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After 12-Hour Shift, Fed-Up ER Nurse Unloads on Truth About Flu

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Editor’s Note: CT readers really reacted to this story when it originally ran.

A Florida nurse has become a viral sensation after publishing a video to Facebook in which she admonished the American people for being careless about the flu by unnecessarily visiting the emergency room.

“It is a cesspool of flu — a cesspool of funky flu at the ER right now,” said Katherine Lockler, a registered nurse who works at multiple emergency rooms in the Northwest Florida area and had just completed a 12-hour shift, according to the Pensacola News Journal.

“Please don’t bring your healthy children — especially your newborn babies — into the emergency room,” she added. “If you don’t have what I call a true emergency, this would not be the time to come to the emergency room.”

Her point was simple: Unless you or someone you know happens to be suffering from a genuine emergency, you should avoid the ER at all costs.

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Why? Because Florida (and many other parts of the country as well) is currently dealing with an unprecedented outbreak of the flu.

“Flu activity in Florida was at higher levels than the highest points in previous flu seasons, according to this week’s flu report from the Florida Department of Health,” local station WFLA reported last week.

It’s pretty bad out there, so please take some time to listen closely to Lockler’s recommendations in the video below:

Are you taking precautions this flu season?

“Some of them are not true emergencies, but they’re waiting along with the flu right next to them. So guess what? Five flus came in, 15 flus walk out. It’s great,” she said sarcastically. “They’ll be back.”

Speaking later with the Pensacola News Journal, Lockler expressed frustration at “seeing people come in to visit and not only being exposed to this awful flu virus, but not taking the correct precautions to get themselves disinfected before going out in the world.”

For instance, she once saw a toddler crawling around the emergency room floor as the father just stood by watching.

“I approached him, and I said, ‘Hey, dad, I do not feel that that’s a wise decision; your child is being exposed to some really nasty germs on this emergency room floor,'” she recalled. “And instead of the dad receiving what a nurse of 10 years is sharing with him, he said, ‘Eh, it’s no big deal, it’ll build his immune system.'”

Regarding the precautions Lockler mentioned, here’s an easy one she cited in her Facebook post: “Wash your stinking hands!”

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It’s so easy to do, yet so few people make a concerted effort throughout the day to keep their hands clean.

But here’s the most important precaution of all: unless you really need emergency assistance, keep your butt safe and sound at home!

Please share this story on Facebook and Twitter and let us know what you think about this nurse’s advice.

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