Flu Shots

  1. I was just wondering if anyone has refused to get the flu shots offered to you free from your organization. Last year was the first time I have ever gotten one, and it hurt SO BAD! It felt like fire going into my arm, and I could barely move my arm for 3 days! ( I once got a Depo Provera shot in my arm with the same result, so maybe its just MY arm?)

    I have never had the flu, ever.(knocking on wood here) I have had a few bouts with bronchitis, and a few stomach viruses that lasted less than 2 days, but never "the flu". And I refused to have the flu shot this year. I work in OB/women's health area, and we do not take infectious patients. (even though I know that some may be infectious and not show it at first). I just decided that I didn't want the pain associated with the shot when I am not at as high of a risk as others. (not working on the medical floors, except if I were to get floated)

    Just the thought of getting that shot scares the crap out of me! And I have never considered myself a "weenie" when it comes to stuff like this.

    Well, anyone that didn't get the shot got a letter from the employee health nurse saying something to the effect of...

    "our records show that you have not received your flu shot this year. Please check the box below that best shows your situation...
    1. I have received my shot elsewhere.
    2. I want the shot, please schedule me to get one.
    3. No, I don't want the shot because I would rather be deathly ill with the flu.

    That just really irked me!

    Any opinions?

  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    In our facility we can refuse the flu shot under the conditions that we agree if there is a flu outbreak the hospital can cancel all our shifts and not call us in. I get mine every year because I don't have a lot of pain with it and have never had any side effects from it. I do know several nurses who refuse to get it every year and they have to tell the occupational nurse that they are refusing it so the hospital knows who has it and who doesn't in the event of an outbreak. I don't think it's a big deal, I think it's just the hospital covering their bum.
  4. by   cindyln
    I never get the flu shot because I am allergic to eggs.
  5. by   llg
    I get it every year mostly because I want to avoid spreading the virus throughout the community, where it would be dangerous for a lot of people. However, I have never had a serious reaction from it. A little Tylenol takes care of it for me.

    I wouldn't worry too much about it or make a big deal about. Make your decision and then live with it. There are bigger things to invest your energies in than worrying about something like this.

  6. by   passing thru
    I would write :

    4. other and check the # 4 box

    It is none of her business.
  7. by   NS_RN
    I'm anaphylactically allergic to eggs and end up getting the flu every year as I work in general med...but I'd get the flu shot in a heartbeat if I wasn't allergic to eggs.
  8. by   Stargazer
    Having collected data for the CDC and having been involved with managing numerous outbreaks, I am 100% in favor of flu vaccinations. It's not relatively young, healthy people who suffer the most from flu--but when they get ill, they spread it to elderly folks with lousy immune systems who end up hospitalized with pneumonias and dying. Hundreds of thousands of people each year still die from the flu.

    We offer flu vaccinations for free to our employees. Just about 2 weeks ago, we had a clustering of cases among a group of employees, all in the same department, who had all refused the flu shot when it was offered. They all got sick and a number of them missed work. Believe me when I tell you it was pointed out to them that in all probability, they either would not have gotten sick, or would have been much less ill had they taken the free flu shot.

    Sorry, but I'm with the employee health nurse on this one.
  9. by   ShandyLynnRN
    you know, I never really thought about getting sick and then giving the flu to other people. I guess that is another factor to think about.
  10. by   baseline
    There have been a couple of threads about this. I am currently very involved in instituting a standing order policy at our hospital for both the influenza and pneumococcal vaccines. I have researched the subject pretty extensively, and I highly recommend the flu vaccine especially for healthcare workers. If anyone else is involved in the Healthy People 2010 projects, I'd love to hear from you! Mercy but the hospital politics are a burden.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I take it to protect myself, my family and my patients. I think it's worth it. I have no reason not to...no allergies, or other problems. It's free, causes me no untoward affects, so I can't see why I would not do it. I, too work in OB. Just cause we dont' take "infected" patients does NOT mean the NUMEROUS visitors that tramp thru, or even our own labor patients are not infectious or at risk! Anyone in the hospital environment is at risk; OB is certainly NO different!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jan 24, '03
  12. by   ShandyLynnRN
    Maybe I AM just a weenie then, lol. Everytime I think about getting it, I get that whole "fight or flight" response going on!
  13. by   Stargazer
    Which probably means you're tensing up your arm as the shot goes in, which makes it hurt a lot more.
  14. by   Rustyhammer
    I never take one...and never had the flu.