The role of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in increasing adult vaccination rates is critical, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. APRNs are well-positioned to promote vaccination through their education, clinical expertise, and trusted relationships with patients.
One important tool discussed in the Wright and Anderson articles that can be particularly useful for APRNs in increasing adult vaccination rates is the use of standing orders. 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. This can reduce barriers to vaccination, such as time constraints, and make it easier for patients to receive recommended vaccines.
Another useful tool for APRNs is the use of electronic health records (EHRs) to track patient vaccination status and provide reminders for patients who are due for vaccines. EHRs can also be used to identify patients who are at increased risk of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as those with chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease.
Patient education and communication are also important tools for APRNs in increasing adult vaccination rates. APRNs can help patients understand the importance of vaccination, address any concerns or misconceptions they may have, and provide resources for accessing vaccines. Communication with patients can also be enhanced through the use of patient portals, text messages, and social media.
Given the culture of the United States, where there can be significant misinformation and vaccine hesitancy, the use of culturally appropriate communication strategies and interventions is essential. The CDC provides a number of resources for addressing vaccine hesitancy and promoting vaccine confidence, such as the Vaccine Conversations with Patients tool, which provides guidance on how to respond to common vaccine-related questions and concerns.
In conclusion, APRNs play a critical role in increasing adult vaccination rates. The use of standing orders, EHRs, patient education and communication, and culturally appropriate strategies can be effective tools for promoting vaccination and reducing barriers to access. Ultimately, it is essential for APRNs to stay informed about the latest vaccine recommendations and strategies for addressing vaccine hesitancy to best serve their patients and communities.