Background: During the 2009-2010 pandemic influenza season, the state of Maine was one of the states that held school located influenza clinics (SLVs). Of Maine’s schools, more than 90% conducted SLV clinics. Children were vaccinated by primarily by school nurses with both seasonal and H1N1 vaccine. Most SLV clinics were held during school hours at school.
Objectives: To determine school nurse activities, labor hours, and cost needed to conduct SLV clinics in Maine during the H1N1 influenza season (2009-2010). We also seek to identify activities and resources needed outside of regular clinic hours, including activities related to planning, implementation, and post-implementation of SLV clinics.
Methods: We conducted interviews with a convenience sample of school nurses and then fielded a retrospective survey covering three periods: planning, implementation, and post-implementation. The planning period covered activities before the first clinic, the implementation period covered activities from the first clinic until the last clinic, and the post-implementation period covered activities after last clinic.
Results: Seven school nurses responded to the survey, representing six school districts, 32 schools, 70 school clinics, and 19,268 doses of H1N1 and seasonal influenza vaccine. School nurse average total hours per clinic was 48.7. As a percent of total time, the planning period was greatest (51%); 15% of school nurse time was spent running clinics and 47% of school nurse time was outside of regular working hours.
Conclusions: In the setting we examined, school nurses put a substantial amount of time into planning SLV clinics and played an integral role in SLV activities. Because only 15% of school nurse time was spent running clinics, the outside clinic were a substantial portion of time. Finally, school nurses spent an average of 47% of their time outside of regular working hours, implying the sustainability of clinics should address nurse time.