Vaccinations continue to be a scientific discovery of abolishing diseases that have taken so many lives throughout history. They have been continuously improved and introduced to provide the best health protection for a child from life threatening diseases. However, nurses and heath care providers have a concerned threat of unvaccinated children. Children with non-medical exemptions are at a more increased risk for acquiring and transmitting vaccine-preventable diseases (Omer, Salmon, Daniel, Orenstein, deHart, and Halsey, 2009, p.14). However, nurses provide the best education and information for parents when they’re child has come to age for vaccinations. Even though the decision to vaccinate at the age of two months can be challenging, the consequences of delayed vaccinations have not been studied in detail as compared to vaccine refusal (Omer, Salmon, Daniel, Orenstein, deHart, and Halsey, 2009, p.14). Physicians have the influence on parents and their decision making and it’s extremely important that provide and understand the benefits and risks of vaccinations and are able to answer questions parents may have regarding vaccinations and their safety.
At birth, nurses are a big part of your child’s health and care. Nurses are trained to provide the best care for your child regardless, race, culture, gender, etc. Nurses provide the most accurate, promising information when it comes to what care they provide your child, whether it’s listening to their heart beat, lungs, if they have the flu, or they fell and bumped their head. In a study of the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of primary care providers, a high proportion of those providing care for children whose parents have refused vaccination and those providing care for appropriately vaccinated children were both found to have favorable opinions of vaccines (Omer, Salmon, Daniel, Orenstein, deHart, and Halsey, 2009, p. 24). They are there to provide parents knowledgable information about vaccinations. Vaccinations can be a huge decision to a parent who isn’t educated on the benefits vaccinations can have on your child versus the risks they provide. Immunizations have been created to provide substantial protection to the child, as well as the parent and the community around them. The practice nurse's role generally involves not only parental education, but all aspects of immunization delivery including but not limited to ordering, safely storing, and administering vaccines to children, as well as maintaining a recall system for all children registered with the practice (Petousis-Harris, Goodyear-Smith, Turner and Soe, 2005, p. 5). Nurses come in contact with many types of parents. Parents who come in with their two month old ready to vaccinate. Ones that come in after 2-3 years deciding to vaccinate and ones who refuse to vaccine. It is a nurses job to provide information, but to allow the decision to be up the parent. The knowledge of nurses, physicians, and other health providers about immunizations and their ability to clearly communicate risk-benefit information to parents has been identified as one of the most important factors in vaccine uptake (Petousis-Harris, Goodyear-Smith, Turner and Soe, 2005, p. 3).
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Working in any field, jobs come with barriers within that can make the job harder. Nurses come to barriers when it comes to vaccinating children and improving immunizations. Barriers include parental fear regarding immunization, lack of knowledge in health professionals, and poor ministry of health direction. Parental fear is the highest ranked factor as to why children aren’t vaccinated. When parent’s responses to the open-ended questions on barriers to immunization were analyzed, the strongest indication to emerge was parents' lack of information, or misinformation regarding immunization, especially that received from their attending midwives (Petousis-Harris, Goodyear-Smith, Turner and Soe, 2005, p. 18). Family physicians and practice nurses provide immunizations in a health care facility where nurses and physicians have the ability to clearly communicate with a parent about information on risks and benefits of immunizations and its known as the most important factor when it comes to parents choice on vaccinating. Nurses and health professionals also come to a immunization barrier when they do not have the knowledge of vaccinations and can’t answer questions from parents. Nurses educate parents on issues of immunizations along with encouragement at the highest of their ability. Culture and language are barriers toward immunizations, and also just not ever getting around to vaccinating their children.
Concerns in School
New school laws have required your child immunization records when you go to enroll your child in school. However, laws concerning immunizations are state-based, so depending on where a child lives and what that states immunization requirements are, depends on if your child can attend school unvaccinated. As of March 2008, all states permitted medical exemptions from school immunization requirements, 48 states allowed religious exemptions, and 21 states allowed exemptions based on philosophical or personal beliefs (Omer, Salmon, Daniel, Orenstein, deHart, and Halsey, 2009, p. 8). A child is more likely to catch something from school than from home. A child who is vaccinated has a less likely chance of attracting something harmful but can easily transmit to a child who isn’t vaccinated and cause life-threatening problems. In 1969, a total of 17 states had laws that required children to be vaccinated against measles before entering school, 12 states had legally mandated requirements for vaccination against all six diseases for which routine immunization was carried out at the time (Omer, Salmon, Daniel, Orenstein, deHart, and Halsey, 2009, p. 6). School nurses have a concern of unvaccinated children just as much, if not more than nurses in a health care facility. Parents who are behind vaccinating their children may allow school nurses to vaccinate by assisting the child to achieve a conditional status where the child only receives the vaccines needed to gain school admission. School nurses can then work with the parents on following up with their health care provider for future vaccinations (Luthy, Beckstrand, Callister and Cahoon, 2012,p.36)
Vaccination costs are also a factor when it comes to children becoming unvaccinated. Nurses’ concerns for unvaccinated children due to the cost of vaccinations first 3 years of back to back vaccinations aren’t as concerning as parents refusing to vaccinate in all. Nurses and healthcare providers have provided vaccinations at a lower to no cost at all for allow the child to be vaccinated. Insurance companies cover moat vaccinations and governments provide government assisted insurance for those who cant afford insurance. From the health care provider perspective, the threshold price for one dose of vaccine was 11.0 euros in vaccination programs including children Risks
As nurses and health care providers have the concern of unvaccinated children, the risks of your child developing a psychological disorder from vaccinations are rare. Children should not be exposed to clear, direct, substantial risks of harm, therefore nurses and healthcare providers encourage parents to vaccinate their child to avoid sickness or death (Finn and Savlescu, 2011) Some parents believe vaccinations are linked to autism and have other beliefs but it is in a nurses best interest to provide what is best. A child’s immune system isn’t fully developed and if a child comes in contact with a disease-preventable disease and they rovers they are at a higher risk of health problems later in life (Finn and Savlescu, 2011). Measles and Pertussis are vaccine preventable diseases and unvaccinated children have the risk of accumulating these diseases or carrying these diseases without symptoms.
Nurses’ have concerns of unvaccinated children, but how does a parent choose to vaccinate their child or not? Some parents decide they are going to vaccinate before their child even makes an entrance into the world but other parents don’t make vaccination decisions easily. Choosing to vaccine, parents going through many decision making steps before jumping in to vaccinating. They consider their beliefs, religious factors, and others, but the choosing process varies parent to parent. Awareness, assessing, acceptors, reliers, searchers, and choosing are the steps of parents take into choosing to vaccinate their child. Some parents make their choices well in advance, while others hold off choosing until the moment vaccines were offered (Brunson, 2013). Regardless how a parent chooses if and why to vaccinate their children, nurses and healthcare providers provide information to the parent to help with the decision making process.
Overall, it is a parents choice to vaccinate or to not vaccinate. Regardless the situation, nurses and healthcare providers have a concerned threat of unvaccinated children in a community and in school. Unvaccinated children propose a threat to themselves and other around them. A nurses job it to always provide care and educational information to a parent and to avoid miscommunication and barriers when it comes to vaccinating a child who is two months old or two years old. Vaccinations are the key to preventing diseases and keeping you and your child safe from deadly diseases that took out many lives before vaccines were created. Nurses are there to help when parents are in doubt. Vaccinations are a big decision, but with the help of nurses and healthcare teams, parents vaccinate their children.