This past week my hospital received its first shipment of H1N1 nasal vaccine for employees. It was given on a voluntary basis to those employees that meet the recommended qualifications. I fell into that category, but chose to decline. I am really on the fence about the whole thing.
My wife had it about a month ago, she was very, very sick, but nothing more than flu-like signs and symptoms that just drug on for a about a week. I have also had several patients on my unit and staff members that have gotten sick, and have been extremely ill, in fact one of my nurses was hospitalized for a couple of days.
But, still I am not sure if I really want it. I know that physicians say that it is safe to receive the vaccine, but since it just came out of human trials, I am concerned about the long term effects. In my mind I am wondering, is the risk of long term effects worth the risk for just a severe flu…..I don’t know.
Now my staff is coming to me for advice. I really don’t know what to tell them. I say, to do what you think is best for you and your family. I have to tell them that I have decided that I am not going to get it at this time, but if they feel it is safe and will keep them well, then they should get it. I would probably tell my patients to get it as well.
Anyway….while I am trying to make a decision, I am feeling sick today. Sore throat, cough, malaise….so, while I have been trying to figure it out, I am getting sick. Guess I should have gotten it while I had the chance.
Rob Cameron is currently a staff nurse in a level II trauma center. He has primarily been an ED nurse for most of his career, but he has also been a nurse manager for Surgical Trauma and Telemetry unit. He has worked in Med/Surg, Critical Care, Hospice, Rehab, an extremely busy cardiology clinic and pretty much anywhere he's been needed.
Prior to his career in nursing, Rob worked in healthcare finance and management. Rob feels this experience has given him a perspective on nursing that many never see. He loves nursing because of all the options he has within the field. He is currently a grad student working on an MSN in nursing leadership, and teaches clinicals at a local university.
Away from work, Rob spends all of his time with his wife and daughter. He enjoys cycling and Crossfit. He is a die hard NASCAR fan. Sundays you can find Rob watching the race with his daughter.
By Rob Cameron