Who knows more about immunization?: Survey of public health nurses and physicians.
OBJECTIVE: To report the findings of a knowledge survey of nurse and physician immunization providers. DESIGN: Cross-sectional postal survey assessing demographic characteristics and vaccine knowledge. SETTING: British Columbia (BC). PARTICIPANTS: Nurse and physician immunization providers in BC. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Knowledge of vaccine-preventable diseases, vaccines in general, and vaccine administration and handling practices. RESULTS: Survey responses were received from 256 nurses and 292 physicians (response rates of 48.6% and 18.3%, respectively). Most nurses (98.4%) reported receiving immunization training outside of the academic setting compared with 55.6% of physicians. Overall, nurse immunizers scored significantly higher than physician immunizers on all 3 domains of immunization knowledge (83.7% vs 72.8%, respectively; P < .001). Physicians scored highest on the vaccine-preventable disease domain and least well on the general vaccine domain. Nurses with more experience as health care providers scored higher. Physicians scored higher if they were female, served patient populations predominantly younger than 5 years, or received immunization training outside of academic settings. CONCLUSION: In BC, nurse immunizers appear to have higher overall immunization knowledge than physicians and are more likely to receive immunization training when in practice. Physician immunizers might benefit most from further training on vaccines and vaccine administration and handling. (+info)