11.20.2017 Back to News

NO FLU SHOT? Flu Season Has Begun -- Follow Masking Requirements

November 20 Is Flu Shot Compliance Deadline 

Methodist Health System's Infection Control Departments, in collaboration with the local county health departments, have designated “Flu Season” to begin on Monday, Nov. 20.

Mask Requirements: MHS Hospitals

If you have not received a flu shot, the following mask requirements are in effect at Methodist Hospital, Methodist Women’s Hospital and Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital as of Nov. 20, 2017: 

  •  A patient care area is defined as all nursing units (even while at nurses station), any area where an unvaccinated employee may come in contact with patients, visitors, or staff. This also applies to departments that serve patients, i.e. Radiology, Surgery, ER, Physical Therapy, etc.  Areas where staff who decline vaccination do not have to wear a mask include the department’s break room or the cafeteria for meals.

  • Masks can be obtained from your supervisor.

Mask Requirements: Methodist Physicians Clinic 

If you have not received a flu shot, the following mask requirement is in effect at all Methodist Physicians Clinics. This requirement was effective from October 15, 2017, and continues through April 30, 2018:

  • Must wear a mask daily from the time the first patient arrives in the clinic until the last patient leaves. 

Mask Requirement FAQs

Q: How should I respond to a patient or family member who asks why I’m wearing a mask?
A: Here are two options:

  1. You could respond by saying, “I have not been vaccinated for the flu, so I’m wearing this mask to protect you.”
  2. You could respond by saying, “I haven’t had the flu vaccine.  I don’t have flu symptoms now but the virus can be spread before I might develop symptoms, so I’m wearing the mask to protect you.”

Q: How do I put on my surgical mask?
A: Applying mask:

  1. Secure ties or elastic band at middle of head and neck; or place ear loops around ears.
  2. Fit flexible band to nose bridge.
  3. Fit snug to face and below chin.

Q: How do I remove my surgical mask?
A: Removing mask:

  1. The mask is contaminated!
  2. Grasp ONLY the bottom ties, then top ties/elastic and remove.
  3. Discard in waste container.

Q: Can I untie my mask and wear it around my neck until I need to wear it again?
A: NO, once a mask is removed it is considered contaminated and should be discarded. Masks must also be replaced if they become moistened, soiled or torn during use.
 
Q: Do I have to discard the mask after I’ve been in a Droplet Precaution Room, or can I continue to wear it?
A: NO, you must remove the mask before leaving the room and discard it in the trash. The front of the mask is contaminated.

Questions About Wearing the Mask?

  • Call Infection Control at (402) 354-8715.
  • At Methodist Jennie Edmundson, call Infection Control at (712) 396-4404.

To print a copy of the mask guidelines/FAQs, or view other resources such as how to receive your free flu shot, see the Flu Shot Campaign sitepage, accessible from the home page of the mhsintranet.

Thank you for your support of safe patient care!