Maressa Waber ‘15 on Flu Season Safety

October 21, 2015

Maressa Waber

The Simmons Flu Clinic is Thursday, October 29th, 3:30-6pm in the Linda K. Paresky Conference Center.

What are you studying at Simmons?

I am a Dix Scholar about to complete my 14 month accelerated BSN program.

What drew you to nursing?

I have always been drawn to nurturing other people during their most difficult times. The events surrounding a family member’s diagnosis of kidney failure helped point me in the direction of a career in nursing. Dialysis kept him alive until he was able to get a transplant, and after the procedure, he had to live in isolation for several months. Through the whole experience, his nurses were responsible for lifting his spirits and encouraging him to look forward rather than focus on his present condition. I decided I wanted to make a difference like his nurses had done for him. In the spring of 2013, I resigned from my job, took a certified nursing assistant training course and began working as a nurse assistant at a local hospital.

What's been your favorite class at Simmons? Why?

NURS 247 Maternity with Julie Grady. I’m interested in women’s health and besides being interested in the subject matter, during my clinical experience I was able to help a patient through labor for my first time. It was the culmination of 10 years of studying biology – such an amazing experience.

What is your dream job?

To become a labor and delivery nurse.

Tell us about the flu season and how the flu vaccine works.

Flu season begins in early October and runs through April. By getting the flu vaccine, your body creates antibodies that protect you against the viruses that were in your vaccine – this process takes about two weeks.

Why is it important that the general public get the seasonal flu vaccine?

It's important for the general public to get the seasonal flu vaccine – there are many individuals who cannot get the flu shot (children under 6 months of age, individuals with egg allergies, individuals with a history of Guilain-Barré Syndrome, individuals receiving chemotherapy treatment), and by getting the flu vaccine yourself, you can help reduce the amount of flu that affects your community, thereby protecting those who cannot get the vaccine.

For what populations is getting the seasonal flu vaccine particularly important?

Adults over the age of 65, children under 5 years of age, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant during flu season, hospital workers and individuals who live in long term care facilities are particularly vulnerable populations.

What are some misconceptions about the flu vaccine?

The most common misconception I've heard is that getting the flu shot can give you the flu. This is NOT true – the flu vaccine is either inactivated or has no flu virus in it. You might have some injection site redness or tenderness and you might develop a headache and a low-grade fever, but this is not the flu.