Melody Butler, RN, BSN, a pediatric nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, West Islip, N.Y., was honored in October with Elseviers third annual Mosbys Superheroes of Nursing award at the American Nurses Credentialing Center National Magnet Conference in Orlando, Fla.
Butler was recognized in The Protector category for her initiatives to raise immunization rates and educate the public about the benefits of protection against vaccine-preventable diseases.
It was rewarding to be recognized for efforts in educating nurses about the importance of immunizations, Butler said. However, the award also meant I was making a real difference. The affirmation has inspired me to continue my mission in ensuring that healthcare workers are properly educated on the importance and necessity of immunizations.
Butler also was nominated by the American Nurses Association for their Immunity Award and has spoken at local schools on the importance of vaccinating and helping to alleviate childrens fears. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, vaccines represent the best defense against diseases such as measles and pertussis, and this year alone, they will prevent 33,000 deaths and 14 million infections.
The founder of Nurses Who Vaccinate, Butler created the organization to help encourage nurses to advocate for global health and preventive medicine, according to a Good Samaritan news release. The organization promotes knowledge and competency in immunizations and positions nurses as vaccine champions among colleagues, patients and the public.
Butler also maintains a blog and a Facebook page for Nurses Who Vaccinate. This entire experience has confirmed my belief that with drive and a vision, one person can indeed make a positive difference, within a nursing unit and even their community, Butler said.
FOR INFORMATION about Melody Butlers efforts, visit NursesWhoVaccinate.blogspot.com or Facebook.com/NursesWhoVaccinate.