Nurses face challenge in flu message: nurses and other health care professionals face significant challenges in motivating Australians with underlying medical conditions to protect themselves against serious influenza complications, a research report released by the Influenza Specialist Group (ISG) last month shows.The Influenza and influenza vaccination--saving lives by dispelling common myths among at-risk Australians aged 18-64 years report examined the attitudes and beliefs of at-risk younger Australians. Statistics show annual influenza vaccination rates of at-risk 18-64 year olds is almost haft that of those in the 65 and over age bracket--42% compared to 80%.
More than 400 people aged 18-64 and at-risk or with one or more chronic condition, such as chronic asthma, lung disease lung disease Pulmonary disease Pulmonology Any condition causing or indicating impaired lung function Types of LD Obstructive lung disease–↓ in air flow caused by a narrowing or blockage of airways–eg, asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis; , diabetes, kidney disease Kidney Disease Definition
Kidney disease is a general term for any damage that reduces the functioning of the kidney. Kidney disease is also called renal disease. or impaired immunity, were surveyed in March 2008.
The report shows key misconceptions of influenza and vaccination of at-risk 18-64 year olds, including: two thirds thought being fit and healthy offered protection against contracting influenza; almost one third considered the influenza vaccine influenza vaccine Flu vaccine A vaccine recommended for those at high risk for serious complications from influenza: > age 65; Pts with chronic diseases of heart, lung or kidneys, DM, immunosuppression, severe anemia, nursing home and other chronic-care could cause influenza; and less than one third thought the influenza vaccine was more than 70% effective in protecting against the virus.
"Many Australians with underlying chronic conditions don't think of themselves as being at-risk as they feel fit and healthy," Australian Practice Nurses Association Lisa Collinson said.
National Health and Medical Research Council The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is Australia's peak funding body for medical research, with a budget of nearly A$500M a year . The Council was established to develop and maintain health standards and is responsible for implementing the guidelines recommend annual influenza vaccination for those aged over six months with underlying risk conditions as the virus can exacerbate symptoms of pre-existing illnesses and even increase the risk of death. Vaccination is also recommended for pregnant women, particularly those who will be in the second or third trimester Noun 1. third trimester - time period extending from the 28th week of gestation until delivery
trimester - a period of three months; especially one of the three three-month periods into which human pregnancy is divided during the flu season
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ISG Integrated Starter/Generator has recommended several strategies for nurses and other health care professionals to increase vaccination rates in those aged 18-64 and at-risk of influenza infection:
* increased education regarding the severity of influenza and the importance of vaccination for those at risk;
* improving the ability of nurses and other health care professionals to easily identify patients at risk of severe influenza complications; and
* making the vaccine more readily accessible to those at risk, eg directly through GP surgeries.
Nurses need to reinforce to patients that simple hygiene measures help protect against influenza infection, such as regular hand washing This article or section contains .
The purpose of Wikipedia is to present facts, not to teach subject matter. and not touching your nose or mouth with unwashed hands, Ms Collinson said. "The nature of our job also means that nurses are regularly exposed to ill patients, including those with influenza, so it is important that we ourselves are vaccinated against the disease. Not just to protect ourselves against influenza but also to protect our patients.
The ISG report is available at: http://www.influenzaspecialistgroup.org.au