Community Teaching Paper Final

Flu, Who?: Emphasis on Vaccination, Hand Hygiene and Cough Etiquette

Grand Canyon University: NRS-427

Flu Who?: Emphasis on Vaccination, Hand Hygiene and Cough Etiquette

Influenza (flu) is an infection disease caused by a virus. The CDC states, the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infects the nose, throat, and lungs (CDC, 2016). The flu illness can range from mild illness to death. Prevention comes in many ways; however, the primary prevention method is the yearly influenza vaccination.

I live in the Metro Louisville Community of Kentucky, were our death rate for influenza/pneumonia for 2012-2014 was 18.4/100,000 residents (DPHW,2016). Pediatrics deaths for Kentucky in the 2013-2014 influenza season where four (Hatfield & Sands, 2014). The hospitals now mandate employee flu vaccinations yearly, however, the local schools have not yet taken on an initiate to push flu vaccination for students. Our school system, Jefferson County Public Schools, emphasizes good hand hygiene with soap and water along cover your cough for prevention methods.

Three types of influenza viruses affect people, called Type A, Type B and Type C. As previously stated, the virus is spread through the air from cough or sneezes. This is believed to occur over relatively short distances. It can also be spread by touching surfaces contaminated by the virus and then touching the mouth or eyes. A person may be infectious to others both before and during the time they are showing symptoms. Symptoms include: fever, cough, running nose, nausea, or sore throat. It is important to note that not all persons get a fever. The infection may be confirmed by testing the throat, sputum, or nose for the virus (CDC, 2016). Frequent hand washing and covering your cough reduces the risk of infection because it breaks the infection chain.

Communicable disease are a leading cause of childhood morbidity and school absences. Students with signs and symptoms of communicable diseases are usually excluded from the school sitting for the period of communicability. They may return in accordance with their pediatrician and school policies (WHO, 2016).

The Brown School community teaching project prepared by this nurse had an objective to educate twenty-four second-graders on the importance of the influenza vaccination along with the importance of hand hygiene and covering their cough. The planning began about three weeks prior to the presentation. The project started smooth but barriers began popping up as the day of the presentation grew closer.

Choosing the topic, influenza prevention, was very easy as this nurse is the Infection Preventionist at her facility and a mother of two. It was also a huge plus that the time of the year was “flu season”. The first struggle was choosing the place and audience. This nurse struggled with a school setting versus a community setting with the elderly population. While both community populations are high risk for contracting the virus, the initial choice was the Beechmont Women’s Group. However, when contacted, their speaker schedule was booked up until February. The Brown School was then chosen. Contacts with the school were made and education options were discussed. The school contacts included the principal, the school nurse and the second-grade teacher. Several great ideas where thrown around regarding what type of teaching plan would best benefit seven to eight-year-old students. With the subject of influenza, it was thought the best teaching plan was a poster.

The teaching plan poster, titled Flu Who? was developed on the learning level of second graders. It was kept simple, colorful and in “kid terminology”. The important question the poster board was, how do YOU stop flu germs? The top of the poster simply referenced the flu shot, from the question was two arrows. One pointed to hand hygiene and the other to cover your cough. The hand hygiene education pictured the CDC correct steps for hand washing and a fun song to sing, “If your Happy and You Know It, Scrub your hands. To teach Cover Your Cough, the CDC poster with each step was posted and once again a catchy little tune, We Need to Cover Our Cough.

The teaching experience was started with an introduction and then promptly getting into the teaching lesson. It was started using a you tube video, The Flu Song (cover of Let It Go from Frozen). This gave the lesson a relaxed comfortable atmosphere. The video focuses on the influenza vaccination with a dialogue for their learning comprehension. After the conclusion of the video, the students were asked “How many have had an influenza shot this year?’ It was clarified that “this year” meant since summer vacation. Out of twenty-three students, six raised their hands. That is a mere twenty-six percent. Those six students were then asked if the shot hurt. While each response was different, each one agreed that it was like a small pinch or bee sting. Emphasis was not strictly placed on vaccinations due to this nurse not everyone’s ethical and cultural beliefs.

