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Per Diem Nursing Jobs Increase During the Fall, Why?

Sometimes, it seems like New Year’s should be celebrated in the fall, with students starting up a new school year and families getting ready with supplies, clothes, and scheduling. However, it’s not all high expectations; the autumn allergy season is upon us with the flu season close behind, and healthcare organizations are preparing to cover the surge of patients. It’s a busy time, and per diem nursing jobs offer flexibility to both nurses and facilities.

Why Do Hospitals Need More Nurses in the Fall?

Seasonal allergies combined with illnesses that spread easily among students in close proximity in their classrooms, in sports games, and on the playground—often with physical contact—certainly lead to an increased need for health attention and, of course, for nurses. Furthermore, the elderly population sees an increase in community-acquired infections, and these often proliferate within acute and long-term healthcare settings during this time of year.

In this season, when more patients need more nurses, hospitals and clinics are often looking for PRN nurses to cover gaps in nursing shifts.

What Are the Most Common Fall Ailments?

Allergies, influenza (flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and head lice are at the top of the list of the most common fall ailments.

Allergies

Ragweed, a prolific plant that grows wild nearly everywhere, but especially on the East Coast and in the Midwest, takes the lead as the primary trigger for fall allergies. Its flowering season spans from August to November, when it liberates copious amounts of pollen into the air. Notably, early to mid-September witnesses peak ragweed allergic reactions.

Flu

While influenza (flu) is detected year-round in the United States, flu viruses typically circulate during the fall and winter during what’s known as the flu season, beginning in October, peaking between December and February, and lasting as late as May. 

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The flu is highly contagious from the day before symptoms appear and up to seven days afterward and typically spreads via coughs and sneezes of an infected person. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported estimates of up to 26 million medical visits, 650,000 hospitalizations, and 58,000 deaths due to the flu in the 2022–2023 flu season.

RSV

Often mistaken for a cold, RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms that should be checked and diagnosed because this virus can develop into pneumonia or bronchiolitis, putting infants and older adults at high risk. Although the burden of RSV is much less than that of the flu, each year, the US sees approximately 240,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths due to this disease. 

Head Lice 

Causing zero morbidity yet serious concern—the opposite of the flu—head lice multiply swiftly and cause unrelenting itching. Myths foster the idea that head lice are due to uncleanliness and are, therefore, shameful, but the truth is that they spread commonly among children at school simply due to very close proximity. Head lice do not infest buildings or transmit infections. For patients over two months old, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of Permethrin as a widely used and studied pediculicide

How Can I Find PRN Nursing Jobs? 

You can help facilities cover seasonal surges by connecting with per diem jobs on Nursa’s open marketplace. With Nursa, you can find high-paying shifts in facilities near you.

Going Back to School: How Can I Keep My Child Healthy? 

Every fall, nurses get this question from parents, “How can I keep my child healthy?” Although answers may vary slightly, the basics include sleep, exercise, nutrition, sunlight, and regular check-ups. Whether you are looking for tips to keep your own kids healthy during the fall or to have an answer ready to guide your patients’ parents, these four tips cover some important considerations:

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1. School Is in—Bedtime Is Back

Getting enough sleep is crucial to good health in general, and particularly to children sharing vital friendships at school—and the viruses and other “critters” that so many classmates inevitably bring along. Not getting enough sleep makes learning harder because it diminishes memory, concentration, and creativity. In fact, the Sleep Foundation states that insufficient sleep can lower learning abilities by as much as 40 percent. Lack of sleep also tends to result in lower school attendance, tardiness, and trouble managing emotions.

The Boston Children’s Hospital recommends approximately nine to 12 hours of sleep for children ages six to 12 and eight to 10 hours for teens.

If your child is moody or hard to wake up in the morning, it may well be a sign that they are not getting enough sleep.

Have your child turn off electronic devices well before bedtime and put the devices away. Practice a consistent, calming, and happy bedtime routine to help your child settle down and fall asleep. This routine might include relaxing in a bath, reading, singing, interacting with some heart-to-heart conversation, tucking them in, and saying goodnight.

Sleep is important for adults as well. Learn tips for getting better sleep as a nurse here.

2. A Good Breakfast Is a Healthy Start for the Day

Breakfast with protein helps sustain energy and focus. On those occasional late starts when kids don’t have time to eat their breakfasts, be sure to throw a couple of protein bars or yogurt cups into their school bags.

The School Breakfast Program (SBP) provides low-cost or free breakfasts to children of qualifying families and typically operates in about 90,000 public and nonprofit private schools. Furthermore, as of this year, six states are making free meals available to all public school students, regardless of the families’ income.

3. Nature and Movement Go Together

Running, stretching, or walking, especially outside, just feels good. However, it is definitely hard to get most children to put down their cell phones, get off the couch, and go out into the great outdoors. Plan a playdate with one of your child’s friends—maybe someone from school; go to a picnic at the park and take a ball along. If you have a backyard, turn it into a fun place to play with a couple of stumps and a board or just some dirt; smaller children love dirt and mud. In the winter, you can build a snowman with your kids.

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4. Back-to-School Checkups

The back-to-school checkup supports physical and mental health. This thorough physical also gives the doctor or nurse the opportunity to address any emotional, developmental, or social concerns, and it is an important aspect of preventive care.

Remember: Schools inherently foster the spread of infections from person to person because they offer group experiences where people are in close contact and share supplies and equipment. However, a lot can be done to safeguard children and adults from infection. You can also stay healthier during this allergy and flu season.

How to Stay Healthy in the Fall

All the points mentioned above go for adults as well as children. Here are three additional fall tips for everyone. 

  • Hand washing: Wash hands with soap and warm water often, particularly after using the restroom and both before and after attending patients. 
  • Stay home when ill: Avoid close contact with others during the infectious period of an illness.
  • Share information: Learning about signs, symptoms, and prevention can help people actively prevent the spread of disease.

Read How to Stay Healthy This Fall: A Guide for Nurses

Should I Pick Up Per Diem Jobs?

Whether you are a registered nurse (RN), a certified nursing assistant (CNA), or a licensed practical nurse (LPN), you can easily find and land per diem nursing jobs near you with Nursa.

Use Nursa to Pick Up PRN Jobs during the Busy Fall Months

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