The Vaccination Administration Taskforce (VAT) issued its booklet entitled
UK Guidance on Best Practice in Vaccine Administration just over 12 months ago,
and it has proved immensely popular, with 30,000 practitioners requesting
copies. To complement the booklet, it produced a free CD-Rom entitled Getting
to the Point along with a website.
The VAT developed the clinical guidelines following a healthcare survey
undertaken in 2001, in which 96 per cent of the 500 nurses surveyed reported
that they required more information and guidance on injection techniques and
The taskforce consists of seven specialist nurses including Gail Cotton,
past-president of the AOHNP, a GP and Dr Jane Zuckerman, a travel medicine
The guidance in the booklet, CD-Rom and website is clear, concise and
comprehensive, and is useful to all practitioners who administer vaccinations
as a means of setting standards for best practice and professional updating.
The VAT also provides training for practitioners new to immunisations. As
the chairman of the RCN Travel Health Forum comments: "They provide an
invaluable educational and learning tool for healthcare professionals".
All three formats are easy to use. The video elements of the CD-Rom and
website which show preparation and administration of the vaccine, together with
choice of needle are particularly useful. It reassured me that I was following
best practice and that my methods were correct and up-to-date. The quiz helps
to reinforce knowledge and confidence, and everything was well referenced to
ensure ‘evidence-based practice’.
However, I had two concerns. The nurse shown washing her hands before
preparing the injection is still wearing a wristwatch, and from previous
experience I know that this is not correct procedure. And downloading the
website’s training programme power point slides takes 27 minutes with a 56
modem (but it takes just a few seconds from the CD-Rom).
These guidelines are essential for all occupational health nurses who carry
out vaccinations. It is important to use Getting to the Point together with the
hard copy, UK Guidance on Best Practice in Vaccine Administration, which can be
downloaded from either format. Visit the website or obtain your free copy of the
CD-Rom straight away.
By Greta Thornbory