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#NurChat - Fighting flu


Did you miss the latest #NurChat discussing fighting flu? Let us sum it up for you…

The ‘Flu Fighter’ campaign was such a success last year with reported figures showing vaccination uptake for 2011/12 was 45% of frontline healthcare workers - an increase on the 35% recorded for the previous year. In their external evaluation report, 98% of the lead members of staff for flu awareness were planning to run a campaign in 2012/13, with 96% of those choosing to use Flu Fighter materials.

With such a significant increase shown in just one year and the prevalence of localised campaigns this year, the #NurChat discussion began by looking at the level of awareness set against the debate of whether to make the flu vaccine a requirement for frontline healthcare staff.

amnerisuk ‘@NurChat Encourage jabs but don’t make them compulsory. Enable staff to have time to access #NurChat’

nursefriendly ‘@NurChat In general, I’m in favor of #Flushots as long as it is a matter of CHOICE, take way choice, you have a problem #NurChat’

BennyGoodmanUoP ‘#nurchat if flu jab compulsory the evidence for effectiveness has to be convincing’

Several participants in the #NurChat debate felt it was our duty as nurses to have the flu vaccine as a duty of care to patients.

GGByrne ‘The truth is we’re working with vulnerable people and as nurses should want to do everything in our power to protect them from flu #nurchat’

justudare ‘@NurChat I didn’t have flu jab 2 yrs ago & had flu at xmas. I’m now first in line for it!! Working with elderly should all have it #NurChat’.

maya_rachmah ‘@Schedulist: as i know, community nursing care is all about promotion and preventive care in person, family and community #Nurchat’

While uptake of the flu vaccine for frontline healthcare staff has increased when compared with the previous year, #NurChat also asked what possible reasons there could be behind individuals choosing not to participate - is it simply down to time constraints or a lack of awareness?

DGFoord ‘@GGByrne I think there’s still a lot of myth out there that if you have a flu jab you get symptoms; I still hear this from nurses #nurchat’

LeggeAngie ‘@NurChat Some staff struggle to get the time to get vaccinated. Having mobile vaccination clinics helps #NurChat’

NatalieMHN ‘in uni we haven’t been given any info on getting flu jabs. last year I didn’t get one #nurchat’

It’s highly likely that while the flu vaccine remains optional there will be healthcare professionals who do not have the flu jab, either through choice or because of influencing factors such as time, working unsociable hours when vaccines are not readily available or the fear of the actual process’ potential side effects. However, by increasing awareness and getting managers involved in leading from the front, the percentage of staff being vaccinated can be increased. There were several positive suggestions made for methods to improve vaccination uptake.

dtbarron ‘#NurChat @NHSaaa have nominated the three associate nurse directors as Flu-Champions& trained a number of staff to deliver jabs as req’d’

DGFoord @GGByrne ‘Great point! Last year our whole Board got the vaccine ‘live’ during a Board meeting (one by one in private of course)! #nurchat’

gracenglorydan ‘@NurChat We found mobile, peer-peer jabbers out of hours could cover amazing amounts of frontline staff who couldn’t get it before! #nurchat’

LeggeAngie ‘We found giving out stickers saying “I’ve had my flu jab” helped, as did e(mail) from Chief Nurse warning not to have jab put pts at risk #NurChat’

While it was highlighted that the vaccine is not ‘live’, some people may experience flu-like symptoms following it. The Flu Facts page from Flu Fighter covers these points, but several participants in the #NurChat discussion commented on sick leave arrangements from work for staff who do suffer from side effects.

Schedulist ‘@nursefriendly should #nursemanagers account for sick period if #nurse wish to get a flu shot? Is it strictly nurse responsibility? #nurchat’

saraloukeogh ‘@NurChat with a PCT imposed penalty for sickness rate >4%, I’ll be encouraging as many staff as possible to have flu jab! #Nurchat’

nursefriendly ‘@GGByrne I’ve gotten shots each year, however I’ll be sick with cold/flu symptoms for days after. #nurchat’


Donna Mullikin is R/N Clinical Assessor for Newcross Healthcare Solutions and facilitator of #NurChat. You can read the full transcript at

  • Join us again on 25 Sept for the next #NurChat discussion.

Readers' comments (2)

  • michael stone

    justudare ‘@NurChat I didn’t have flu jab 2 yrs ago & had flu at xmas. I’m now first in line for it!! Working with elderly should all have it #NurChat’.

    I'm assuming this is someone who converted from the 'flu is just like a bad cold' brigade, after actually having flu ?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "From Medscape Business of Medicine > Ethics: Today's Hot Topics

    Why Hospital Workers Should Be Forced to Get Flu Shots

    Arthur L. Caplan, PhD

    Authors and Disclosures

    Posted: 09/13/2012"

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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