PHNs are facing a difficult fall season. Usually the onslaught of vaccination is known. Not so this year! Not only does the fall promise to bring a busy season, maybe 3 times busier than usual, but a season with a vaccine that faces a tough sell to our public that needs it the most. Pregnant women and children. In the midst of this, an economy that is shrinking just as our public needs it the most. What to do? What nurses always do!
Assess your population: Are you asking the right question of your public? Are you evaluating what they expect from you and what they will need in a month when we receive the vaccine? Leverage those relationships that you have developed over the year.
Plan: What strategies are available to you to deliver vaccine? Do you have relationships with local nursing schools, EMS and other people available? Use the people around you to enhance your ability to serve the public. Poor relationships? Get with it and get better for the future!
Implement: Don't be afraid, we do immunization all the time! Beef up your staff. Use this time to show that you really care about their talents and abilities. Too late? Never! Ask your staff. They will help you more than you know.
Evaluate: Early in the process take a moment and see what worked. If it didn't, take a look at the next time. Survey your staff. Be there. They will appreciate it.
Redo: Hey, we get a do-over this fall! 2 doses of H1N1 most likely mean that we will get to do it.....again~ What went well? What could be improved? Do it.
Most of all, take courage. We have the opportunity to do, evaluate and study what works with our public. With God's grace we won't see a mutation in the strain. Remember that this may be the very best of the scenarios that we could have imagined. Use it to learn more about the interesting world of public health