Ten reasons to do an immunisation update 

by | Oct 7, 2022 | Education & Training, Immunisation

As a trainer in immunisation, I frequently meet people needing to update their knowledge and skills. Sometimes they realise this already. Sometimes they don’t until they get on the course.

Things change so fast these days don’t they? And sometimes its just plain hard to keep up.

All the UK guidance for immunisation (and don’t forget travel health) suggests annual updates at minimum. If you are thinking it’s time for an update – or even if you’re not- here are ten reasons why it’s beneficial to enrol yourself or your team on an immunisation update course:

1. There are more useful guidance and assessment documents available than you think!

For example, I’ve been noticing that a common competency document that people say they have never heard of is in the NICE guidance for working under PGDs. I taught over 200 delegates last month. I’d say the figure is well over 50% for PGD-users who say ‘Ooo I didn’t know about that one’. 

2. Gain some training tips and tools.

Even if you are already really up to date with all things immunisation, you can gain some tips and tools for supporting your less experienced peers on an update course. The Health Academy trainers have all had experience in managing, assessing, and educating staff in their areas of practice. So, they have plenty of suggestions to hand if you need them. In travel health, for example, have you seen the ‘free resources‘ area? Plenty of tools to help you keep organised and aid with training others. And there are more tips where they came from! 

3. Enter smug mode!

If you’re in the ‘experienced’ bracket above, you are reminded on an update course that amidst all the pandemic chaos, you do actually know your stuff. And you are experienced enough now that others do indeed look up to you for guidance and support!

4. You don’t just learn what’s going on right now, you learn HOW  to keep up to date.

It always surprises me how many people haven’t heard of the Vaccine Update for instance. This resource is super easy to subscribe to and full of useful tips around increasing vaccine uptake, knowing where to order vaccines and which ones are currently in short supply. I had an update class of twenty recently and not one person in the group had heard of it! 

5. You get some useful practical tips from your peers in other areas.

Discussion is important and delegates on the courses often learn a lot from each other too! For instance you might gain (or share) some tips about:

  • Organising the clinic
  • Booking processes and appointment timings
  • Resources to give out to patients
  • Managing huge lists
  • Which is the best coffee to have in the break room.

(The most memorable practical tip I’ve overheard was around which brand of kettle boils the fastest and keeps fluid warm for longest for those who have overrun into lunch).

6. And on that note, you get to drink lots of brews and eat lots of snacks during an immunisation update course.

And if you’re doing it remotely you don’t even have to put your trousers on!! (Incidentally, through doing a lot of remote training I’ve noticed a LOT of people now have rainbow-themed mugs since the pandemic – seems to be a popular thank you gift for practice nurses).

7. Fulfil the gold standards in the guidance! 

UK guidance (National Minimum Standards) for immunisation updates suggests that they should be annual. This means that your clinical governance and compliance department will be kept very happy. Remember as well, we’re all accountable for our own practice, if our training is out of date, we open ourselves up for culpability if things go wrong.

8. Have a breather from the day to day chaos of clinic lists! Take the time to do the studying you rarely get precious time to do.

There’s rarely a bigger relief-smile from a nurse, pharmacist or HCA who’s in the clinic alone with the door firmly shut. 

9. You get to realise that everyone’s in the same boat.

Whatever your struggles are, someone else usually has the same problem. I wish I had a pound for every health care worker who’s said ‘yes!!! We have that issue too!!!’

10. Feel proud of yourself.

You get to remind yourself how important your role is by looking at the bigger picture and how essential your advice and skills are. Just looking at the ten threats to global health by WHO should affirm this alone! Doing an immunisation update course allows you to step back for a bit and just reflect on all the important things you do and why. 

Plus, perhaps most importantly, even those doing a cracking job usually find out something they have should have been doing or not doing along the way. 

So, hope to see you on an update soon!

cup of tea one might have on an immunisation update

Check out our Immunisation Courses page for all update training options

Remember, health academy can provide in-house updates for the whole team at special rates. So, if you can’t find the dates you are looking for, or have colleagues who are needing the same education, do get in touch for a quote.

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