Flu Season is Nothing to Sneeze at
by Karen Siroky, MSN, RN-BC, Senior Clinical Director, Education & Training, AMN Healthcare
Fall is influenza vaccination season! Our employers, pharmacies, physicians and others are informing healthcare providers and their patients that NOW is the time to be vaccinated against the flu.
The most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that over 75% of nurses were vaccinated against influenza. These great vaccination rates are a 200% increase over statistics from just six years ago, when only 35% of nurses were vaccinated. The vast improvement in the number vaccinated indicates that nursing is taking a lead role over other healthcare professions. But we still have more work to do.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) has set a 90% vaccination rate as its goal for healthcare professionals. This includes vaccination against the flu as well as other standard vaccinations.
If you are a travel nurse looking for new travel assignments during the fall and/or winter, you will find an increase in the number of facilities that require vaccination for all clinical staff working in their setting. Additionally, New York is requiring NON vaccinated clinicians to wear masks in all areas of the hospital where they might come in contact with patients, including hallways, cafeteria and elevators.
Due to the increased emphasis on vaccination, it is essential to keep vaccinations up-to-date and all vaccination records in a safe and accessible place.
We encourage all healthcare providers to obtain vaccination against the influenza for the 2013-2014 flu season. Your local pharmacy, grocery store, or other agency can provide the vaccine at very reasonable rates. Protect yourself, your family and your patients by obtaining your flu vaccination as soon as possible.
American Nurses Association [ANA]. (2012).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. (2013).
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