The team on the Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) have taken a strong stance against the flu this year by offering the vaccine to fellow colleagues – and staff from across the Trust have responded. Jon King, tells us more about their #flufighter efforts…
“Firstly, I’d like to point out something – the flu vaccine is a choice. My personal approach is always one of offering a ‘no pressure’ stance, and I believe to chastise the person choosing not to get the jab is the wrong thing to do. I do however encourage them to consider it, look at the clinical evidence, and then advise where to come if they want it.
And in that regard I have found this year’s flu campaign very interesting. I have spoken to lots of people who normally avoid vaccination, yet this year, feel they should have it for a variety of reasons. Those few minutes I get with those coming for their jab, I try to listen to them and debunk the usual myth that you will get flu-like symptoms from the jab.
I took an interest in generating flu clinics here on the AAU when I initially saw the emails recruiting vaccinators. Anna (Jones) had always traditionally given vaccinations on the old ACU, and I thought being that we are now located in a more traditional outpatient setting, that the environment would easily support a drop in service, enabling easy access for staff.
The first thing was to ensure that all the band 6 nurses also supported this use of the service and were happy to complete the training. We aim to ensure there is always one vaccinator on, for every shift. This way we can deliver a consistent service throughout.
Advertising the service was always the challenge, but I think by beginning to tweet early, and having it shared by the main Trust accounts, people became aware of what we were offering.
I also initially did the rounds on level 6 with my trolley delivering vaccinations on the admissions unit, capturing different cohorts of staff including medical, nursing and ancillary teams. I really support this approach, as I think it gives a great opportunity to those that struggle to make the main clinics because of time pressures. I was also approached by the Royal Eye Infirmary (REI) to deliver a vaccination session at lunchtime, and was a great way to vaccinate a large group of staff.
A real positive for me is seeing the breadth of staff attending our AAU sessions – they really have come from many varied parts of our hospital.
If you’re thinking of getting your vaccine here at AAU, then listen to this. Everyone has said how relatively painless the injection has been! With all those that I have vaccinated, only one person has so far reported any viral symptoms, and a couple with a sore arm for a few days. Nothing in comparison to the flu though!
She’s joking – it doesn’t really hurt!
At the moment I think we are either about to hit, or have surpassed, the 300 vaccination point! (This figure is taken at the time of writing – 01 November, 2018). This is testament to the hard efforts of all those who’ve taken the time to offer the jab on AAU and of course to those who have shown up to protect themselves with the vaccine.
We will be here for the rest of the campaign offering jabs, so please come down and help keep yourselves, and others, safe from the flu this year.”
Jon, and the team on AAU, will be offering the flu jab Monday to Friday from 09:00 – 19:00.