Do you get a flu shot every year? It’s the best way to combat the ever-changing, potentially deadly flu virus…yet many people don’t get vaccinated. So every year, nurses help provide the first line of care for affected patients. California TV’s “Nurse Barb” says nurses are often on the front lines when it comes to addressing issues like this year’s uptick in flu cases, especially those who work in urgent care settings and pharmacy-based walk-in clinics. “They are at the forefront of encouraging flu vaccines, but also see and treat people who would normally be walking into emergency rooms,” Nurse Barb adds. Nurses are the ones who know when and how to leave emergency slots open for those who need to be seen urgently. The unexpected hike in flu activity this season caught many health care providers off guard and nurses had to improvise to deal with an increased number of patients. A Pennsylvania hospital, for instance, set up “surge tents” to treat patients with flu-like symptoms as a way to treat patients and avoid spreading the virus. A New Jersey facility installed a hand hygiene scanning device to ensure hand washing compliance for anyone entering or leaving patient rooms. If you or a loved one were among those treated for the flu, chances are a nurse played a major role in your or their recovery. Maybe that’s a role you’d like to fill in the future. If so, check out more on what a career in nursing can provide at www.fortis.edu.