Flu Shot Season is Upon Us

November 4th, 2011

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By , BSN, RN

I get my flu shot every year. I used to work in a call center, shoulder-to-shoulder with 100 other talking people. I got the flu every year. Sick as a dog and I could usually tell when it was coming by watching the empty chairs in the call center row in front of me. Eventually, it worked its way through the whole room.

I tell you this, because as nurses we work with vulnerable populations and through hard work and exhaustion, particularly during the holiday season, we become vulnerable ourselves. I have not had the flu since I started nursing school 12 years ago and started getting my annual immunization. I know many people who don't and they all have what sound like valid reasons.

The American Nurses Association (ANA has launched its annual influenza vaccine campaign. For the 2011-2012 season it is called Unite to Fight the Flu. The ANA is asking nurses nationwide to be role models and leaders promoting what is a safe and effective disease prevention strategy.

The campaign features a Seasonal Influenza Toolkit based on five themes for nurses:

  • Vaccinate against influenza for protection of nurses and patients.
  • Collaborate with coworkers and colleagues to promote influenza vaccination.
  • Encourage patients, family and communities to be vaccinated.
  • Advocate for enhanced immunization access through the use of standing orders.
  • Use a safety needle to prevent needle stick injuries.

ANA President Karen Daley encourages all nurses to get their flu shots. She calls it a personal and professional obligation and something to be proud of.

If you are a nurse in hospital or clinic your flu shot is probably free from employee health. If you are out in the community they are one of the best deals you can get at your local drugstore. Spend $15-25 dollars and stay healthy through the holiday season.

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