By DeeAnn Alatsis
Central supply Manager / Certified Pharmacy Technician Liaison
Arlington Court Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center
FALL SEASON IS FLU SHOT SEASON
Fall brings football – GO BUCKS! – return to classes, beautifully colored Ohio trees and the reminder, “It’s time to get your flu shot.”
The flu itself is a virus that constantly evolves and changes in its genetic makeup. Every year scientists formulate the vaccine based on predictions of which strains will likely be the most prevalent for that year from the fall into the following spring. It is suggested that adults over age 65, those with underlying health conditions and anyone older than 6 months should receive the newly formulated vaccine every year.
At Arlington Court Nursing and Rehab, we are preparing our residents and even our staff to be protected against the flu virus. We have worked with our supplying pharmacy, Omnicare, to receive a shipment of the 2018 flu vaccine around the beginning of October. The 2018 flu vaccine that Arlington Court will be administering is considered a “quadrivalent” flu vaccine. This means that it contains 4 different strains of flu virus that are predicted for this year.
We are receiving the vaccine in the form of pre-filled syringes to which we are using a fine gauge needle to administer it for the resident’s and staff member’s comfort. Timing of the flu vaccine is also very important. Once the resident or staff member receives the vaccine, it does take about 2 weeks for the individual’s immune system to build up immunity against the flu virus. Fall seems to be the time when the flu virus creeps up as more individuals interact due to school, weather changes, the holidays and being confined to the indoors.
As a Precaution
It should be said, that receiving the flu shot does not completely guarantee that the individual will not get the flu virus. It has been shown that for those who do get the flu virus, they have significantly less symptoms and shorter duration period of illness if they have received the flu vaccine. Should any resident contract the flu virus, the Arlington Court nursing staff is fully equipped to handle their individual recuperative needs.
We have several OTC products available in our Central Supply stock to help alleviate most physical discomforts and fevers. Our dietary staff has a wide variety of juices and teas and even ginger ale to help the residents stay hydrated and meal choices to help settle an upset digestive system. Ice water is passed several times a day by our STNA staff and as needed per the resident’s request. Our nursing staff has 24 / 7 / 365 access and communicates with both our Director of Nursing and our physicians should the resident’s symptoms warrant more specific treatment.
The flu virus is “nothing to be sneezed at” (sorry!) but at Arlington Court Nursing and Rehab we hope to help the resident and our staff to avoid the severity of the flu virus with the flu vaccine. But if the individual does contract the flu virus, our staff will do what it takes to get them back into their typical routine as comfortably and quickly as possible.