Now that you are a registered nurse, you are ready to face the real world of giving quality nursing care. Aside from acquiring the much coveted duty uniform, shoes and apparel, you might be thinking how you can be protected while at work. Whether you are working with pay or not, it is of essential to be armed with potent protection against the hospital or community setting you will be able to encounter.
Hand washing frequently has been of essential importance. Aside from that, immunization is also important to stress especially for newly hired nurses. Yes, nurses are not exempted to undergo their usual clinical procedure – injections.
Here are some essential immunizations that must be attained.
1. Hepatitis B vaccine – Since college days, it was clear that you won’t be able to pursue on clinical duty if you have not undergone such Hepatitis B vaccine. Let’s face it, anytime of the day nurses will be exposed to blood and other body fluids so it is important to protect yourself from any infection that those fluids can bring when in contact with the skin or open wound.Boosters can also be importance if you have checked your titer. It is still a good practice to observe universal precaution even though you are already immunized. Having an injection might be a little painful but it will pay off, almost all foreign countries may require Hepatitis B vaccination for future applicants or even here in the Philippines. Having Hepatitis B infection can mean a career-ending situation.
2. Tetanus Toxoid – Nurses and needle-prick or needle-stick injuries are favorite topics of research. Seminars sprouted left and right with this topic and how to prevent or lower the rate of needle-prick injuries. It is another way to be exposed to infectious agents especially when pricked with used needles. Some patients may have blood borne diseases that can easily be transmitted through needle-prick. Aside from that, needle-prick injuries might also pave way to infected wounds which can lead to tetanus.Almost all of the hospitals may have protocols regarding needle-prick injuries. Some health care institutions may also shoulder the expenses when it comes to intervening cases of needle-prick injuries.
3. Flu Vaccine – Nurses can be exposed to various health care settings and viral agents can be taken up into the respiratory tract. Aside from the stress and shifting hours of work, accumulated stress may exhibit physical symptoms such as flu. Having flu while working is totally uncomfortable and you might even need to take a day off in order to recuperate.Good thing there are flu vaccines available upon doctor’s prescription and assessment. Complete assessment must be done also because allergic reaction may also occur. Anyway, getting a flu vaccine can ensure you a year round free from acquiring flu together with proper diet and hygiene.
4. Pneumonia Vaccine – Specialized areas of clinical nursing may house patients with chronic ailments. Aside from intensive care units, the emergency room may also be another place wherein nurses are prone to various types of pneumonia. Pneumonia may initially pose as flu-like symptoms but may eventually need antibiotic intervention or even hospitalization upon proper diagnostic work-up.From community-acquired pneumonia to hospital-acquired pneumonia, nurses are at high risk for exposure. Once again, taking time off from work may not only be a waste of money but also an increased working for nurses who will cover you from your duty hours. So it is also important to get an evaluation whether you are entitled to have a pneumonia vaccine.
These are just some of the important vaccines that can be done in order to strengthen acquired immunity against infectious and common diseases that can infect nurses in their workplace. It is still an important thing to note that before having an immunization, you must consult a physician first so that proper medical evaluation can be done in order to prevent allergic reactions and other untoward situations.