It’s flu season, everyone! It is time to talk about vaccinations for travel nurses during the most intense respiratory and viral season of the year. Traveling healthcare providers are constantly exposed to various viral and bacterial infectious processes that are highly contagious. Healthcare providers also consistently come in contact with multiple people on a very regular basis, often in close proximity. Currently, we are entering flu season, and there has been a lot of talk and a lot of activity this flu season surrounding the vaccination. We intend to provide information with this blog about recommended vaccinations with rationale for being immunized. It is important to understand the vaccinations mentioned below offer protection and immunity from very serious medical illnesses that can cause and lead to death.
There is an astounding number of travel nurses have either treated someone with flu symptoms, had the flu themselves, or known someone who did last flu season. We thought it would be a good idea to review healthcare vaccinations that are recommended for traveling nurses. Again, these are recommendations based on suggestions by the Centers for Disease Control and this list does not reflect requirements to travel with a specific agency. There are also many other vaccinations that are required to be considered “up-to-date” on immunizations. These are specific healthcare recommendations. Talk to your provider to determine your immunizations status and inquire about further vaccinations.
Influenza – 1 vaccination dose per year. The vaccination is ready for the public, so when you get a moment (if your facility does not provide these at work) you can head in to get your flu shot. The flu shot does not just protect you, it also protects the community you live in. This also includes those with immunosuppression from viral spread.
Hepatitis B – If previously unvaccinated, a 3-dose series is recommended. For any nurses working directly with blood, it is suggested that an HCP obtains anti-HBs serologic testing 1–2 months after the last dose in the series.
MMR – This vaccination protects you from measles, mumps, and rubella. For nurses born in 1957 or later without prior vaccination, it is suggested to receive 2 doses of MMR, 4 weeks apart.
Varicella (chickenpox) – For nurses who have no proof of immunity, prior vaccination, diagnosis, or verification of a history of varicella or herpes zoster (shingles) by a healthcare provider, it is recommended that they receive 2 doses of varicella vaccine, 4 weeks apart.
Tdap – This vaccination protects you against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Recommended 1 dose of Tdap as soon as feasible to all unvaccinated prior. Repeat every 10 years as booster.
Meningococcal – This vaccination protects you against meningitis. Recommended 1 dose if not previously vaccinated. Give MenACWY every 5 years as booster for microbiologists with exposure risk.
Typical Vaccination Exceptions:
- Religious preferences
- Medical Contraindications
CDC. Immunization of Health-Care Personnel: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR, 2018; 60(RR-7).
Nurse Kelley, FNP-S
If you’re new to Wanderly, welcome and thanks for stopping by our community. We offer a platform that helps travel healthcare professionals find their travel assignments in an empowered way. Compare fully detailed travel assignments from the top paying agencies and use 1 universal application for all future assignments. Join for free today! Then you can get started on finding your next dream travel assignment.