Leading by example: simple immunizations.One of the easiest ways that we as a profession can improve the healthcare of our communities is by advocating for immunizations. Two of the most common and affordable immunizations available are the influenza and pneumococcal pneumococcal /pneu·mo·coc·cal/ (-kok´al) pertaining to or caused by pneumococci. vaccines. Patients listen to nurses and trust their advice. My current employment setting delivers care for acute illnesses and provides numerous screening and health promotion services including immunizations. As a healthcare provider, I realize the importance of not only caring for myself but also to emphasize the importance of recommended immunizations such as the influenza and pneumococcal vaccines. Many of us employed in healthcare environments are at high risk for exposure to acquiring and transmitting a number of communicable diseases. As advocates for health and wellness, we should lead by example. Vaccine preventable diseases have not gone away. Without the protection of vaccines, we will experience more disease outbreaks, severe illnesses, and more death. According to statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC See Control Data, century date change and Back Orifice.
CDC - Control Data Corporation ), at least 500,000 cases of pneumococcal pneumonia Pneumococcal Pneumonia Definition
Pneumococcal pneumonia is a common but serious infection and inflammation of the lungs. It is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae. are estimated to occur annually in the United States. This infection causes an estimated 40,000 deaths, accounting for more deaths than any other vaccine preventable bacterial disease. The vaccine is both cost effective and protective when administered to immunecompetent persons aged 2 and older. The use of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV), also known as Pneumovax, is a vaccine used to prevent Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) infections such as pneumonia and septicaemia. consistently has been recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) consists of fifteen advisors to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), selected by the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, to provide advice and guidance on the most effective (ACIP ACIP Cardiology A clinical trial–Asymptomatic Cardiac Ischemia Pilot Study that evaluated 3 therapeutic strategies2 for ↓ myocardial ischemia during exercise testing. ), the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Additional information regarding the prevention of pneumococcal disease can be obtained at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/u041135.htm.
Statistics released by the CDC revealed that last year coverage for influenza vaccination among health care workers was estimated at 63.5%. However, for those that had an employer requirement for vaccination, coverage was 98.1%. CDC, ACIP and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC HICPAC Hospital Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee ) recommend that all U.S. health care workers get vaccinated against influenza. Health care workers should not need mandated employer requirements to be vaccinated! We should do this as a way to prevent transmission, avoid illnesses, absenteeism, and risk of acquiring or transmitting influenza. The CDC has established a direct correlation between influenza outbreaks in hospitals and long-term care facilities with low levels of influenza vaccination coverage. If you get the flu, you can spread it to others even if you don't feel sick. Leading by example and receiving vaccinations will protect yourself, your family, and your patients. More information regarding influenza vaccination for health care workers can be obtained at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/healthcareworkers.htm.
The CDC recommends vaccinations throughout your whole life to protect against many infections. When you skip a vaccine, you leave yourself vulnerable to illnesses such as influenza and pneumonia. Vaccine preventable infections are dangerous and every year tens of thousands of U.S. adults die from diseases they could have avoided with a simple vaccination. An average influenza illness can last up to 15 days, translating into five or six missed work days. In conclusion, according to recommendations by Adultvaccination.org, here are the top 10 reasons to be vaccinated.
* Vaccine preventable diseases haven't gone away.
* Vaccines will keep you healthy.
* Vaccines are as important to your overall health as diet and exercise.
* Vaccination can mean the difference between life and death.
* Vaccines are safe.
* Vaccines won't give you the disease they are designed to prevent.
* Young and healthy people can get very sick too.
* Vaccine preventable diseases are expensive.
* When you get sick, your children, grandchildren, and parents are at risk too.
* Your family and co-workers need you.
So, lead by example, care a lot, get a shot and encourage others to do the same.
John Malek, PhD, FNP-C