Flu vaccine-give unless specifically ordered not to

Nurses General Nursing


This is something our hospital just put into place to increase compliance with flu shots. Instead of the doctor ordering the flu shot, it will be automatically given unless they write an order not to give it. It's an protocol order sheet with criteria for exemption. I have to say I'm not really comfortable with this and will continue to call for an "official" order. What are your thoughts on this??


154 Posts

Compliance??? with flu shots????

Exactly who is determining if the PATIENT wants a flu shot????

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho.

We do that too. It is questioned on admission if the patient has had one or not this year. We do have specific criteria that the patient has to meet in order for it to be available for them. We give it if the criteria is met unless the dr specifically orders not to or the patient refuses. We also handle pneumonia vaccines this way too. If the patient has had one, or the dr specifically writes or patient refuses we offer it on discharge if criteria is met.

Nurse Ratched, RN

2,149 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics/Oncology/Psych/College Health.

Our hospital has started that, too, and with pneumonia vaccines for high-risk patients. Problem is, most of my patients aren't in the position to tell me if they've had them or not. It's a safe enough bet they haven't, but I'm not comfortable with potentially double dosing someone (even if it's not harmless, I'm giving two to someone while others get none?)

lsyorke, RN

710 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Wound Care.

Nurse Ratched I think this is where I have the problem. I see patients for a limited period of time.If they are not reliable historians our history is sketchy at best. What liability is there if there's an unknown allergy to eggs?? Do we as nurses want to take on this responsibility?? Let's face it there have been some very bad reactions to the flu vaccine. This just goes against everything that I've been taught. I'll continue my practice of calling the doctor to get an "official" order.

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