Attitudes and immunisation practices of Australian general practice nurses
Background: Despite the decline in vaccine-preventable diseases, immunisation rates remain important. Nurses working in general practice (GPN) are often the first contact for childhood and adult immunisations and so impact vaccine provision.
Aim: This study sought to describe the current immunisation practices and attitudes of GPN prior to attending the Nurse Immuniser Training Program.
Methods: Prior to undertaking a Nurse Immuniser Training Program, registered nurses completed a survey describing their demographics, immunisation practice and attitudes to immunisation.
Results: Ninety-five GPNs completed the survey. Approximately 98% of participants perceived vaccines to be safe, effective and necessary for child healthcare, while 56.4% of participants reported insufficient knowledge of the childhood immunisation schedule. The majority of participants' practices provided free influenza vaccinations for their general practitioners (GPs) (89.5%) and Practice Nurses (91.6%). However, only half of the participants had been immunised against influenza themselves in the previous three years.
Conclusion: It is important for GPNs to be equipped with sufficient knowledge of immunisation to provide appropriate education and opportunistic intervention. However, nurses also need to be aware of their own vaccination status and its impact on their practice.