Protect Yourself From Springtime Illnesses The snow has melted and the temperatures are on the rise. Winter is finally over, and we can all celebrate the warmth and beauty of spring. But with the arrival of spring comes new potential health problems. For nursing students enrolled in Marian University’s accelerated nursing program in Nashville and Indianapolis, getting sick can be detrimental to their studies and can mean less time spent in the lab and at clinical rotations. Some of these common illnesses are easy to avoid, and many can be treated quickly if you follow these tips. Allergies Many people suffer from allergies in the spring, when pollen count is on the rise. Unfortunately, the very nature of allergies means it comes around like clockwork and is almost unavoidable. However, allergies can easily be treated, so you won’t have to miss clinicals or feel muddled as you work on your course material. The best way to treat allergies is by taking an over-the-counter allergy medicine, such as Zyrtec or Allegra D. Eye drops will help with itchy eyes, and it’s always good to keep a packet of tissues with you. Daily pollen count is usually included in morning weather reports, so you can easily keep track of how much, if any, allergy medicine you may need. Because allergies aren’t contagious, you’ll still be able to attend your labs and clinicals without worrying about getting your patients or classmates sick. Colds Although colds are common during the winter, they are still ever-present during the spring. One of the best ways to protect yourself from getting a cold is by frequently washing your hands. Keep some hand sanitizer with you for additional protection when you aren’t near a sink. It may be hard as a nursing student to avoid those who have colds, so try to get in some exercise and plenty of Vitamin D to boost your immune system. It’s also important to stay hydrated and eat healthy meals, not just pastries for breakfast and frozen meals for lunch. If you do end up with a cold, spend one of your free days when you aren’t doing coursework or at labs and clinicals getting some rest and eating plenty of chicken soup. You’ll be back to your studies faster if you take a complete day to recover instead of pushing through your sickness. Strep Throat Strep Throat can be a painful and debilitating illness.  An extremely sore throat as well as swollen tonsils and a fever can leave you in bed and away from your classwork. You’ll need to visit a doctor to get a diagnosis and antibiotics. Strep Throat is transferred person-to-person, so the only way to avoid it is to make sure you aren’t around someone who has it. If you do end up treating a patient with Strep, be sure to wear a face mask and wash your hands immediately after treating them. Lyme Disease You aren’t the only one getting out and enjoying the warm weather. Spring brings out all the animals that have been hiding during the winter, and that includes the bugs. Lyme disease can be spread by the common deer tick, which commonly hide in tall grass and wooded areas. Lyme Disease, while not contagious like a cold or flu, can leave you with a fever, chills, headache and muscle pain, as well as a rash.  Your doctor will need to prescribe you an antibiotic for treatment. If you plan on enjoying the warm weather by taking a hike, be sure to wear light cotton clothing that covers your arms and legs so you can clearly see any ticks that may land on your clothes. If you do find a tick, be sure to remove it with a pair of tweezers immediately. If you’re interested in learning more about treating these common sicknesses, contact us today about enrolling in our accelerated nursing program.
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