With the announcement of the emergency regulation requiring staff vaccination for Medicare and Medicaid-participating nursing homes, efforts to build confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine among staff has become a pressing matter. Motivational Interviewing (MI) techniques can strengthen a person’s motivation to change by helping them identify their own reasons for being hesitant. It requires strong listening skills, respect and sincere curiosity. It’s most effective when people are ambivalent or don’t see getting a vaccine as especially important. Using the MI tool of OARS+, you can help build a culture of partnership, empathy and TRUST with your staff to be confident in the COVID-19 vaccine.

During an August 17 learning event, Dee Kaser, RN, CDCES; Quality Improvement Advisor with the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network (QIN), discussed the concept of MI and how vaccine hesitancy and disease have influenced vaccine perceptions. She reviewed the fundamentals of motivational interviewing and offered a scenario where the MI technique was utilized with success.

Access the Webinar Presentation and Recording

Karen Russman“I listened to Great Plains QIN Webinar, Motivational Interviewing To Build Trust in Vaccinations, and found it to give some great practical advice on approaches that I could use for those that are hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine. I decided to make a list of those I knew that had not been vaccinated and reach out to them individually to try and really understand their hesitancy; with the hopes that I might be able to answer questions, allay fears, dispel myths and just talk through it with them. I am happy to report that I felt very confident that at least 2 or 3 of those I talked to thus far will be getting their vaccine within the week.  And in a couple of cases, those I talked to are bringing their family members with them so they can all get vaccinated. If you want some ideas on how to approach your hesitant colleagues, consider learning more about the motivational interviewing technique.  I’m happy I did!” – Karen Russman, Infection Preventionist; St. Williams Care Center, Milbank, SD

Dee Kaser

“By using MI we’re not trying to convince people – we’re helping people make informed decisions. Anyone can learn to do it. It takes practice, but once you are comfortable with it, the results can be very rewarding. After attending the live presentation, attendees left in action and used the OARS+ tool. One facility reported that by utilizing OARS+ they had three staff take the COVID-19 vaccine. We hope that after listening to the recording you are able to report the same success,” stated Kaser.


Additional Resources to Build Vaccine Confidence