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Technically Speaking
April 2014
Technically Speaking
Monthly Column by Deborah Wexler, MD
Deborah Wexler MD
Technically Speaking is a monthly column written by IAC’s Executive Director Deborah Wexler, MD. The column is featured in The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center’s (VEC's) monthly e-newsletter for healthcare professionals. Technically Speaking columns cover practical topics in immunization delivery such as needle length, vaccine administration, cold chain, and immunization schedules.
Check out a recent issue of Vaccine Update for Healthcare Providers. The VEC e-newsletter keeps providers up to date on vaccine-related issues and includes reviews of recently published journal articles, media recaps, announcements about new resources, and a regularly updated calendar of events.
Resources to Help Assure Competency of Clinic Staff Administering Vaccines
Published April 2014
Protecting the health of your patients depends on following the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for preparing and administering vaccines to patients. Are you and your staff fully versed in the technical aspects of administering vaccines? Can the staff who provide vaccines in your setting answer “yes” to the following questions?
Do you know how to:
Choose the needle length and gauge that are appropriate for each patient?
Properly prepare the vaccine (and diluent) for administration?
Determine which vaccines are administered intramuscularly (IM) and which are subcutaneous (SC)?
Select the recommended site on the arm or leg for proper IM and SC injection?
Safely dispose of the needle, syringe, nasal spray container, or rotavirus vaccine dosing device?
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) is here to help with a multitude of both practical and technical vaccination resources for healthcare professionals, including free print materials covering important topics in vaccine administration. Also available for a nominal charge is an excellent training DVD, Immunization Techniques: Best Practices with Infants, Children and Adults.
Handy print materials and forms
IAC’s immunize.org website features helpful print materials on vaccine administration in its Handouts for Patients and Staff web section. Its Administering Vaccines Web section includes the following up-to-date tools and forms for clinic staff:
Administering Vaccines: Dose, Route, Site, and Needle Size Reference table providing key information on administering vaccines to patients of all ages.
Administering Vaccines to Adults: Dose, Route, Site, and Needle Size: Reference table covering key information on administering vaccines to adult patients.
How to Administer IM and SC Vaccine Injections: Reference table covering key information on administering vaccines to adult patients.
How to Administer IM and SC Vaccine Injections to Adults: One-page information sheet with illustrations showing how to administer intramuscular (IM) and subcutaneous (SC) injections to adult patients.
NEW! How to Administer Intradermal, Intranasal, and Oral Vaccinations: One-page information sheet with illustrations showing how to administer intradermal, intranasal, and oral vaccinations.
How to Administer Intramuscular, Intradermal, and Intranasal Influenza Vaccines: Provider piece showing how to administer IM, intradermal, and intranasal influenza vaccines.
Vaccines with Diluents: How to Use Them: Table of vaccines requiring reconstitution prior to administration; also includes information about the diluent and time allowed between reconstitution and use.
Skills Checklist for Immunization: Self-assessment tool for healthcare staff, to be used in conjunction with the immunization techniques training DVD (see the following section).
Immunization techniques DVD
Developed by the Immunization Branch of the California Department of Public Health, in collaboration with a team of national experts, the 35-minute DVD "Immunization Techniques: Best Practices with Infants, Children, and Adults" focuses on the skills and techniques needed for vaccine administration. Every organization that administers vaccines should have a copy of this comprehensive educational program, which includes “how to” information about providing vaccinations in a clinic or non-traditional setting. It is appropriate for training and orientation, as well as a refresher for more experienced staff. To purchase this great DVD, visit www.immunize.org/dvd.
Vaccine information statements
Finally, please remember that it’s a federal requirement to provide a copy of the relevant Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) to your patient or their legal guardian before administering almost all vaccines to infants, children and adults. Check the IAC website to find a wealth of VIS information, including translations of the forms into a wide variety of languages.
2014 ISSUES >> view all
Use this Handy Checklist to Help Improve your Practice’s Vaccination Rates
Know the "7 Rights"” of Vaccine Administration
CDC Issues New Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommendations for Adults Age 65 Years and Older
What's New in the 2014–15 CDC Influenza Vaccine Recommendations
Make Sure You Choose the Proper Needle Length When Vaccinating Your Patients
JULY 2014
Protect Your Significant Investment in Vaccines So That They Can Protect Your Patients
JUNE 2014
Immunization Action Coalition Launches “Question of the Week” in its Free Weekly Newsletter
MAY 2014
Use These Resources to Help you Avoid Vaccine Administration Errors in Your Practice
APRIL 2014
Resources to Help Assure Competency of Clinic Staff Administering Vaccines
MARCH 2014
Simple Tips to Expedite Vaccination in Your Practice
Newly Updated! CDC’s 2014 Immunization Schedules and IAC’s Easy-to-Use Summaries
A Strong Provider Recommendation Matters. Don’t Just "Offer" HPV Vaccine to Parents for Preteens. Recommend It!
This page was reviewed on June 1, 2014
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This website is supported in part by a cooperative agreement from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (Grant No. 6NH23IP22550) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. The website content is the sole responsibility of IAC and does not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.