With flu season fast approaching, a nursing instructor at American Career College-Los Angeles recently penned a letter to a trade magazine urging all health care workers to get vaccinated.
Emma Aquino-Maneja, who teaches at ACC-Los Angeles' evening/weekend program and is a Kaiser educator for outpatient services, was moved to write the letter to Nursing 2017 magazine after a flu fatality struck close to home. She said the person who died was a young, healthy individual with no other known ailment — besides having the flu.
"The incident was a grim reminder that flu does not discriminate," Aquino-Maneja wrote.
In her letter, Aquino-Maneja also cited Center for Disease Control and Prevention statistics that one-third of health care workers were not immunized last flu season, claiming a fear of side effects or disbelief in the vaccine efficacy as primary reasons.
"As members of the healthcare industry, nurses must make a concerted effort to discern flu facts from myths using the CDC website as a resource," she wrote.
Aquino-Maneja also reminded readers that nurses are morally bound by the Nursing Code of Ethics to uphold patient safety at all times. To illustrate the point, she used the analogy of a plane emergency, where passengers are urged to put their own oxygen mask first before helping others.
"In the same token, we must protect ourselves first by being vaccinated to safeguard our patients’ well-being. What better way to demonstrate our personal commitment to patient safety than to lead by example," Aquino-Maneja asked. "Should we wait until a loved one or we have contracted the flu? The time is now, get vaccinated!"
Aquino-Maneja's letter to the editor will appear in the November issue.
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