Do I need the flu vax? Influenza Vaccine requirements for student clinical placement
A reminder that per NSW Health Policy, healthcare workers in Category A High Risk areas are required to provide evidence of annual influenza vaccination. This also applies to students assigned to Category A High Risk areas and must be completed prior to commencement of clinical placements.
It is strongly encouraged that all students, regardless of where their placement is to take place, complete their Influenza Vaccination before they attend placement for the safety of vulnerable patients, as well as themselves.
Please find the relevant NSW Health Policy particulars below;
All students who undertake clinical placements within NSW Health facilities are considered to be Category A and must be made aware by the education provider of the requirements of this policy directive prior to enrolment in their university, TAFE or other education provider.
2.7 Education Providers (EPs)
EPs must ensure that all students and student facilitators are informed of the requirements of the policy directive prior to and at enrolment/commencement of employment.
4 ANNUAL INFLUENZA VACCINATION PROGRAM
In addition to complying with the requirements for Category A positions, all workers in a Category A High Risk position (as defined in Attachment 1 Risk Categorisation Guidelines) must also provide evidence of annual influenza vaccination by 1 June each year.
All positions must be categorised as Category A that involve either:
1. Direct physical contact with:
b) deceased persons, body parts
c) blood, body substances, infectious material or surfaces or equipment that might contain these (e.g. soiled linen, surgical equipment, syringes)
2. Contact that would allow the acquisition or transmission of diseases that are spread by respiratory means:
a) Workers with frequent/prolonged face-to-face contact with patients or clients e.g. interviewing or counselling individual clients or small groups; performing reception duties in an emergency/outpatient’s department;
b) normal work location is in a clinical area such as a ward, emergency department, outpatient clinic (including, for example, ward clerks and patient transport officers); or who frequently throughout their working week are required to attend clinical areas, e.g. persons employed in food services who deliver meals and maintenance workers.
CATEGORY A – HIGH RISK
In addition to the requirements for workers employed in in Category A positions, workers employed in positions in the following high-risk clinical areas must also receive annual influenza vaccine (refer to Section 4 Annual Influenza Vaccination Program)
High risk clinical areas
1. Antenatal, perinatal and post-natal areas including labour wards and recovery rooms and antenatal outreach programs
2. Neonatal intensive care units; special care units; any home visiting health service provided to neonates
3. Paediatric intensive care units
4. Transplant and oncology wards
5. Intensive care units