Karen Johnson is Head of Clinical Quality
at HC-One, a national care home operator.
Working in social care means working with elderly people every day. I
love my job, and I enjoy speaking to residents and getting to know them.
Personally, I think I have one of the best jobs in the world.
As Head of Clinical Quality at HC-One, my main priority is ensuring
that our residents receive the kindest and very best care across our family of
homes. But working alongside vulnerable people has taught me a very important
lesson – in order to care for others you must also care for yourself.
This mantra is particularly true when it comes to getting the flu jab
each winter. I and all of my colleagues at HC-One will take the time this year
to get our annual flu vaccination, as we do every year. We do this not only to
protect ourselves, but more importantly to protect residents in our care.
When providing care, it is important to be vigilant in addressing
every aspect of an individual’s needs. This can be a substantial task, and the
care staff across HC-One’s homes constantly impress me with their compassion
and their dedication to their work.
In such an environment, it is important to ensure that we are all taking
those simple steps that can have a positive impact on the wellbeing of residents. A small act like getting the flu jab plays a significant role in
ensuring we are providing the best possible care to residents.
Some may argue that the jab is ineffective, so why get it? Yet there
is endless research each year which shows that the flu jab is our best defence
against contracting and spreading flu. The jab contains strains of the inactive flu virus which, when
administered, stimulates our body’s immune system and produces the antibodies
needed to fight an infection.
This is what makes the flu jab so effective: it gives our body the
information it needs to fight the flu, which stops us from contracting and spreading
For those of us who work in social care, getting the flu jab is an
essential part of our work. In vaccinating ourselves we are protecting the
people we care for, and helping to ensure that we are able to provide the
safest environment and the kindest care for residents.
That is why I, and all
my colleagues at HC-One, will be taking part in #jabathon and getting the
flu jab this winter.
Read more about the evidence for the flu jab.