In the face of COVID-19 and other pandemics, it is vital that advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) play a role in raising adult vaccination rates. APRNs can promote vaccination through education, clinical experience, and a trusted relationship with patients.
Standing orders are one of the tools that Wright and Anderson discuss in their articles. They can prove to be very useful in helping APRNs increase adult vaccination rates. Standing orders are written protocols that allow nurses or other trained healthcare providers to assess the patient’s vaccine needs and administer vaccines without a specific order from a physician. It can help reduce obstacles to vaccination such as lack of time and allow patients to get recommended vaccines.
EHRs are another useful tool that APRNs can use to keep track of patient vaccinations and remind patients when they need vaccines. EHRs may also be used by APRNs to determine patients with increased risks of disease that is preventable through vaccination, including those with chronic diseases like diabetes or cardiovascular conditions.
In order to raise adult vaccinations rates, APRNs must also use communication and patient education. APRNs help patients to understand the importance and benefits of vaccination. They can also address their concerns or misperceptions. Patient portals, SMS, and social media can be used to improve communication with patients.
Due to the cultural differences in the United States where misinformation can cause vaccine hesitation, it is important that communication and intervention strategies are tailored for the local culture. The CDC offers a variety of resources to address vaccine hesitancy, and promote vaccine confidence. One such resource is the Vaccine Conversations with Patients Tool, which gives guidance on common questions and concerns related to vaccines.
APRNs have a crucial role to play in increasing the adult vaccination rate. Standing orders, EHRs and patient communication and education, as well as culturally-appropriate strategies, can all be used to promote vaccination and reduce barriers. APRNs should stay updated on vaccines and the strategies that can be used to overcome vaccine hesitancy.