With the COVID variants making the rounds as we enter cold and flu season, there’s possibly never been a better time to work harder on staying healthy. Medical professionals have been burning the candle at both ends for nearly two years now, so finding the time to take care of their own health can be difficult. Yet even though COVID-19 has created some additional stressors and threats to our health, there are some ways healthcare professionals can take better care of themselves this winter.
Tip 1: Don’t Let Up on Hygiene Protocols
Healthcare professionals must maintain rigor this winter around hygiene. This is perhaps stating the obvious, but it’s worth repeating because COVID cleanliness protocols have normalized. When a task becomes routine, drawing upon muscle memory, it’s easy to forget important details. So, let’s double down on these steps this winter and stay mindful of their importance:
- Wash your hands and use sanitizer after touching doors and surfaces.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
- Cover sneezes and coughs.
- Wear a mask, of course.
- Follow healthcare protocols by staying home if you feel sick.
- Continuously clean surfaces—including those at home.
#2 Get Vaccinated
As healthcare professionals, most of us fall under vaccine mandates. However, the CDC recommends both the flu and COVID shots this year, as well as the booster. The latest influenza shots are quadrivalent, or four component shots protecting against four flu variants. The latest COVID data shows these inoculations are highly effective in protecting you against the worst health outcomes caused by the disease. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests vulnerability to breakthrough infections occurs over time as the COVID shot wanes, however, “vaccines maintained protection from hospitalization and death nine months after getting the first shot.”
#3 Use Your Preventative Benefits
We tease nurses and physicians because “they make the worst patients,” but it’s true. Healthcare professionals are the world’s caretakers, but many times they forget themselves in the process. If you are a healthcare professional and haven’t used your annual preventative checkups, now is the time. Most insurance carriers cover annual exams, mammograms, vision exams, dental checkups, and other types of wellness checkups. Use these benefits.
#4 New Year, New You
Working in healthcare is hard. For family caretakers, the rigorous demands of the job, family commitments, perhaps even school, can take a toll. The new year naturally brings us the idea of change and that often exhibits itself in goals related to personal hygiene and health. Eating right and exercising boosts mental and physical health. Building good habits right now can help keep healthcare professionals just a little safer during cold and flu season. Now is the time to make big changes in your health and in your life.
If you are a healthcare professional considering a change of scenery at work, you will find no better partner than AG Globe. We are an RPO and MSP handling outsourced recruiting for some of the best healthcare organizations in the country. Get in touch with our team and let us handle all of your staffing and employment needs.