ER Nurses-Any difference in measures re; Swine Flu


  • Specializes in ER, Labor and Delivery, Infection Contro. Has 11 years experience.

Greetings fellow nurses,

Just wondering-Since the ER is typically where you will initially see folks with potential/actual cases of Swine flu, have you noticed/instituted new infection control measures i.e. masking everyone at the front door with respiratory symptoms? Just curious where everyone is at in their practices now that we have this "public health emergency" going on. (Swine flu).

Thanks for any information. Keep healthy-protect yourself!


Specializes in ER/EHR Trainer. Has 6 years experience.

Yesterday they came out of the woodwork! Lots of flu-like symptoms, accompanied by "concerned" family and friends to the ER. Didn't get one positive swab.

Basically, all masked-isolated in one are of waiting room. Tissues and vomit bags given to each patient for containment of potential refuse. Anyone with a current fever, seen and swabbed. Afebrile patients not swabbed but examined-if determined to need a swab, then swabbed. Computer updated to note anyone seeking treatment.

What I am still having trouble comprehending is why family and friends need to accompany people to the ER! They were more than a little nuisance yesterday, and I imagine it will only get worse before it gets better!

Why doesn't anyone listen, STAY HOME if you are sick and don't share your germs!

JMHO and :twocents:


Specializes in ER/EHR Trainer. Has 6 years experience.

Oh, also forgot that the blue masks being handed out everywhere do not protect against viruses, they are too small.

Handwashing, and proper cough etiquette along with good garbage disposal of waste is the answer.



76 Posts

Specializes in ER, Labor and Delivery, Infection Contro. Has 11 years experience.

Thanks Maisy,

Where is your location? Currently, here in Washington State in our hospital, we are just asking for recent exposure to or visits to Mexico at triage. That's it. Although there are mosre staff on the med/surg floors wearing masks.

Larry77, RN

1,158 Posts

Specializes in Trauma/ED. Has 10 years experience.

We already had influenza "Kiosks" in our WR for people to use including masks, sanitizer, wipes, and pamphlets. I hate the media coverage on this "pandemic"....all we need is public paranoia to fill our WR's.

Specializes in ER/EHR Trainer. Has 6 years experience.

Working in Northern NJ, we too have the government pamphlets and handouts-signs went up yesterday afternoon advising people to isolate and wash their hands. Our issue is that not only do we have a large percentage of hispanics as clientele, but we have a large percentage working in healthcare. So we are seeing staff, nursing home residents, and anyone with vague flu symptoms. Today I was told is already a zoo, a rarity on beautiful days. I can't even imagine a pandemic situation. People would be shooting you to get care-the patients were bad but the family was worse. We even had volunteer staff parents calling to tell us we must swab their HS aged kids to make sure they aren't sick, even though they are not currently ill.



canoehead, BSN, RN

6,837 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

Perhaps if we air an ad showing the huge Qtip going up the nose people will back off?

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Lunah, MSN, RN

33 Articles; 13,743 Posts

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 15 years experience.

We still do nasopharyngeal washes for our flu specimens! Good times. I see this "pandemic" as being the cure to our ER's recent drop in overall census and the unwelcome implementation of flex staffing.

Our patients bring the entourage, too. Every now and then, we'll look at the camera in the waiting room, and the WR is full -- but we have no patients to triage. It's just the "with-'em's" ... you know, the people who come in, and the people who come with 'em.

Aneroo, LPN

1 Article; 1,518 Posts

Specializes in Cath Lab, OR, CPHN/SN, ER.
Perhaps if we air an ad showing the huge Qtip going up the nose people will back off?

If only we could also do that with male STD tests. :yeah:

Specializes in Emergency, Trauma, Flight.

i saw quite a few pts today thinking they had this *swine flu*....

they didn't... it is just a bad flu bug is all it is.....

the ppl that are dying from it in mexico don't have the same healthcare we do... ppl just need to stay home if they think they have it.. drink lots of water... and take tylenol/motrin prn for pain or fever....and let it run its course.. we should not exhaust our tamiflu supplies on this unless it really escalates......

im pretty sure it will highten.... maybe even to all the states..

it is a nasty flu.....

this is nothing we cant nip in the bud!!!

only confirmed US death was apparently from a mexican kid a lil under 2 years old....

not prejudiced... by all means..

there are over 50 cases in NY.... no deaths..

just like any other flu...... the very young and very old are most likely to suffer...

i think we are gonna be just fine.......


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