Getting a nursing assistant education is always an incredibly interesting thing to do. It is also challenging, lucrative, and rewarding, but I digress. This year, those about to earn their nursing assistant certification are going to be entering this already dynamic and action-packed field at a time of heightened interest. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), hospitals in the US are gearing up for a significantly busier than usual flu season. Stretching every year from November through February, flu season keeps hospitals and doctors’ offices busy with sufferers coming in for treatment. But with the Ebola scare rippling through the American media today, hospitals are expecting a much greater than usual volume of flu sufferers coming to visit. Because Ebola symptoms are similar to the symptoms brought on by influenza – fever, sweats, weakness, vomiting, aches, etc. – a public already worried about Ebola is expected to visit hospitals when flu symptoms emerge. It bears noting that Ebola concerns are widely blown out of proportion and the number of people who die each winter from influenza far outstrips the number expected to contract Ebola, the widespread awareness of Ebola will prompt many who might ordinarily suffer through the flu at home to seek medical attention this time. The public will be relying on the medical practitioners at hospitals and doctors’ offices to help keep the fear in perspective, letting patients know that it is extremely unlikely their case of the flu is anything other than what it is. However, with the media circus going at full tilt, it promises to be an interesting year in the ER and other front line medical treatment centers. An old Chinese proverb states, “May you live in interesting times”. If you’re about to embark on your new career as a nursing assistant, you most certainly will be starting your career at a very interesting juncture.
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