In light of the COVID-19 epidemic, it is crucial that advanced practice nurses (APRNs), play a critical role in increasing vaccination rates for adults. APRNs can promote vaccination with their knowledge, expertise in clinical medicine, and trusted relationships.
The use of standing orders is a powerful tool for APRNs to increase the adult vaccination rate. It was discussed in both the Wright and Anderson articles. 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. These orders can help reduce the barriers that prevent patients from receiving recommended vaccines.
Electronic health records (EHRs), which can be used by APRNs to keep track of patient vaccination statuses and remind patients when they are due, is another useful tool. The EHRs are also useful in identifying patients at higher risk for vaccine-preventable conditions, like those who have chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Communication and patient education are important tools that APRNs can use to increase adult vaccination rates. APRNs are able to help patients learn about the importance of vaccines, clarify any misconceptions or concerns they might have and offer resources on how to access them. Patient portals, SMS messages and social media can help to improve communication with patients.
The United States culture is prone to misinformation, and there are many interventions and communication strategies that can be used. The CDC offers a range of resources that can be used to combat vaccine hesitancy, promote vaccine confidence and provide guidance for common concerns and questions.
APRNs have a crucial role to play in increasing vaccination rates for adults. Standing orders, EHRs and patient education and communication can all be used to promote vaccination and reduce barriers to access. To be able to serve their patients best, APRNs need to keep abreast of vaccine trends and strategies to combat vaccine hesitancy.