NEW YORK NURSE: November 2009
Mandatory influenza vaccinations dominated discussion in the five Practice Focus Group (PFG) meetings at Convention. At a forum hosted by the NYSNA Council on Nursing Practice, a number of common issues emerged.
Members were concerned about the negative publicity surrounding the state’s mandatory immunization program and its effect on public health initiatives. The majority of the group believed that nurses should set an example for the public by choosing to be immunized. The group also discussed holding public health nursing leadership summits, increasing outreach to consumer and special interest groups, and promoting education about public health through “open houses” at local district nurses’ association meetings.
This group’s concerns about flu vaccinations centered on whether the Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) should be given to pregnant women and young children. Members also discussed the effects of domestic violence on children, childhood obesity, and the nurse’s role in the adoption process. The group will develop a mission statement for school health nurses to better represent that population.
Nurses in this group discussed the ongoing issue of workplace violence and ways to protect staff on understaffed units. Participants gave examples of difficult situations they faced at their facilities and shared suggestions on how they could be best handled. They discussed some of the necessary preparations nurses must seek from their employers to protect themselves, their coworkers, and other patients.
Members in this group spoke about the various methods their facilities were using to implement the state’s mandatory flu vaccination program. They also made recommendations for more local political involvement in the effort to achieve a single-payer healthcare system at both state and national levels.
A change in state law prompted this group to amend its position statement on elder abuse and maltreatment. As of next year, New York State will require all healthcare workers to complete a course on elder abuse, as they will be mandated reporters. The nursing home diversion waiver, which allows seniors to receive care where they are most comfortable, was also discussed.