As flu season ramps up, a Florida nurse had a message for potential visitors to the emergency room: If it’s not an emergency, don’t show up.
“There is a cesspool of flu, a cesspool of funky flu in the ER right now.” Katherine Lockler said in a video she posted from her car to Facebook on Saturday. “Please don't bring your healthy children — especially your newborn babies — into the emergency room. And if you don't have what I call a true emergency, this would not be a time to come to the emergency room.”
Lockler, a mother of four and a healthcare professional for nearly 18 years, said she had just finished a 12-hour night shift when she recorded her nearly seven-minute video, The Pensacola News-Journal reported.
The video, called “After Work Thoughts,” has been shared nearly 89,000 times on Facebook and viewed by more than 4.6 million people. Lockler speaks to her audience in an upbeat, animated tone that veers between sarcasm and a mother lecturing a small child.
“The biggest problem for me was seeing people come in to visit and not only being exposed to this awful flu virus, but not taking the correct precautions to get themselves disinfected before going out in the world,” Lockler told the News-Journal.
In one segment of the video, Lockler pretends to sneeze into her arm as a way to limit the spread of flu-like germs.
“Watch this, I'm gonna teach y’all a magic trick, it's amazing,” she said. “Let me show you again in slow motion.”
Lockler told the News-Journal that her tone might have been condescending, but she was only trying to send a message.
“I think there's a little bit of sarcasm in my voice because the instructions were given so many times and they were not received well,” Lockler told the newspaper. “I tend to be sarcastic in all my speaking, but if it's taken wrong I would definitely apologize to that group that misheard my message because of my tone. The message is still right on the money, but if the tone was offensive, that was not the intention.”
Just don’t go to the emergency room if you’re healthy, she said.
“Some of them (were not) true emergencies,” Lockler said in the video. “But they’re waiting along with the flu right next to them, so guess what? Five flus came in, 15 flus walk out.
“It’s great. And half of them don’t realize they have the flu yet. They’ll be back.”