Patient Safety Corner
Flu Prevention Is Everyone's Responsibility
Flu season is here and this year we are taking additional steps to prevent the spread of flu to our patients and throughout our hospital.
While an annual flu vaccine remains the single best method for preventing the flu, a surgical facemask, worn by employees, provides added protection to patients, employees, and visitors. Catskill offers the flu vaccine to all employees and also provides employees with surgical facemasks, as required by the New York State Department of Health.
Vaccinated employees must have a green dot on their ID badges.
All unvaccinated healthcare employees must wear a surgical mask upon entry into the Hospital. Masks are available in clinical unit clean supply rooms and in the Occupational Health Department.
As always, our hospital enforces universally-recognized precautions to prevent the flu. These include hand washing, the use of hand sanitizers, placed conveniently throughout the hospital, as well as goggles and gowns. In addition, we adhere to rigorous infection control guidelines and policies every day to ensure a clean environment for patients, staff, and visitors. These practices are especially important during flu season. Antiseptic wipes are located in patient rooms, work stations, hallways and other treatment areas and are easily accessible to hospital employees responsible for sanitizing medical equipment and surface areas.
Yet, despite all these precautions and proactive steps, the flu virus still manages to infect individuals. Employees suffering from the flu are instructed to stay home while sick and return to work 24 hours after their flu symptoms end. Visitors who suspect they may have the flu are advised to not visit the hospital. The signs and symptoms of the flu include:
- Fever or chills
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Body aches
- Fatigue (very tired)
For more information about when and where to get your flu shot, please call the Occupation Health Department at 333-2060.