We briefly discussed what a germ was. Most of them responded that it was something that makes you sick. We discussed a virus versus bacteria and how each was treated. One little boy then shouted out, “The flu is a virus!” He was praised on his response.

Hand washing was the next topic. The poster was referenced with the steps outlined by the CDC was discussed in detail. It was explained dirty does not mean you can see the dirt. Germs are so small; we cannot see with our naked eye. Wetting your hands was important to lather the soap, and the appropriate amount of soap always needed to be used to ensure germs were killed. The next step of hand washing was emphasized the most, scrubbing and rinsing. This is where the germs were killed and wash off the hands. The students were shocked when they were told you are to wash for a least twenty seconds. They were asked to simulate the steps of scrubbing and rinsing while singing the alphabet song. Now that they knew how to clean their hands, the teaching lesson went to when do we wash our hands. The students did very well stating each occasion. The schools do not use alcohol run, due to allergies, but hand hygiene with alcohol rub was discussed and simulation of correct technique was taught. It was very important for the students to know that when completing hand hygiene, you must ensure the whole hand and wrist are cleaned. The students to taught to do the palm, in between the fingers, the back of the hand, to circle the thumb, and to include the wrist. To relax the setting and give the students some fun time, they learned the song, If You’re Happy and You Know it, Scrub your Hands.

For the last prevention technique of the lesson, the students were taught Cover your Cough. The students were familiar with this technique, as they had the poster already posted within their school cafeteria. Each step was read by a student and discussed in detail. The students were asked, “Why do we not put our dirty tissues on our desk?’ The responses were all correct with the general statement being, “So we don’t give our germs to our friends.” To end this section of the lesson, the students learned the song, We Need to Cover Our Cough.

It was now time for question and answer time, each child was given to opportunity to ask questions. No one need clarification on a topic that was taught. To end the lesson, the students where asked questions to verify teaching goals where met: “What is one way to prevent germs for spreading?’, “How long do you wash your hands?’ And ” Where do you place a used tissue?” The students were very eager to answer and all answers were correct. For fun and to hopefully increase compliance with a commitment, each child to a pledge for compliance with hand hygiene and covering your cough. With the completion of the pledge, the students were rewarded with a goody bag containing a pencil and candy. On the pencil was a reminder sticker. The sticker stated, Wash Your Hands! Cover Your Cough! Don’t Spread Germs!

This teaching experience had a few barriers at the beginning with scheduling, which was not anticipated. It was rescheduled twice and while the new schedule was tight, everything got put into place and could be completed. Another barrier was at the beginning of the lesson; the students were a bit rowdy and would not lesson. The teacher had to get involved and settle the students down, once this happened the lesson got into full swing. The student was very interactive and at times spoke out a turn. A simple reminder to raise their hand was given and then all went smooth.

While the students were included with interaction in the lesson, more constructive interaction would have helped the lesson flow more constructively. At times the presentation was a bit lackadaisical with allowing the students to participate. It was easy to tell when the students were getting tired, so another subject was initiate and new interest were then peaked.

Overall the presentation went well and all objectives were meet. Each student was very thankful. After the presentation, each student wrote a letter to this nurse and stated what they enjoyed about the lesson and one thing they learned. It was very heart warming and gave a huge sense of accomplishment.

There is not a way to ultimately prevent the spread of influenza in schools and the community, but providing the knowledge and techniques to a healthier lifestyle is a start. Immunizations is by far the best prevention; however, infection prevention techniques are almost just as important. We cannot expect compliance if the community is not educated on techniques. Teaching children at a young age and emphasizing healthy behaviors throughout their life, we help them to become healthy adults, leading to a healthier community.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Influenza. Retrieved from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Influenza (Flu) Guidance for School Administrators to Help Reduce the Spread of Seasonal Influenza in K-12. Retrieved from

Department of Public Health and Wellness (DPHW). (2016). Healthy Louisville: Measuring what is Healthy. February 2016. Retrieved from

Hatfield, Jan, RN, BSN and Sands, Hollie MPH. (2014). Chasing the Pandemic: 2013-2014 Influenza Season. Kentucky Epidemiologic Notes & Reports. July 2014. 45(1). Retrieved from

World Health Organization (WHO). (2016). Influenza. Retrieved from

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