Training Offered To Educate Nurses on Vaccines
Dec 08, 2010

By Christine Vara
There has been quite a bit of commentary lately about mandatory vaccinations for healthcare workers.  Many medical establishments are moving in that direction and for good reason.  Studies indicate that in vaccinating the health care providers there are a host of wide spread benefits. 
Take for instance the fact that health care workers have contact with a large number of people – many who already suffer with health complications.  Then there’s the self-protecting concept that vaccination can help protect health workers from catching the illnesses from the people they treat.  Therefore, vaccination can be effective in preventing the further spread of disease.  It can even help keep providers from missing work (or more importantly, working while they are sick, like some people admittedly do).
I have to say that as a parent I have always just assumed the doctors, nurses and anyone who is in regular contact with patients would automatically assume the responsibility in getting themselves vaccinated.  I realize this is a “lead by example” expectation, but I don’t think that is too much to ask of someone who is expected to promote good health.    
Unfortunately, as with every policy change, those medical institutions that are enforcing mandatory vaccination of their employees are feeling a bit of backlash.  No one wants to be told what to do and more importantly, no one wants to feel as though their rights to personal choice are being over-ruled. 
However, what if we were to take the approach of educating those who initially oppose the policy?  What if we could demonstrate just how logical this would be for any health care worker?  Or what if we were to empower various medical providers with information that help them positively impact vaccinations for our entire community?
In discussing vaccinations with various medical personnel, it is clear that they must often spend a great deal of time addressing vaccination misconceptions from parents.  Parents have questions, fears and doubts.  We witness this almost daily on this blog and on our Vaccinate Your Baby Facebook page.  Which is why it is totally understandable for parents to then  direct these questions towards the nurses who are often tasked with administering the vaccinations. 
Fortunately, there is a new continuing education course being offered by Every Child By Two, the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care and the American Nurses Foundation titled “Bringing Immunity to Every Community.”  They have created a webinar that is designed to address misconceptions that nurses may have about vaccines, as well as to teach vaccine safety and a method to address parent misconceptions.  The course attempts to cover such important topics as:

  • The scientific findings regarding the safety of vaccines.
  •  The systems in place to ensure ongoing safety of vaccines and adverse event reporting requirements.
  •  Commonly expressed concerns over vaccine safety and appropriate responses to alleviate parental reluctance.
  •  Methods to eliminate the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as influenza and pertussis, including vaccination of adults and, in particular, healthcare workers.

This is just one effort being made to offer further education on the subject of vaccines, but one that will hopefully be a great resource to the nurses who participate. Help us to spread the word and let us know your experiences “on the job”.


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