Evening Counselor Ed Johnson holds up his sleeve as Nurse Cara Thomas prepares to give him a flu vaccination.
A little stick is better than being seriously sick. Sixty-three La Hacienda staff members who agree with that philosophy received their annual free flu vaccinations on Thursday, Oct. 17, during Flu Fest 2019.
“We beat last year’s record of 57 and vaccinated 63 employees in less than an hour and a half,” said Nurse Administrator Rikke Sorensen. “It was fabulous!”
Despite the record number, there were few lines as three nurses administered vaccinations in the Upper Dining Room. In addition to door prizes spontaneously awarded by Rikke, there were refreshments and information about the flu vaccine. Participating employees were also entered for a grand prize drawing to be held at the end of the year.
Those employees not yet vaccinated may still receive them by going to the medication window in the Special Care Unit during non-peak hours.
Program Aids Staff Health and Patient Outcomes
The Joint Commission, which certifies La Hacienda and other healthcare providers, requires that all organizations it accredits must establish annual influenza vaccination programs for all employees. It does not, however, state that they offer the vaccinations for free to staff as La Hacienda does.
In addition to fewer cases of the flu, documented benefits from flu vaccination programs include positive patient outcomes and reduced staff absenteeism, according to the Commission.
The Center for Disease Control says vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for developing flu and their close contacts. It recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older.