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Vaccines for COVID-19: What are the Human Factors and ergonomic issues that should be considered?

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Two vaccines for COVID-19 have now been approved. Health organisations are doing their upmost to workout how best to store and administer the vaccines safely and avoiding errors.

The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF) are preparing strategic guidance for health authorities and operational guidance for people setting up vaccine programmes applicable internationally.

In a recent LinkedIn post, Chief Executive Noorzaman Rashid asks: "What are the Human Factors and Ergonomic issues that should be considered?" And asks you to share your ideas:


#ciehf #covid #patientsafety

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I am absolutely terrified at the thought of having to go for a vaccination and having to try to trust NHS staff after a traumatic experience of a procedure last summer yet I know that having the vaccine is so important to keep myself and everyone safe. 

What are the plans to support the terrified and needle phobic during the vaccination programme?

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Hi Carrie, I’m at a meeting with the CIEHF this afternoon and will raise the general point with them, how needle phobic patients are being supported. They may wish to include in any guide and advice. 

I’d have thought that the main contact for personal support should be your GP.

Hope that helps, best wishes, Helen 

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Thank you for your reply.

I've had to leave my trusted GP behind as I've had to move house. Although I've registered with a new practice and had a new patient telephone conversation with a GP I don't know how much I can trust them to understand my feelings.

I've drawn up a list of questions around the process, such as will the NHS practitioner touch me - this triggers fears of being held down as in the hysteroscopy. I also want to know what escape routes there are if I just need to get out  and will any male practitioners be there - I have a fear of being violated as was the case with the male gynaecologist who did not stop the procedure when asked.  And then there's the how do they manage people who faint or vomit or just end up being stressed out. I'll email/post these over to the practice nearer the time.

In the meantime, I'm trying not to worry and am practicing breathing exercises ready to try to soothe myself. 

I do hope that  the staff at the vaccination centre have been trained to support people, but then I thought that about the outpatients hysteroscopy. I do worry that it will be another conveyor belt scenario. 

This vaccination is too important for staff to dismiss patients' fears around needles and trust in NHS practitioners. 

with regards,


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