In the past few years, the topic of immunizations has sparked great interest in many people living in the United States. Immunizations are considered a form of preventative care. This means that it helps to protect against infection and diseases. Immunizations stop further manifesting of disease in the body. The dilemma about immunization has been an ongoing debate in the United States. Some people argue that immunizations are not for everyone. These people believe it causes health issues and should not be encouraged.
While the other opponent believes that the outcome of immunizations outweighs the possible side effects caused by the vaccines. These people see it as a benefit to stay healthy and prevent themselves from any possible infection. Both parties find reasons why their options should be considered. This essay will discuss the ethical dilemma the health care worker face regarding the issue of immunizations. However, there has been an increase in immunization refusal which have resulted in more health issues and the center for disease control and prevention recommend health care providers to educate their patients, parents or guardian about the importance of vaccine.
According to CDC in the year 1921 more than 15,000 Americans died from diphtheria before the vaccine was invented, but after the availability of this vaccine, there was a massive declined which result to only 2 reported cases between the year 2004 and 2014 (CDC, 2018).
It is understandable that every child needs to be protected and given the best care. The nurses are bounded by this ethical responsibility or principles to offer protection and give every child a chance of survival.
Childhood immunization administration involves the parent to decide if they want their child to get the vaccine or not. This ethical principle has risen concerns about the decision parents make for their children about pediatric vaccination. Parent believe they know what is best for their kids; This rise concerns for those who refuse to vaccinate their children. As it is seen as a societal norm for people to protect their children and other children around them; But when the proper care to a child is withheld due to the disagreement of the parent it is the responsibility for the nurse to further educate these parents about the importance of the vaccine (Hendrix, et al., 2016).
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is a well-known professional organization that offers high legal standards of nursing practice and protects the profession of a nurse by promoting a safe and ethical work environment. It upholds legal and ethical values for nurses. ANA Code of Ethics for nurses is primarily a commitment to all patients as an individual, group, family, community, or population. The American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for nurses was developed as a guide to help nurses carry out their responsibilities in a reliable manner and quality in nursing. This care is carried out with the ethical responsibilities of the profession. (American Nurses Association, 2015). Despite the qualities associated with the American Nurses Association (ANA), parents still have the right to decides for their children whether to receives the recommended vaccines as approved by the CDC. Which rise the concerns from the standpoint of the parents and their health care providers regarding immunizations, but with the proper outcome and planning incorporated with educational teaching it is believed that it will help decrease the refusal rate of a vaccine. It is also important to respect the decision made by these parents a tool in dealing with this ethical dilemma (Alexander et al., 2016).
The outcome and plan for this dilemma are to educate the patients, parents, guardian, and people in the community about the importance of immunization as it has contributed to the overall wellbeing and health of the community. It is recommended that health care providers should provide a brochure for their patients and parents in different languages that they can read and understand. These brochures should be readily available in every health care setting that educates about the importance of vaccine. They should provide an online resource, hotlines, and services that can be asses 24/7 for health information such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and other approved resources. Health care providers should have updated health and immunization record of their patients and a call to remind them about their next immunization shot. It is also important to educate our patients and their parents about the possible side effect that may be associated with some vaccine administration and how to handle it. Other resources to resolve this dilemma is to provide families with a list of agencies that are available in the community that provides a cheap or free vaccine. Because this will be helpful for low-income families to get the vaccine they need. These resources could help in resolving the dilemma (CDC, 2018).