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Five Ways to Convince Patients they Need Flu Shots

Nurses Article   (27,027 Views 55 Replies 994 Words)
by Lynda Lampert, RN Lynda Lampert, RN (Member) Member Nurse

Lynda Lampert, RN has 4 years experience and specializes in telemetry, med-surg, post op, ICU.

22 Articles; 49,267 Profile Views; 101 Posts

Nurses should never force patients to take any treatment, but sometimes we have to be a bit more persuasive in our approach to a particular procedure. One such treatment is the flu shot, and there are several myths and fears surrounding this vaccine. Helping your patient understand the importance of the flu shot can go a long way to making them healthier. You are reading page 2 of Five Ways to Convince Patients they Need Flu Shots. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

greenerpastures has 5 years experience.

190 Posts; 5,801 Profile Views

As someone who was "forced" to get a flu shot or find other employment, I don't encourage people - I offer, if they decline, fine. I think a pneumo vax for all bedside nurses would be more effective than the "crap shoot" flu shot each year that has already mutated to adapt this year. I'm very concerned we are going to see the same issues with vaccines, like the flu, that we now have with antibiotics - we are going to create more and more resistant strains that medications don't work on due to overexposure. I KNOW that's not how it should work with vaccines, BUT you never know.

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNS and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

166 Articles; 21,045 Posts; 191,565 Profile Views

I work with immunocompromised dialysis pts. We strongly encourage our pts to take the flu shot as well as the pneumococcal vaccine. I do not browbeat my pts. However, they are easily educated and most do take it.

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3 Articles; 2,107 Posts; 35,254 Profile Views

You should have known before you posted this that the anti-vaccine crowd would jump on this. I hoped we would skip this crap this year. At the least you could try to come up with different arguments so it could be entertaining.

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Emergent has 25 years experience.

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You should have known before you posted this that the anti-vaccine crowd would jump on this. I hoped we would skip this crap this year. At the least you could try to come up with different arguments so it could be entertaining.

I think respect for other points of view is paramount in nursing. Many people find the flu vaccine questionable, that doesn't mean that they are fanatical anti-vaxers deserving of disdain.

Calling opinions that you disagree with "crap" is unprofessional and disrespectful. If the subject matter troubles you so, simply skip the thread.

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agcaruso has 4 years experience.

17 Posts; 1,405 Profile Views

I don't believe in the flu shot and am sickened that so many of us are being forced to take it regardless of the risk and our personal autonomy to our own body is being violated! I do not encourage my patients to get the flu vaccine. I'm glad they finally get a printout talking about the risks some serious from the vaccine, which they never used to get. I've taken care of too many patients that got guillaine barre from a flu shot. I'm not a stepford nurse and I won't let someone tell me what to think or push onto my patients. They at least have free will whether or not to take the vaccine. We should all be able to make a free informed choice! I can't be the only one who has encountered vaccine victims with guillaine barre from the flu shot!

The problem with this stance is that you are putting your patients at risk. You can carry and pass on the flu virus for days without having symptoms yet.

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Lynda Lampert, RN has 4 years experience and specializes in telemetry, med-surg, post op, ICU.

22 Articles; 101 Posts; 49,267 Profile Views

The CDC has tons of statistics on the efficacy of the flu vaccine. For instance, "One study showed that flu vaccination was associated with a 71% reduction in flu-related hospitalizations among adults of all ages and a 77% reduction among adults 50 years of age and older during the 2011-2012 flu season." You may also want to consider "Other studies have shown that vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-related hospitalizations in older adults. A study that looked at flu vaccine effectiveness over the course of three flu seasons estimated that flu vaccination lowered the risk of hospitalizations by 61% in people 50 years of age and older."

 

With evidence like this, how can you possibly advise a patient against a flu vaccine or accept their uninformed refusal? Aren't we supposed to prevent people from getting sick? Flu shots do that. What's the problem?

 

As for bringing up the subject, I haven't been here for years and just found out the site was publishing articles. I didn't know there was an "anti-vaccine" faction that I needed to be aware of. I don't think this supposed cabal has any nefarious intentions, but I also don't know if it is sound nursing practice to deny the need for flu vaccines.

 

Again, the CDC recommends flu shots for all those over 2 years of age, but that may be spreading the usage of the vaccine too thin. Maybe only those at risk for the disease should get the vaccine. Remember, we are less than 100 years removed from when the flu killed MILLIONS of people because there were no vaccines or antibiotics to stop it. How can we let our guard down now?

 

Lynda

 

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/vaccineeffect.htm

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whichone'spink has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN.

1,473 Posts; 24,704 Profile Views

I have taken care of a lot of patients who got the flu vaccine this year and still tested positive for Influenza A and B. Even the CDC admits that this year's vaccine may not be as effective. I will never take that damn shot, and will gladly wear a mask over my face for the whole flu season if I need to. That probably provides more protection than the vaccine itself.

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RUmedic has 3 years experience and specializes in cardiac ICU.

