Education and Training
Teaching Medical Students about the Influenza Vaccine
According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, Michigan has a below average rate of vaccinations of all types. The influenza vaccine, especially for at-risk populations, is an essential component of stopping a potentially deadly disease.
Through surveys of their students, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine found students are often uncomfortable discussing what, for some people, may be the sensitive topic of vaccines.
Students were asked to discuss what questions or myths patients may have about the vaccine. After reviewing the results, the students discussed the epidemiology of influence, practical methods of patient counseling, and the public health implication of influenza and the vaccine’s effectiveness with an infectious disease specialist.
Students also learned about how the vaccine is administered from licensed nurses and administered doses of the inactive vaccine to each other.
Participating students were given a pre- and post-evaluation test to assess their attitudes and understanding of the influenza vaccine. After the program students reported being much more comfortable counseling patients and recommending the vaccine to friends or family members.
The Development and Current Use of the Oakland Student Orientation Website
Oakwood Healthcare System has four acute care sites, several long-term care facilities, and many outpatient units and is located in close proximity to several large community colleges and universities, making it a popular destination for 2000 student clinical placements each year.
With more than 50 faculty members – on many different schedules – scheduling time and maintaining color-coded folders with complete and correct copies of orientation materials for faculty and students became difficult. The need to have rotation-specific orientation materials quickly doubled the complexity of the paper-based system.
To address this rapidly growing problem, the Oakwood Nursing Development and Marketing Communications department developed an online orientation portal, with a virtual “assistant” which helped identify the correct materials.
Many nursing faculty were skeptical about using an online orientation system, but after use, evaluation, and refinement the program has been an unqualified success, expanding beyond nursing to social work, rehab services, spiritual support, phlebotomy, surgical technology, and ambulatory services.
The program is planning on expanding to Respiratory Therapy, Pharmacy, Physician Assistants, and Radiology Students.