Six Temple Nursing students have joined forces in a battle against the flu. The group has entered into a partnership with the Infection Prevention and Control Department at Temple University Hospital (TUH) in an effort to increase flu vaccine compliance among the TUH staff.
As a part of their community health class the students distribute surveys to the staff members to try and reach their desired goal of 90 percent compliance. According to the director of infection control at TUH, Patricia Hayes, the current compliance rate is between 75 and 85 percent. The Flu crew is confident they will be able to reach their goal in the allotted four months remaining in the current flu season. In fact is likely they may surpass their goal.
The program offers a level of convince that hospital employees have taken advantage of throughout these past months. A member of the Flu Crew, Molly Kmetz told Temple Time “[Hospital employees] have trouble leaving the unites of taking time out of their own schedules to come to Occupational Health to get shots. If we bring it to them, we can give shots right on the [hospital] floors.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines Influenza as a highly contagious respiratory ailment. The illness is caused by the spread of the influenza virus and infects the nose, throat and lungs. With a simple vaccination the illness can be prevented, which is a favorable outcome with finals right around the corner.
“If one person infects five other people those five people infect twenty five, twenty five infect one hundred and five,” Mark Denys, Director of Student and Employee Health told Temple Update. “So just by preventing one, you can prevent hundreds of people from getting the flu.”
The information gathered from these surveys will go towards helping the Infection Prevention and Control Department plan for the beginning of next year’s flu season. The team also intends to share their findings on healthcare professionals to local publications throughout the region.
The Flu Crew services will be operating at TUH through March 31, which marks the official end of flu season. A new crew will take over starting next year, and be involved in planning for the kickoff in the fall.