The importance of travel health

 Sandra Grieve 2 Apr 2019

Travel medicine is a fast-moving area of practice with services predominantly nurse-led and covering various areas of practice.

Due to the popularity of the joint Public Health Forum and National Travel Health Network and Centre conference last year, a second collaborative event was held in February 2019. This event also had a “full house” and a waiting list, showing the need for education in travel medicine. The programme focussed on the challenges nursing staff face in everyday practice. Expert speakers contributed through a mixture of plenary sessions, and workshops, covering a wide range of topics.

Plenary sessions began by looking at the UK’s routine immunisation schedule and how it fits with travel vaccine recommendations. Travel health advice goes beyond vaccines, but with travel a major factor in the spread of diseases globally, vaccines have an important role. The resurgence of measles across the globe is a prime example. Using the Make Every Contact Count approach can remind people of the importance of immunisation and encourage vaccination.

International travel continues to grow and the demographic of travellers is changing. Many are choosing to visit more remote areas, indulging in potentially hazardous activities, which present challenges for nursing staff. Staying knowledgeable of world events and changes to guidelines and advice is of huge importance when advising travellers.
Delegates were invited to bring their own “challenging cases” for discussion with an expert panel. This was a vibrant interactive session and identified the real issues nursing staff face.
Sandra Grieve

Sandra Grieve

RCN Public Health Forum committee member

Independent travel health specialist nurse

Page last updated - 01/09/2019