The immunity of nursing services providers against vaccine-preventable diseases
Objective: Health care workers are under a major risk of encountering with an infection of any kind and as well transmitting that infection especially to the susceptible patients group. Therefore, vaccination is of vital importance for that kind of occupational group. In this present study, immunity levels, against vaccine-preventable diseases, of the personnel, who are providing nursing services in our hospital and who have undergone the medical screening by personnel health care department, were examined; their hepatitis, tetanus and influenza vaccines histories were questioned and the results were categorized by branches. In so doing, determining consciousness levels of the nurses on the subject at issue is intended.
Methods: In 2018, at Haydarpaşa Numune Training and Research Hospital, of the staff member nurses with sufficient data, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, measles, mumps and rubella antibody values derived from the medical screening, and of the personnel serving in otorhinolaryngology and pediatrics services, varicella seropositiveness were examined. Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, tetanus and influenza vaccines histories were recorded paying regard to their statements in the forms filled in by them during the medical screening. The results were analyzed comparing between age brackets and departments they are providing service in.
Results: Out of 214 nurses whose files were available at personnel health care department of our hospital; in internal branches 79 nurses, in surgical branches 84 nurses, in intensive care and palliative care units 17 nurses, in emergency departments 202 nurses, in dialysis unit 3 nurses and in administrative unit the remaining 11 nurses were providing service. AntiHBsIgG was positive for 209 nurses (97,7%) and 12 of them (5,6%) had natural immunity. AntiHAVIgG was positive for 111 nurses (51,9%). 112 nurses (52,3%) had tetanus vaccination; however 49 nurses (22,9%) did not know whether they were vaccinated or not. Of the nurses who had tetanus vaccination; in internal branches 41,96%, in surgical branches 41,07%, in intensive care and palliative care units 6,25% and in emergency departments 7,14% were providing service. There were 208 nurses who had declared that they had measles, mumps and rubella vaccination. However 3 of them had rubella IgG negative, 9 of them had mumps IgG negative and 20 of them had measles IgG negative. Out of 70 nurses who were seropositive regarding hepatitis B; in surgical branches, endoscopy unit and operating room 70 nurses (32,71%), in internal branches and outpatient clinics 77 nurses (35,98%), in dialysis unit 4 nurses (1,86%), in emergency departments 19 nurses (8,87%) and in administrative units, where there is contact neither with patients nor with any belongings of patients,16 nurses (7,47%) were providing service. Regarding percentages of seropositiveness in general, percentages of nurses’ tetanus and hepatitis A immunity were far below than the percentages of their hepatitis B and measles, mumps and rubella immunity (p<0,05).
Conclusion: Although vaccination is of vital importance regarding occupational exposure as well as protection of the patients’ health, it is a preventive measure that is still neglected by the health care providers. Particularly in the departments at risk, determination of immunization level by wide scale medical screenings and raising awareness of health care providers on vaccination will be beneficial.
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