A day in the life of an NHS flu fighter

Champion award winner

09 / 10 / 2015 3.19pm

#HelloMyNameIs Stu Young, NHS England flu fighter champion 2015. As a flu fighter you can expect busy and productive days to look forward to. I believe it’s important for people to protect themselves, patients, colleagues, family and friends by having the flu jab.

Every single person is an amazing member of the NHS health care family and I make it my duty to help them stay that way by fighting flu.

I take an interactive approach with the people around me, sparking conversations to understand misconceptions and using twitter to let people know where to find me. 

Here's a typical day for me!

  • 5.45 am, I start my day with my first tweet, letting people know where to get the flu jab.
  • 6.30 am, arrive at Occupational Health and collect fresh vaccines and promotion material – ready for the day ahead.
  • 7 am, an early set up in the main foyer, I set up an advertising banner and mini clinic area.
  • 7.05 am, I start talking to staff, and a nervous Healthcare Assistant, about the side effects of the flu jab. Mythbusting part one - the flu jab does not give you the flu, the vaccine contains inactivated flu viruses, one of many myths to bust!
  • 8 am, now I’m joined by the trust Deputy Chief Nurse, Linda, time for a quick coffee using our vouchers, which gives £1 off for getting the flu jab.
  • 8.20 am, we have a queue of student nurses wanting to have the flu vaccination.  They are in for a study day and the course lead publicised information of how to get the flu jab from Occupational Health.
  • 9.45 am, I spot the Matron and Ward Sister walk through reception.  I tactfully ask if they have had the flu jabs, both of them haven’t but are both keen to have it. Next, the consent forms are completed, injection given and a picture uploaded for twitter - success.
  • 9.55 am, housekeeping staff come over and say that you only need the flu jab once in your lifetime. Mythbusting number two, the viruses that cause flu can change every year, so you need a vaccination each year that matches the new viruses. Eight more staff have the vaccination after our conversation. Now 65 front line staff have been vaccinated.
  • 11.05 am, I walk to floor five, and start speaking to a Ward Clerk who has a flu sticker on her name badge. She has a poster up behind her desk and is collecting names of the staff who want the flu vaccine. I book in a return visit for later in the week.
  • 11.25 am, I’m vaccinating staff as I walk around the wards on floor five, four and three, spending time to thank staff who have had the jab already. I also talk to staff who are reluctant to have the jab to understand their misconceptions and do some much needed mythbusting.
  • 1 pm, I restock the resources bag and set up mobile vaccination unit ahead of our visit to the community sites across the Sandwell and West Birmingham areas.
  • 1.30 pm, first stop, the Lynches. There’s a queue of keen staff waiting as we pull up, all talking and asking questions. It’s fantastic to see such passion for our initiative. One nurse said “immunity is so important to protect our colleagues and patients, we should all get vaccinated”. Clinical staff are also coming to get the jab, and have been rotating so that all staff on shift can get protected.
  • 3.15 pm, it’s been a fantastic day between the Deputy Chief Nurse walking ward to ward, the pop up clinic in reception, walking ward to ward and then the mobile vaccination unit. In total, we have protected 104 staff today.
  • Our dedicated administration team back in Occupational Health will now be inputting the consent forms and updating health records - we could not do all of this without the great support from Karen and the team.
  • 4 pm, now that the clinical day is finished, I head home to get ready for a twitter chat with @WeNurses and @NHSFluFighter.
  • 8 pm, the twitter chat starts. First question - Why is getting the Flu Jab important to you? #WeNurses. The chat lasts for an hour, and involved front line staff, nurses, doctors, physios and healthcare assistants, administration staff, domestics and managers.
  • 10.30 pm, another day complete - I head to bed, just one final tweet for the day, advertising what we are planning for tomorrow.

Keep up to date with all things Flu – follow Stu on twitter

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