Who Flew the Coop?

avian flu

Click here to learn what patients are at highest risk for doctor shopping.

Few studies have determined the likelihood of emergency nurses reporting to work during an avian influenza outbreak. A recent survey consisting of 332 emergency nurses was conducted to see if they reported to work or not during such an outbreak. According to the results, 84% of emergency nurses reported they would report to work, and the likelihood of reporting to work differed by education level, the availability of resources on avian influenza to nurses, and nurses who had family living with them. Of the nurses who decided not to report to work, the majority were willing to:

♦  Provide health information: 90%.
♦  Administer vaccinations: 82%.
♦  Triage neighbors/friends from home: 74%.

One-third of nurses had not attended a disaster-preparedness drill within the past year, and just 20% reported receiving formal training on avian influenza while on the job. About 33% of emergency nurses said they would be worried about getting an avian influenza vaccination because of potential adverse effects. The authors stated that disaster drills, avian influenza job training, and vaccination education are necessary to prepare emergency nurses for an outbreak.


Source: Journal of Emergency Nursing, May 2014.