Flu shot and evidenced based practice.

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    Indiana University Health Goshen Hospital fired a nurse with 22 years of experience because she refused a flu shot. In nursing school, I was taught that nurses use evidenced based practice. I was wondering if there are any studies that demonstrate "Patients with vaccinated nurses have statistically significant less incidents of flu than patients with unvaccinated nurses." Considering that patients do not live a bubble where their only contact with the outside world is their nurse, I doubt that this could be proven. Therefore, aren't hospitals bullying healthcare professionals? Shouldn't the nursing associations also advocate for nurses' autonomy when deciding what to do with their bodies? Making the claim that unvaccinated nurses endanger patients is unfounded and unscientific. Besides nurses, along with the general population, carry all kinds of viruses and bacteria that could potentially harm a patient. I would love to hear other nurses' opinions. Also, if anyone could provide a valid study that would be nice to see.
  2. Poll: Should nurses be fired for refusing flu shots?

    • Yes

      16.67% 1
    • No

      83.33% 5
    6 Votes
  3. 6 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Moved to Pandemic Flu forum for more response.
  5. 0
    I voted no.
  6. 0
    I find it very odd how this thread has received no responses from the flu vaccine is good crowd. Where are all the nurses who are claiming you are somehow a bad person if you do not receive the flu shot because you are "endangering your patients lives?" Also, how does getting the flu shot prevent you from carrying the virus on your scrubs or your hands?
  7. 0
    Quote from channtheman
    I find it very odd how this thread has received no responses from the flu vaccine is good crowd. Where are all the nurses who are claiming you are somehow a bad person if you do not receive the flu shot because you are "endangering your patients lives?" Also, how does getting the flu shot prevent you from carrying the virus on your scrubs or your hands?
    Not getting vaccinated doesn't make anyone, nurse or not, a "bad" person. Selfish and misinformed maybe. Healthcare providers who come in contact with patients in clinical settings are endangering those patients' lives by refusing to vaccinate themselves against disease-causing pathogens, and science supports this. The influenza virus replicates in the respiratory tract of a living host. Transmission of the flu does not typically occur by direct contact, but instead by sneezing, coughing and other respiratory secretions. That's why influenza patients are placed on droplet precautions and not just contact. Influenza viruses ARE found on inanimate objects such as hard surfaces, clothing and on unwashed hands, etc. Hence the push for hand washing, use of disinfectants, and widespread vaccination.... Because the influenza virus requires a living cell to replicate, if that cell is vaccinated against the virus, it cannot replicate. Not to mention that most people don't lick or sniff tables, clothing, or other peoples' hands. Healthcare workers are most dangerous to their patients during the incubation period of disease, well before symptoms of infection manifest themselves.
  8. 0
    Quote from JRM113081
    Considering that patients do not live a bubble where their only contact with the outside world is their nurse, I doubt that this could be proven. Therefore, aren't hospitals bullying healthcare professionals? Shouldn't the nursing associations also advocate for nurses' autonomy when deciding what to do with their bodies? Making the claim that unvaccinated nurses endanger patients is unfounded and unscientific. Besides nurses, along with the general population, carry all kinds of viruses and bacteria that could potentially harm a patient. I would love to hear other nurses' opinions. Also, if anyone could provide a valid study that would be nice to see.
    At least in my experience, many patients seek healthcare during times of illness when their defenses against disease are lowest. In the emergency department especially, there were some really, really sick people that I cared for whose bodies without question would've been unable to mount successful defenses against influenza. I don't think that the emphasis of concern is focused on transmission to patients who are otherwise healthy, but rather on patients who are already sick at their baseline and therefore are most likely to die from influenza (i.e. cancer, AIDS, ICU pts, etc.) While I wouldn't be surprised that studies to support the benefits that vaccination of healthcare providers have upon good patient outcomes do in fact exist, it seems like a no-brainer, almost like studies to determine whether studying has a positive impact upon students' GPAs.
  9. 0
    I have no strong feelings about the shot either way. I didn't take it for many years. I take it now because my current employer really, really wants everyone to. Do I think it's fair that nurses get fired for refusing? No. However, the reality is that, EBP or no, employers are free to set whatever standards of employment they see fit as long as they're not violating federal or state employment law.


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