 years and the first couple of years I was sick all the time. I had everything....strep, pneumonia, ear infections, gastro, influenza (multiple times), and countless run of the mill colds. There was nothing like being in the room with a sick little one only to have him cough in your face. I'd feel the spray and think "great, here we go again."

    Hand washing and hand sanitizers help. Try to avoid touching your face. And yes, I can relate to the dry, peeling hands from washing. Find a really good moisturizer and carry a little bottle with you in your pocket. And wearing a mask doesn't help...I tried it. Somehow those germs find their way in. And DO NOT wear a mask when you have a will only make you worse.

    The good news is that you DO develop an immunity to most bugs and by the time I left peds to go to family practice I had the immunity of Hercules!

    Keep plugging away, you will eventually become immune. And enjoy your peds experience. I have to admit I really miss it.

    Last edit by laurasc on Feb 27, '05
  6. by   smk1
    not a nurse but worked as a school health assistant for a few years and the first year was the sickest i have ever been "continuously" in my life. Constant cold, flu, strep, sore throats etc... After about a year i think i built up a good immunity. Those dang kids sure are contagious little guys aren't they!