HUP nurses "tune" up flu shot campaign

January 30, 2009 4:01:18 PM PST
Every year, the majority of people who should get shots don't - including healthcare workers. So this year, some nurses at the University of Pennsylvania are trying to change that.

They are the people who take care of OUR health.

And they see what influenza can do.

Mel Kearney, R.N, an occupational health nurse, says, "In my 25 years, I've seen the chaos flu creates. Old people with fevers and falls - fractures. Little kids die."

But every year, less than half of all healthcare workers get a flu shot.

Their reasons are familiar ones.

"Flu shot? No way, I hate needles.... Isn't the flu just a bad cold?" say the voices on a new music video.

The video, called "Baby Be Wise. Immunize," takes on those excuses head-on.

It was created by occupational health nurses at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

The voices are the work of a university vocal group.

But the faces are all hospital staffers.

The video was a central part of a "flu fair," used to educate co-workers.

Courtney Cade, R.N., says, "And this was the Jeopardy board that we did."

This game board delivered vital facts on the virus.

Many workers didn't know that even if you don't catch the flu, you can spread it.

Kearney says.,"Flu virus can live on inanimate objects - the telephone, doorknobs, pens, books, money - for up to 8 hours."

There were also clever posters, food, and other gimmicks, using humor to drive home a serious subject.

Ronald Crafton, an emergency department coordinator, is one of the stars of the video.

In 35 years at HUP, he never got a flu shot. Luckily never got the flu....until his luck ran out 2 years ago.

Crafton remembers, "It was very nasty. I was hospitalized 4 days for the flu."

Ronald did get a shot this year.... And is hoping his part in the video will inspire others to also get vaccinated.

So far, it seems to be working....the vaccination rate at the hospital is up by about 50-percent this year.

To see the video, click here.

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