Local nurse's video rant on disastrous flu season goes viral

Katherine Smith Lockler posted her frustrated flu-rant to Facebook after coming off a 12-hour shift at the hospital

Katherine Smith Lockler posted her frustrated flu-rant to Facebook after coming off a 12-hour shift at the hospital

Lockler lives in Milton and works in several emergency rooms in Northwest Florida, where the flu is running high in numbers not seen since the 2009-10 flu season.

Lockler's clip has been shared on Facebook more than 94,000 times as of Friday morning. Lockler encourages people to wash their hands, and not to bring healthy kids to the ER.

And also, maybe don't come if you're not really experiencing "a true emergency", she added.

"I wish this could be played on repeat in the waiting room", read one comment on Lockler's page, which was reflective of many.

Part of what's made the almost seven-minute-long video so polarizing was the sarcastic inflection and animated facial expressions and gestures Lockler used at times to get her point across.

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"Watch this, I'm gonna teach y'all a magic trick, its awesome!"

In the video, she describes the ER as a "cesspool of funky flu", so if you don't have an actual emergency, it's probably best to avoid any ER right now. "It's wonderful", she says as she raises an elbow up to cover her mouth in a common move recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

And if you need to sneeze or cough, do so into your arm, Lockler explains, while sarcastically demonstrating the process.

"I just giggle", she said.

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.

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Lockler also noted that she's been "yelled at and cussed at" by patients who complain about the wait time in the emergency room. (This happens every year, but it seems more real when it happens to you or somebody you know.) But the flu vaccine is still working. "But they're waiting along with the flu right next to them, so guess what?" Five flus came in, 15 flus walk out.

Lockler told the Pensacola News Journal her intent was not just to vent, but to offer a constructive message from a health care professional's perspective.

Emergency rooms throughout the country and in the greater New Orleans area have been overwhelmed with flu patients. In the video, titled "After Work Thoughts", she highlights the heightened risk of catching the flu this season and shares some sassy-toned tips to avoid getting yourself, and other people, sick.

According to the latest estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been about 37 pediatric deaths related to the flu so far this season, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald reported on January 26 to reporters in a flu activity update. She went on to apologize to anyone offended by her tone, but insists that regardless of how she may have come off the message is still "right on the money".

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