WNJ conducts mass immunization drill as busy flu season nears

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SHERMAN, TX -- Wilson N. Jones Medical Center is among the medical facilities getting ready for the already busy flu season. Now there are efforts underway to vaccinate all WNJ employees. Shots given to staff on Tuesday were part of a drill to prepare the facility for a crisis. Josh Stevenson has more.

Wilson N Jones performed a mass immunization drill because if Doctors and Nurses get sick, they won't be able to help you if you get sick.

"most of the time with the safety precautions that we have here i am more likely to get sick from my kids than i am to get sick at work," Stacia Gard, R.N. says.

For health care providers, there is always the risk of contracting an illness from a sick patient. Hospitals work to minimize this risk with proper sanitation and hygiene practices, and by making sure those who are the most at risk for infection get vaccinated.

“This is going to be potentially a significant flu season," says Tracy Masson, director of risk and safety management at Wilson N. Jones.

It is Masson’s job to make sure if there is a pandemic that the hospital is ready to care for those in need, and part of being ready is being immunized.

To get ready for the flu season, the hospital combined giving out flu shots to employees, with a drill to see how fast they could vaccinate the staff during an emergency.

"So far I feel that we have been very successful in the drill because we have been able to get parameters in place, to see what parts of our plans work, and what we need to work on," Masson says,

For nurse Stacia Gard getting a vaccination could mean that she will stay healthy enough to take care of others, but she says that by getting the shot, you could keep a nurse from having to take care of you.

"I am a huge advocate for vaccinations. Preventative maintenance is important so healthy people can stay out of the hospital."

Health care providers say this could be the worst flu season they have seen in some time and stress the importance of getting a flu shot.

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