Introduction: Transmission of influenza by healthcare workers to their patients has been well documented and is very preventable. Influenza vaccination for healthcare providers is now recommended by all major professional organizations and the standard of care in most healthcare facilities. Therefore, all health professional students should be educated about the importance of influenza vaccination for themselves and their patients. We devised this educational intervention to increase health care professionals’ knowledge about influenza vaccine, identify the protective effects of vaccination, and incorporate influenza vaccination into an experiential learning module. Methods: An interprofessional team consisting of an infectious disease physician, occupational health nurses, and a medical librarian provide the intervention. Under nurse supervision, students vaccinate one another. Students are surveyed on prior vaccination-influencing factors and changes in attitudes towards the influenza vaccine. An end-of-semester objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) evaluates their ability to counsel patients and administer the vaccine. Results: Postintervention, 93% felt it was important to be vaccinated against influenza versus 69% before the intervention (p < .01), and there was a greater appreciation of the importance of vaccination for healthcare workers: 81% pre versus 95% post (p < .05). Students’ perceived comfort with counseling about vaccination showed a marked increase from pre- to postintervention: 38% versus 98% (p < .01). At the OSCE, 79% of students demonstrated proficiency with counseling, and 93% were able to dispel the myth that vaccine causes flu. Vaccination technique scores averaged 4.5 out of 6 points. Discussion: This multifaceted intervention positively influenced student attitudes towards influenza. Additionally, it offered experience with vaccine counseling and administration. This easily reproducible, holistic approach to educating future healthcare professionals should be considered a fundamental component of any medical education curriculum.
- Describe influenza vaccines, vaccine safety, and adverse events.
- Observe and practice vaccine administration using task-training models.
- Administer influenza vaccine to fellow students (optional).
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Afonso N, Kavanagh M, Misra L, Thompson B, Swanberg S, Band J. An Integrated Educational Intervention to Teach Medical Students About the Influenza Vaccine While Ensuring Compliance with Hospital Policy. Presented at: AAMC Central Group on Educational Affairs Regional Conference; 2012; St. Louis, Missouri.
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