staying healthy

Specialties Ambulatory


Hi everyone,

I'm looking for some advice or tips. I am new to the role of "office nurse". I worked in a hospital for 10 years and then for an agency for 3.

Since transfering to a family practice clinic I have found that when patients come in with colds or the flu I inevitably come down with a bug too and lose time from work. I've come to realise how many people in this world don't cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough.Good ole airborne germs!

The only time I got sick like this was when I was a new grad and had just started working.

My guess is I need to rebuild my immunity.

We don't have a sink handy in the front office and when it's busy you can't always leave to wash your hands.

I get the flu shot every year, I am always careful not to touch my face, I wash my hands before eating, doing tasks etc., I'm even cleaning off our phones with alcohol swabs after patients use them and when I start my shift. (Am I sounding paranoid?:-)

Anyway has anyone else been through this? Will it only take time to toughen up my resistance? Please, I welcome any suggestions or comments.

Thanks, Lisi

Your first year will be the worst and then it's great from there. When I worked in a peds ofc, I was sick quite a bit the first winter. After that everything was great. I've found that you have to really be careful on not touching your face. Many times I didn't realize that I was rubbing my eyes or nose due to allergies. I also use the instant type of hand sanatizer when I'm not near a sink. There are lots of different brands out there, and most are alcohol based. You have to remember to wash your hands after every 5 uses. I also made sure to always have my own pen because all the patients, parents and other staff members would be using the same pens after rubbing they're nose, or covering their mouth to sneeze. Germs, Germs, Germs! Good Luck!

suellen e.

20 Posts

Dear Lisi, I've worked in a family practice office for four years now. Even though it's difficult in your office, wash your hands as often as you can. Another possible help, drink plenty of water. I find that drinking 6-8 glasses a day while I'm at work probably helps me not to get sick very often and helps if I do get sick by allowing a milder overall illness. Opening a window or door might help to let in the fresh air and substituting it for the more germ laden air inside the clinic. Let me know how it's going.

Specializes in Home care.

Have you tried "flu busters"? Some people swear by them. I have found that a combination of astragulus, echinasia, and elderberry when I start to feel fluey keeps me from getting a full-blown illness.


33 Posts

Try taking some vitamin C (1000mg a day) along with a cod liver oil tablet. Or just the Vitamin C would be good enough.


67 Posts

I spent 12 years in primary care (mostly internist/pediatricians) and regularly got 3-4 colds a year. This year I've been sick almost non-stop since October.

My solution? I asked my manager to put me full-time with the cardiologist. His patients don't usually come in when they have cooties and the only time I actually touch them is to do an EKG.

I've been cold-free for almost 6 weeks! I've heard some people get a stronger immune system after a year or two, but I guess I'm not one of them. 12 years should've been enough time for my immune system to kick in.

May you have better luck then me!

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