Flu season is always a challenge for the healthcare community: influenza can be an especially dangerous for those with medical conditions like asthma, heart disease, or liver disorders, or children, the elderly, and pregnant women.
In most hospitals, patients and medical staff coexist in a small space, and as a result, healthcare facilities can be incubators of influenza. It is essential that as a community, we try to combat the spread of the flu.
- While we do not support mandatory immunization, NYSNA strongly encourages all RNs that are medically able to get vaccinated at their earliest convenience, and especially before flu season begins. While the flu vaccination does not provide protection from all strains of the flu, it does innoculate RNs from the most common forms of the influenza virus. There are some RNs with certain allergies that should not seek out vaccination.
- The New York Health Department has mandated that all healthcare workers either get vaccinated or wear surgical masks. Numerous studies have shown that facial masks do not adequately prevent the spread of the flu virus.
- The single best way to prevent an infected RN from spreading the flu virus is to remove him/her from the hospital atmosphere while he/she recovers. NYSNA fights for and enforces language in our contracts that protect nurses seeking time off due to illness.
If you want to learn more about NYSNA's official position statement on mandatory immunization, please click here.