After a 12-hour night shift late last week in an emergency room in northwest Florida, nurse Katherine Lockler offered some advice.
Lockler, who works at multiple emergency rooms in the Northwest Florida area, said she sat down in her vehicle after work on Saturday with the intent to send a message from a health care professional's perspective. "If you don't have a true emergency, this would not be the time to come to the emergency room", she says. "If you're not aware of how the flu is spread, the only way you can get it is through your eyes, your nose, or your mouth".
"Kindly don't bring your solid youngsters - particularly your infants - into the emergency room", Lockler said in the video. "I'm gonna' teach ya'll a magic trick - it's wonderful". You just got maybe 15 new vectors, or carriers of the flu, by them just walking in.
Lockler's tone is sarcastic - she demonstrates the elbow sneezing in "slow motion" at one point - while still being informative about preventing the spread of flu.
"I saw a father with a little child creeping on the floor in the emergency room and I moved toward him and I stated, 'Hello father, I don't feel that that is an insightful choice, your kid is being presented to some extremely very bad germs on this emergency room floor, '" Lockler said. Given the frustrating nature of her job, and the lack of basic common sense exhibited about public health, being sarcastic seems like a way to get the message across, especially if polite health and wellness posters apparently aren't doing the trick.
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Part of what's made the almost seven-minute-long video so polarizing was the sarcastic inflection and animated facial expressions and gestures Lockler used at times to get her point across. She went on to apologize to anyone offended by her tone, but insists that regardless of how she may have come off the message is still "right on the money".
Federal health officials said Friday 15 more children died of the flu over the past week and more states are reporting high levels of illness.
According to CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat, there are most likely several weeks left of increasing flu activity this season.
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"We are in the middle of something called flu season..." In the humorous video titled "After Work Thoughts", which has more than 5 million views on Facebook, Lockler recounts recent moments in the hospital that have made her cringe, while of course changing the names to "protect the not-so-innocent".
Katherine ends by asking everyone to thank an ER nurse or doctor.
Katherine Smith Lockler, of Milton, Florida, chose to air her frustration Saturday after finishing a 12-hour shift at the hospital, the Miami Herald reported. "We're putting ourselves in the thick of some nasty germs to help".
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