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With due respect to your advocacy and your opinion of flu vaccinations, I'd like to make these points:

  1. CDC. A lot of highly experienced and well-esteemed medical professionals make references to CDC as a “God” of healthcare of U.S. Of A. CDC is somehow positioned as the higher authority over anything that has been researched or not researched fully. My question is why? I compare CDC to FDA in a way they treat statistics, research and drug or methodology approvals. Flu vaccine is a product of two inept governmental agencies that cannot and will not approve of anything that is not backed by 8 digit dollar figures. Politics aside, they (CDC) use monkey business approach in their assessments. Some of the most advanced and revolutionary drugs that have existed in Europe for years, have yet to be approved here in the USA because of these two mammoth bureaucratic organizations. Yet they easily approve Flu shots just because of some statistics they collected in some select clinics around the country that are financed by Big Pharma? Make no mistake about who stands behind these flu shots as well as who stands to benefit from sales of these products backed by millions of dollars in advertising we see on TV.
     

By the same token, CDC would never recognize or acknowledge the far more dangerous epidemic in this country – Lyme disease with over 150,000 new undiagnosed, untreated cases a year which result in multi-systemic complications and far-reaching consequences. Why did CDC is so vague about vaccine for Borreliosis? Where is vaccine for it? How come I can order a Lyme vaccine for my Canine at Banfield Vet Hospital and I can't get a Human Lyme Vaccine? The answer is simple – follow the money!

Having said that, I am of strong opinion that anything that comes out of CDC needs to be scrutinized, dissected and critically challenged.

  1. Does flu vaccine really work? Has anyone ever heard a 99% guaranteed immunity against flu if they get vaccinated? The answer is No! No one will give you any guarantee, not doctor, not Big Pharma, not CDC. The end result is a lot of people ending up being brainwashed and convinced that they should get flu shot or else they get sick and have complications. Then the fear-mongering starts and God Forbid the productivity suffers and some patients skip work while laying on a couch recovering from flu, missing much needed hours of work they could otherwise put in productively. See where it's getting us to?
     
     
  2. Immunology, an imperfect science that is used to tell us we all need to get a flu vaccine. What about people who are immunocompromised? How about folks on anti-seizure meds or anti-neoplastics that suppress bone marrow? How about small toddlers that have yet to develop enough T-cells and NK-cells for their immunity? What about elderly who are probably on tons of meds, dehydrated, with low albumin levels? Let's hit them all with vaccine and put their immune system in crazy overdrive to produce antibodies for something that has already mutated, in the process stripping their defenses by breaking the balance. Next thing you know they get antibodies to influenza but come down with strep instead.
     

The problem is that no one cares. With billions of dollars to be made, who cares to come up with real facts?

Those that wish to put viral DNA's into them, by all means let them do it! There are enough idiots on this planet that will blindly trust “statistics” and go ahead anyway.

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Lynda Lampert, RN has 4 years experience and specializes in telemetry, med-surg, post op, ICU.

22 Articles; 101 Posts; 49,267 Profile Views

Unfortunately, statistics and studies are all we have. Are we supposed to disbelieve that saturated fats lead to heart attacks because those conducting the studies stood to gain by the sale of low fat foods and heart surgery?

No.

I have yet to see a study or statistic sited that proves all of these horrible things about the flu shot. That is reprehensible for a site that will influence whether a nurse educates a patient correctly about something that could be helpful.

You don't like the CDC? Cool. Cite studies that back up your opinions from another source. Europe has all the answers? What answers do they have? Your being vague to make your point and not citing specifics.

If you don't trust the CDC, that's fine, but many people do. Not telling your patients the facts from an objective point of view is dangerous. Many lives HAVE been saved by this vaccine. Do I think they go overboard? Yeah. I don't agree with the CDC guidelines.

However, I'm not going to let my opinion of spurious "facts" influence what I tell a patient. They have the right to make that decision themselves, and until you can point to studies enumerating the so called evils of flu shots, your point is essentially weakened.

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3 Articles; 2,107 Posts; 35,254 Profile Views

Everyone has the right to their own opinion, true. But I'm tired of people thinking that having an opinion gives them the right to override others' equally valid opinions. I'm tired of the entrenched attitudes and the attack mentality that replays over and over every year. If you so much as mention the flu vaccine, virtual riots erupt.

I read this article and enjoyed it. It gave me some good educational pointers.

I was hoping for rational discussion. It didn't take long for that hope to get squashed.

Edited by canigraduate
Typo

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kodc has 10 years experience.

42 Posts; 4,137 Profile Views

The problem with this stance is that you are putting your patients at risk. You can carry and pass on the flu virus for days without having symptoms yet.

This is true if you believe that the vaccination (you and/or the patient receive) is effective for the strains circulating during this particular year. However, as many people have alluded to, we really don't even know if it's an effective inoculation against what's on the menu this year - from year to year. Both pro and anti may agree with that.

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