Washington hospital workers get their flu shots

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November 15th, 2010

Individuals who are pursuing nursing degrees may want to get their flu shots, as 94 of Washington state’s 98 hospitals are now now following an infection control program.

The new policy requires healthcare workers to either get immunized against the flu or take another form of preventative action.

Almost every hospital in Washington has adopted flu immunization policies in a move to stop the spread of hospital-acquired infections like influenza.

For patients with significant health issues, premature infants and vulnerable seniors, contact with influenza can be a matter of life and death. As many as 50,000 people in the U.S. die from the disease each year.

“Even when healthcare workers feel fine, they can actually be getting the flu and can transmit the virus to their patients, their co-workers and their families,” said John Fletcher, senior vice president and chief executive of Providence Health and Services.

The decision to immunize healthcare workers is the result of the Washington State Hospital Association’s board of trustees urging their members to increase the number of immunized hospital workers.

As the healthcare industry and its policies continue to evolve, those who are interested in entering nursing programs may want to pay attention to national trends.
 

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