Video: Nurse Who's Flu Rant Went Viral Has Allegedly Been Reported To The Board Of Nursing
By Amy Blitchok
Update 2/1/2018 at 2:45pm
"Katherine Smith Locklear is an ER Nurse. She posted an AMAZING video on Facebook regarding the flu and how it is spread along with great tips on home treatment. For her time and effort, she is being reported to the Board of Registered Nursing and her hospital." It continues, "Please sign this petition if you support ER Nurses and staff and the spreading of education during this horrible flu season."
Original Post 2/1/2018 at 9:30 am
If you have been lucky enough to have escaped the 2017-2018 flu season unharmed so far, you might be wondering what all the hype is about. Rest assured, media organizations aren’t just desperate for a story and it is no exaggeration to say that this season is a true epidemic. That means that more and more people are visiting the ER for treatment, which inspired a frustrated rant from nurse Katherine Locklear of Escambia County, Florida. While she probably never expected her video to go viral with over two million views, the video does provide some helpful insights into the life of a nurse along with some tips for patients.
Of course, if you're a nurse and especially if you work in the E.R. - you're might be wanting to hug her right now for being the voice for tired nurses everywhere.
2017-2018 Flu Season Epidemic
Not only can the flu be deadly, it is also highly contagious. As Locklear points out in her video, the flu is contracted through the eyes, nose, and mouth. That means that all it takes is for you to inhale germs from someone’s cough or touch an infected surface and then touch your face to come down with your own case of the flu. As a result, 1 out of 8 patients are testing positive for the flu.
Even more frightening is the fact that flu-related deaths have reached 9.1% of flu patients. The threshold for an epidemic is 7.2%, which means the U.S. is in the middle of one of the worst flu seasons in the past decade.
Based on those numbers, you can only imagine what ERs around the country are experiencing and Locklear decided to take to Facebook to both express her frustrations and offer some practical suggestions for how people can protect themselves. While the video is well worth the watch, here are some key takeaways:
- Wash your hands thoroughly. Don’t just rinse them. Wash them with soap and hot water and take your time.
- Cover your mouth when you cough. As Locklear demonstrates in the video, don’t just cough into your hand, which just creates another way to spread germs. Cough into the crook of your elbow, which effectively covers both your mouth and your nose. Sure, your shirt is now dirty, but at least the flu germs are contained.
- Don’t visit people in the ER. It is totally understandable that you want to visit a friend or family member who is sick, but right now ERs are flu incubators and the more healthy people who enter the ER, the more people who leave with the flu.
As Locklear says, “If you have team member from your softball team who is sick or injured, you do not bring the entire softball team in to check on them. Because guess, what you just got maybe 15 new vectors or carriers of the flu … There is a cesspool of funky flu at the ER right now.”
- Stay away from the ER unless you have a true emergency. Otherwise, you are guaranteed to be exposed to this very aggressive and contagious strain of the flu and you become just another part of the problem
- Be patient with nurses, especially night nurses. The flu season has put doctors and nurses under additional strain. They are working long shifts without food or breaks. With so many flu patients, there are bound to be long wait times. Trust that you will be taken care of in due time and that anyone who is treated ahead of you is in worse shape.
Reactions From Internet-Land
It is clear from the video that Locklear had the best of intentions when she filmed herself and most viewers and commenters have reacted positively and thanked her for not only sharing some tips but bringing the attention to the plight of ER nurses. One man even proposed marriage. However, some viewers have taken issue with Locklear’s delivery and aren’t exactly charmed by her tone and moments of sarcasm.
Whether you like the video or not, Locklear has become another viral video star and her advice is worth heeding as we all try to make it through the last couple months of flu season.