Nursing

Nurses are good at giving flu vaccines, bad at getting them

Nurse Leader Insider, November 12, 2015

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It's the time of year for flu shots, so we're revisiting this article written by Alexandra Wilson Pecci for HealthLeaders Media a few years ago, which is still pertinent today.

Nurses are leading the way in reducing readmissions, improving infection control, and greening hospitals. Now add improving vaccination rates to that list.

A new study in the Annals of Family Medicine finds that more elderly and at-risk adults get flu and pneumonia vaccinations when the shots are administered by nurses instead of doctors.

Researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, analyzed 77 studies about methods for improving vaccination rates, from patient financial incentives to patient outreach. Of all the methods they studied, the researchers found that giving vaccination responsibility to nurses was among the most successful ways to improve vaccination rates.

That nurses can help improve vaccination rates is no surprise, but I can't help but notice an ironic side to this: Nurses might be good at giving the vaccine and making sure their patients get it, but they and other healthcare workers are notoriously bad at getting flu vaccines for themselves.

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