Small pox was a horrible disease which was nearly eradicated years ago.  I say nearly as I understand that there are two deposits of virus still remaining: one in Atlanta, and one in Russia.  Each was to be available in case the other started to spread the virus again.  Granted, I’m running on memory for that last tidbit, and I also believe, without looking, that the vaccine was stopped around the mid seventies.  The thing about this vaccine was the round multineedle administration which left a mark on the arm for others to  note that the bearer was vaccinated.  I am watching a film set in the old west, around the late 1800’s.  The characters all rode horses and buggies, and the star had this moment of showing physique while perched on a horse with bare arms and this wonderful smallpox vaccine showing.  Spouseinbox said that only I would notice such a thing.   Oh well.

I was in a nearby store getting a couple of supplies this evening when I noticed a sign: flu shotAny nurses should immediately note several problems with this:

1. the syringe is a tuberculin syringe or an insulin syringe.

2. the angle presented in the photograph is used to administer below the skin insulin, or other similar below the skin med.

3. spouseinbox noted that there were no gloves present.

The flu shot is a muscle shot usually requiring a 1″ or more needle to administer and done so at a 90 degree angle to the arm to ensure proper penetration to the site of administration.  My preference is a 3cc syringe with a 25ga needle of 1 or 1 1/2 inch length which is chosen according to the fat content of the arm.  That doesn’t sound very nice, granted, but it is very real and anyone not taking it into account should set down their syringes and back away.  I would recommend going to a place that knows how to administer the shot properly, or at least doesn’t lie about what they are doing.  Just saying.  (For the record, I don’t say anything about the fat content, just say it has to go into the muscle, and that’s normally sufficient.  Then I pick the equipment appropriately)