We continue to weather the ravaging storm of COVID, riding the fourth wave of surging cases that have left many of us in a dizzying spiral of distress. Tempers are short, stress is mounting and it is resulting a division within our own ranks that is disconcerting to say the least. Where do we go from here? Can we find common ground on which to stand united, instead of the divisive banter that is popping up on social media?
Protecting the health and safety of children and adolescents must be a shared value. Facts, science and evidence are the mainstay of our practice. The divisions I have observed on social media are primarily centered around COVID vaccines. The vaccine debate has escalated since our youngest students are now eligible.
The politicization of all things COVID19 has created fertile ground for vitriol in our society. It is stunning to bear witness to a nursing workforce on the verge of collapse. School nurses are on the frontlines of COVID too, and it has taken a deep toll on us. We are tired, beleagured, feeling disempowered, and when needed the most, often left out of decision making.
What we cannot do though is turn against one another. This is the time we need to come together as a united front. We have the right to our personal beliefs and opinions, but that is where they should remain. Our public role is to educate and support the health of the school community.
NASN has joined a collaboration with ANA and many other national nursing organizations to support educating the public about the importance of COVID vaccinations. Here is the link to COVID vaccine facts for nurses that is filled with rich, evidence-based content. I encourage my readers to dive into this extensive resource and share it with your colleagues. We can find common ground here, in our duty to educate the public during the most challenging time in our modern school nursing history.
The COVID Vaccine Facts for Nurses site is designed to provide you with critical information and expert perspectives about the safety, efficacy, and importance of vaccines—to help you make decisions for yourselves and inform and counsel both your patients and the communities you serve. No matter what questions you have or how you prefer to learn about the COVID-19 vaccines, we have something for you.