Caregivers are a vital part of the home health care system and an integral asset to the recovery and well-being of the patient being treated at home. So often, it is touted that caregivers should be conscientious about cleaning the space, adhering to doctors’ medication instructions, attending to the patients’ primary needs and acting in the capacity of an all-around provider in the patients’ home. Keeping hands, wounds, and surfaces clean is indeed key to the success of at-home treatment, but it is equally important that caregivers and patients receive vaccinations and preventive care for their own health and wellness, and minimizing the potential spread of diseases which may complicate the original treatment plan.
In fact, home healthcare providers may potentially be at a higher risk for preventable diseases due to their close contact with immunocompromised patients. What’s more, they may be carriers of preventable diseases without showing any symptoms, making it easy for the patient under their care to become infected and experience potentially dangerous and uncomfortable symptoms.
The CDC highly recommends healthcare workers of any capacity remain up to date on their yearly vaccinations, including:
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, more than 10K adults in the United States contract diseases each year that cause severe complications. Additionally, they state that “vaccination rates among adults remain well below national recommendations”. Are you current with your vaccines? World Immunization Week is a good time to take a moment and re-address your vaccination history to keep yourself and your patients healthy, and to educate patients on the importance of herd immunity.
“Recommended Vaccines for Healthcare Workers.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2, 2016. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/hcw.html.
“Adult Immunizations Toolkit for Home Health Providers.” Accessed April 29, 2020. https://healthinsight.org/tools-and-resources/send/260-home-health-agencies/1122-adult-immunizations-toolkit-for-home-health-providers.