In a hospital setting, having an immunized population can be vital to containing infectious diseases and keeping sick patients from getting sicker. Health care providers working at hospitals are at the front lines and are instrumental in fighting the spread of disease.
Hospitalized patients and their medical needs are often complicated and extensive. They may only be in the hospital briefly, so there isn't much time for immunization education. But, with these resources, nurses in hospitals can quickly and easily include vaccine information into their discharge planning and teaching.
Besides the patients, it's important for hospital staff to be up to date on their immunizations. This page also includes resources for what vaccines hospital employees are normally recommended to get. Don't have a vaccine program at your hospital? Use some of these resources to make the case for vaccines, and help get a program started!
Nurses working in long term care facilities know how a group living situation can put residents at risk for communicable disease. Much like schools, residents should be vaccinated to help keep them protected and healthy. Since most of the long term care population is older adults, the vaccines nurses will encounter—either recommending, prescribing, or administering—will be influenza, pneumococcal, and herpes zoster (shingles). But anyone living in a long term facility should be vaccinated - especially for highly communicable disease such as measles and chickenpox.
Ensuring that residents are vaccinated is important, but don't forget to recommend that family members and other caregivers are vaccinated as well. And nurses and other workers in long term care facilities need to ensure their vaccines are up-to-date to ensure everyone is protected and to reduce communicable disease transmission.
Public health nurses work to enhance the health of the community through education and service. They deliver childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization services in the community, conduct daily disease surveillance and provide education and training to healthcare providers, teachers and day care workers all in support of the public health mission.
School nursing is a specialized practice of professional nursing that advances the well being, academic success, and life-long achievement of students. School nurses play a key role in getting the word out about influenza vaccine as well as ensuring students are up-to-date on school required and ACIP recommended vaccinations. Additionally, school nurses play a critical role in disease surveillance by tracking disease incidence to help prevent the spread of the illnesses to the community as a whole.
Hepatitis B Vaccine
Nurses in clinical practice run the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens like Hepatitis B. For this reason, CDC recommends nurses and other health care workers be vaccinated against Hepatitis B, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to offer free vaccine to any employee exposed to blood or other infectious material. (Source: Hepatitis B Foundation)
National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW)
National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is a national observance that was established to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination, as well as fostering greater use of flu vaccine after the holiday season into January and beyond.
Adult Immunization Resources for Medicare Providers
As a condition of participation in the Medicare and Medicaid program, nursing homes must ensure that their residents receive influenza and pneumoccoal vaccinations. Medicare also suggests as a best practice for increasing immunization among residents a standing orders program. These allow nurses, where permitted by state law, to administer vaccinations according to an institution or physician-approved protocol without a direct order. (Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)
Educational print materials for Long-Term Care facilities, includes screening questionnaires, factsheets, and standing orders for vaccination. Source: Immunization Action Coalition.
Immunization Information Systems
The CDC is leading the plan to implement electronic immunization registries in all states and territories to help providers and families by consolidating immunization information into one reliable source. They also save money by ensuring that children get only the vaccines they need and improve office efficiency by reducing the time needed to gather and review immunization records.
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases’ webpages on immunizations provides comprehensive resources for the general public and healthcare professionals.
School Entry Requirements State-By-State
All states have minimum immunization requirements for children in order for them to attend child care or school. These requirements ensure that communicable diseases are not spread in the school setting, so that children can learn in a safe, healthy environment.
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Vaccine Education Center
The Vaccine Education Center offers free educational materials. Source: CHOP Vaccine Education Center.
National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW)
NIIW highlights the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrates the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities. Nurses play a critical role in educating parents about the importance of immunization and ensuring that infants are fully immunized. Nurses can find information on infant immunizations, as well as resources to support their own NIIW activities and ongoing immunization strategies.
- CDC’s Vaccines for Your Children by Age
Seasonal Flu Information for Schools & Childcare Providers
Educators, staff, and school nurses can help slow the spread of colds and flu. On this page, you will find more information on preventing the flu, as well as, materials and tools for schools. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention