224773 A school based influenza immunization program: Partnering for success in vulnerable neighborhoods

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 1:10 PM - 1:30 PM

Joan Castleman, MS , University of Florida College of Nursing, Gainesville, FL
Cuc Thi-Hong Tran, MPH , Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Jean Munden, RN, MPH, MPA , Alachua County Health Department, Gainesville, FL
Josephine McElrath, ARNP , Alachua County Health Department, Gainesville
Patricia Hughes, RN, BSN, NCSN , ., Alachua County Public Schools, Gainesville
Background-A coalition of community and academic groups in a North Central Florida county collaborated in the planning and implementation of a school based influenza immunization program (SBIIP) for 2009/2010. The program objective was for 70% of the 19,402 preK-8th grade students to be immunized against seasonal influenza. Based on a 2006-2007 SBIIP, elementary schools A& B, located in predominantly African American, low socioeconomic neighborhoods, had influenza immunization rates below 10%. In 2009, the percentage of students qualifying for “Free and Reduced Meals” from School A was 90.65% and School B was 96.02%. Public health nursing students' assistance was requested in September 2009 because of the poor return of influenza immunization consent forms from both schools A&B. Description-Senior BSN students' involvement included a variety of population focused educational opportunities. Collaborating with program organizers, students strategized regarding methods to educate parents, staff and students about the benefits of seasonal influenza immunizations and to encourage the return of consent forms. Interventions included creating a system within each school to organize and screen returned forms, talking to parents in school parking lots and classrooms about the SBIIP, and giving brief presentations to students in classrooms. The consent form return rate for School A went from 27% to 70% in the week following the initial nursing student interventions. Lessons Learned-Not including students referred to their health care providers for inactivated influenza vaccine, 54% of School A's and 55.4% of School B's students received live attenuated influenza vaccine. These percentages were similar to those in schools located in higher socioeconomic neighborhoods. Many of the strategies devised by nursing students were replicated at schools throughout the county. Recommendations-The complexity of the school nurses' role and the challenge of adding the SBIIP to other required responsibilities showed the value for future SBIIPs of having assigned teams including student nurses for each school. Vaccine education based on the unique needs of each school community may help dispel myths related to influenza vaccines and encourage participation in immunization programs.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Describe population focused interventions that contributed to participation in a school based influenza immunization program. Discuss the potential role of public health student nurses in school based influenza immunization programs.

Keywords: Public Health Nursing, School-Based Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am on the steering committee for the school based influenza immunization program, and was the faculty member for the involved public health nursing students.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.