ER nurse in powerful video on flu: ‘Wash your stinking hands’

A nurse’s Facebook rant about the “cesspool of funky flu” in emergency room waiting areas is getting a lot of attention.

“Wash your stinking hands,” Katherine Lockler says in a six-minute video that’s been viewed 4.8 million times since she recorded it in frustration after a 12-hour shift during this particularly nasty flu season. The mother of four works in several emergency rooms in the Pensacola area in Florida’s Panhandle.

She said 25 to 30 people often sit for hours in hospital waiting rooms as the worst cases get treated first.

“Some of them are not true emergencies, 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,” she said sarcastically. “They’ll be back.”

Lockler shares ER horror stories, like the father who let his baby to crawl on the floor, and the softball coach who brought his whole team.

In fact, if you aren’t sick, just stay home, she advises.

“So, don’t bring bring your team in. Please don’t bring your healthy children, especially your newborn babies, into the emergency,” she said. “If you don’t have what I call a true emergency, this would not be the time to come to the emergency room.”

The Associated Press reports health officials are saying the flu season continues to get worse, and there are weeks of suffering ahead. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday reported 42 states had heavy flu-related patient traffic last week, up from 39 the week before.

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