How probability has made the mask or the vaccine a reality for BC’s healthcare workers

I have spent the last week cooped up with my seasonal friends Nyquil, Tylenol Cold and Flu, and NeoCitran battling this year’s flu strain of headaches, nausea, sore throat, coughing, dry eyes, aching body, and congestion. Gross! So I confined myself to my tiny apartment to ensure that I wasn’t going to pass this contaminate onto whoever I came in contact with.

Your welcome Victoria… but what if it became mandatory that your occupation forced you to inject yourself with a flu virus. Well it is mandatory for all BC Healthcare workers to receive a flu vaccination.

In recent months Dr. Perry Kendall, BC’s Provincial Health Officer made it mandatory that all health-authority staff, physicians and residents, volunteers, students, contractors and vendors who come in contact with patients will need to get the influenza vaccine, or wear a mask during the flu season.

The policy was implemented after BC healthcare workers received some of the lowest rates (around 50 per cent) to participate in free vaccination shots. BC will also be the first province in Canada to implement the province wide policy.

Recent studies suggest that 50-60 per cent of “healthy adults” will be protected from the flu when they come into contact with others that have it when given the vaccinations.

And while it suggested that those given the vaccine aren’t likely to get sick from the vaccination the chances are still probable.

So what does all this mean for those healthcare workers?

That the chance of catching the flu is significantly decreased when given the flu vaccination, which will result in less over time paid to healthcare workers to cover the shifts of their fellow employees and a less likelihood that patients run the chance of catching the flu.

While this might sound great to someone not working in the healthcare industry would you support a mandatory policy that made you get vaccinated at your place of employment?

I am definitely not a health professional that analyzes stacks upon stacks of data in regards to the flu vaccination but I do understand how statistics can be used to suggest a relationship between one thing and another for the purpose of persuasion, and so I choose not to get a flu vaccination and supposedly increase my chances of catching the seasonal contaminant.

After all it’s my decision… well at least for the time being.

What is 5% of forever?

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I spruced up my LinkedIn profile a month or two ago, but it stalled at 95% complete when my internship ended. It wants a description of my current position. OK LinkedIn, you win. I don’t have a current position. In fact, the lack of current position was why I spruced up my profile in the first place.

It seems inconsequential, but that missing 5% burns a person on the job hunt. It’s a constant reminder of the countless hours of networking, resumes, cover letters, portfolios, and interviews looming ominously between you and your next job or even career.

There are solutions, of course. The most obvious one is to stop looking at my profile, or quit logging on full-stop. I don’t seem capable of this option. I could also write some form of “looking for a paying gig” in there, as many people do, but I don’t like the look of it. (Yes, that is silly, and yes, I should promote my availability.) I could also write that I am a student, except that LinkedIn is already aware of this fact and has chosen to ignore it as a viable “current position.”

For now I’ll brace myself and make peace with that missing 5%. When I am ready to write something in there – perhaps the spoils of an upcoming interview – it will serve as the summit of this particular expedition.

~Christie

(Image courtesy of lukemcreynolds.com)

Best guess or best dressed?

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This last week I have had to acclimatize to the environment of BC’s Pacific Northwest. Previously I was living in Victoria BC, which is considered to have Canada’s mildest temperate environments so my body’s adjustment to the cold spring winds has been slow. But this morning I woke up to fresh snow on the mountains – which are less than a km from the backyard of my residence. Nuts!

According to the Weather Network the average temperature of Terrace during the month of May is 10.9 degrees Celsius. I suppose anything is possible with a record low of -2.8 degrees Celsius and high of 29 degrees Celsius. That’s why they tell you to layer your clothing so that you can be prepared in unpredictable circumstances.

With my background running and operating an Electrical company, and only a year left to complete my BBA in marketing/communications, I believe that layering your career options is a good way to prepare for those unpredictable economic circumstances that lay ahead.

For those 7.0% of British Columbians that are struggling to find employment, any sign of an economic up-swing must illicit hope, but hope alone won’t provide security. Layering your knowledge and skills in preparation for the unpredictable climate will provide the most opportunity for tomorrow.

Meteorologists provide a best-guess estimate based on historical data and current trends to predict the weather. An Economist, generally speaking, goes through similar processes when predicting economic fluctuations. While I’m over simplifying, anything is possible when it comes to the weather and the economy.

I challenge my readers to continue to learn about the world around you, so you can weather the storm no matter what the circumstances may be.

~TJ Nyce

(Photo courtesy of k8onc100.blogspot.ca)