By, Melody Butler
As a nurse in the United States, I rarely have patients who suffer from vaccine-preventable diseases. When I do, their stories stay with me and I want to prevent others from experiencing the pain they do. Most nurses and healthcare workers will tell you their job isn’t something that stops when they clock out. I feel the same way and it is why I advocate for vaccines and global health long after I walk off my unit.
I started Nurses Who Vaccinate to make sure nurses and healthcare workers like me stay current on research regarding immunizations. By staying up-to-date on immunizations and infectious diseases, our patients have accurate information to avert preventable diseases. Through Vaccinate Your Baby and Families Fighting Flu, Nurses Who Vaccinate also educates others to become vaccine advocates throughout the nation and world via social media.
Because I am advocate for vaccines, I became a Shot@Life Champion. On October 24, I hosted an event called Nurses Night Out in honor of World Polio Day. I wanted to say thank you to local healthcare workers who keep our communities healthy and safe. I also wanted to bring attention to the fact that around the world, 1.7 million children will die from diseases that have been eradicated in the U.S. because they do not have access to immunizations.
It was a success! My community’s healthcare workers felt appreciated for their local efforts. They also felt inspired to work together to protect children in developing countries. We raised $300 through a silent auction and individual donations. Attendees also wanted to get more involved with Shot@Life and signed the Shot@Life Pledge.
We need to continue working together to completely eradicate these horrid diseases. You don’t have to be a nurse of healthcare professional to be an advocate for vaccines. Pledge your support for Shot@Life and help ensure children everywhere have their shot at staying healthy.