nurses and parents that don't follow CDC vaccination schedules

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    I'm a new nurse (RN) and planning on specializing in pediatrics. I am curious on how most experienced nurses view/ deal with/educate/etc. parents who make the decision not to vaccinate, or to do limited vaccinations but do not follow the CDC schedule for vaccinations.
    Thanks for your input!
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  3. 18 Comments so far...

  4. 17
    If by educate you mean give a parent information that they don't have so they can make an informed decision, I would say do just that. Discuss their concerns and feelings, give them info, answer questions, etc. Find out why they are not vaxing or they are delaying. They probably have some valid concerns.

    If by educate you mean convince an informed parent that what they're doing is wrong, simply put; don't.
    tewdles, Jessy_RN, Sanuk, and 14 others like this.
  5. 4
    I am in favor of vaccinations. I get more than the average and so will my children. But that is my decision. Although I wish everyone would vaccinate, I think a parent has every right to decide whether to vaccinate their child. They only think you can do is give accurate informed consent...the good sides and the bad sides. Don't be pushy at all. One way to tick a parent off it to sound like you are in favor of one side or another; just give the facts plain and simple.
    tewdles, Jessy_RN, inkedRN, and 1 other like this.
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    Yes, please, don't suggest or imply that parents haven't put a lot of thought and time into the decision. Yes, they may be basing it on Jenny *gag* McCarthy's book, but they are still coming at it from a position of love.

    In the end, it's their decision; you can discuss the pros and cons of their choice, but it's not your place to tell them it's right or wrong.
    Jessy_RN, nrsang97, klone, and 1 other like this.
  7. 4
    Start by educating yourself on all sides of the issue. Share the information that you learn. Trust your patients to choose for themselves what they will do. After my niece had an anaphylactic reaction to DPT on the way home from her pediatrician's office, I became much more understanding of some people choosing to risk illness rather than vaccine reaction. Both are possibilities.
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    by "educate" I did NOT mean to imply that parents s/b convinced to do one thing or the other. sorry if I did. I meant WHAT kind of teaching do you do, WHAT kind of information do you include & from what sources...that kind of thing.

    One thing pounded in my head during school was never tell a pt they are right or wrong...besides my psych instructor would kill me if she found out I did.
  9. 2
    See the CDC "pink" book. It literally has every vaccine information sheet as well as education resources for every vaccine preventable illness...http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/Pubs/pinkbook/default.htm
    tewdles and blondy2061h like this.
  10. 3
    Yes, please don't tell a patient they are wrong or doing a disservice to their child for not vaccinating. I would wager that the vast majority of parents that do not vaccinate, have done a ton of research on their own. Believe it or not, it's very difficult to go against the grain and no one enjoys being openly chastised for their choices.

    I think the best thing to do, is to educate yourself for the reasons why people do not. Read anti-vaccine books, even if you don't believe them. Read them and become familiar for the reasons. It's not just about autism, trust me. It's easier to help others when we are familiar with all sides. What you are taught in nursing/medical school for vaccinations is very one-sided.

    Be understanding and listen to their concerns and choices. By not doing so, it only turns them off to their provider and creates riffs. Good luck!
    Last edit by meadowsong on Jan 22, '10 : Reason: n/a
    klone, LovebugLPN, and mustlovepoodles like this.
  11. 4
    Quote from ericamic99
    Yes, please don't tell a patient they are wrong or doing a disservice to their child for not vaccinating. I would wager that the vast majority of parents that do not vaccinate, have done a ton of research on their own. Believe it or not, it's very difficult to go against the grain and no one enjoys being openly chastised for their choices.

    I think the best thing to do, is to educate yourself for the reasons why people do not. Read anti-vaccine books, even if you don't believe them. Read them and become familiar for the reasons. It's not just about autism, trust me. It's easier to help others when we are familiar with all sides. What you are taught in nursing/medical school for vaccinations is very one-sided.

    Be understanding and listen to their concerns and choices. By not doing so, it only turns them off to their provider and creates riffs. Good luck!
    I don't have anything to add but I just wanted to say, this is exactly how I feel. I am very ambivalent about vaccinations and I took time to really consider what I was going to do with each of my children. The first one had reactions to his DPT, so we eliminated some of those but he got his MMR. He was about 1yo when the meningitis shot came out and even though I was afraid, I had him get that because he was in daycare. With #2 I was a little more informed and she only got the first 2 DPTs and nothing else. Then #3 came along with multiple disabilities and failure to thrive and he got AAAALLLLLL the shots he could get.

    I think it is important to point out that the subject of vaccination is very controversial. Parents on both sides of the issue are well-informed and have research to "prove" their case. It really all comes down to parents' comfort level with risk. Some parents will fall on the side of wanting to eliminate as much risk from illness as possible through the use of chemical intervention and are willing to accept a certain level of potential side effects. Other parents will fall on the side of being willing to risk disease but not potential side effects of vaccinations. In my case the decision was different for all three children.

    ETA: My kids are the healthiest kids on the block. I attribute it to the fact that they all played and rolled around on my ancient shag carpeting. God only knows what was in that rug, but they are fully "immunized" from cooties now.
    xtxrn, Sterren, sethmctenn, and 1 other like this.
  12. 0
    "Better to be a little bit sick than a whole lot dead" HMC M.....

    A bit of advice given me by a division chief regarding the importance of getting vaccinated.....


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