An audit of health student immunisation at a University Department of Rural Health reveals the imperative for a coordinated approach

Caroline Crossley, Sandra Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Student healthcare worker immunisation ensures the protection of students, their patients and the wider community. This audit assessed allied health students' records of immunisation against national standards. Methods: This audit examined clinical students' immunisation records at a University Department of Rural Health and assessed their compliance with the national Australian Immunisation Handbook recommendations. Gaps in processes were assessed through a review of forms, guidelines and stakeholder feedback. Results: Around one-quarter (26%) of healthcare students provided evidence that they were immunised in line with national standards. Inconsistency of immunisation recommendations across universities, states and disciplines were identified. Conclusions: This audit highlighted gaps in healthcare student immunisation assurance processes at both local and national levels, and we recommend key elements that would be required for a more consistent, streamlined and coordinated approach. Implications for public health: As a pillar of communicable disease control, immunisation compliance continues to pose important public health challenges. Without further work towards coordination of healthcare students' immunisation assurances, there is a risk of preventable morbidity and mortality in vulnerable communities, as well as suboptimal student and worker safety in an environment that poses high risks.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • allied
  • healthcare
  • immunisation
  • student
  • vaccination

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