mandatory flu shot

  1. More and more hospitals are making the flu shot mandatory. Seasoned nurses are being threatened to lose their jobs if they do not take it or they are forced to wear a mask while doing patient care for the entire flu season. Is this a violation of HIPPA. Patients will know that that nurse has not had a flu shot when they see the mask. Do you think that the flu shot should be mandatory or should nurses have the right to refuse just like the patients have a right to refuse?
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  2. 81 Comments

  3. by   Rose_Queen
    HIPAA protects patients, not employees. In this case, infection control takes precedence. Nurses do indeed have the option to refuse the flu shot- just like the employer has the option to decide said nurse no longer meets the conditions of employment. Check out some of the other threads on flu shots:
    http://allnurses.com/disasters-prepa...ts-818666.html
    http://allnurses.com/disasters-prepa...on-956269.html
    http://allnurses.com/disasters-prepa...ng-903430.html
    Just a few to get you started.
  4. by   NRSKarenRN
    Moved to our Disasters: Preparing & Responding forum --check out the numerous threads on topic

    2013: Mandatory flu shots???? | allnurses 22 pages of opinions

    2011:Mandatory flu vaccines for staff
  5. by   Horseshoe
    I continue to be amazed at the lack of understanding about what HIPAA is and exactly whom it is intended to protect.
  6. by   Glycerine82
    Wearing a mask does not mean someone hasn't had a flu shot, unless they say so, in which case they would have divulged their own information.
  7. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from Horseshoe
    I continue to be amazed at the lack of understanding about what HIPAA is and exactly whom it is intended to protect.
    And not only that, that people who are presumably in the health care industry are STILL referring to it as HIPPA.
  8. by   CrunchRN
    Kind of late in the season for this to arise isn't it?
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Wearing a mask doesn't ONLY mean you chose to not have a flu shot.

    You could have a patient on droplet precautions.

    Your unit could have a quarantine due to an influenza outbreak on the unit.

    You might have some symptoms yourself that you don't want to pass on.

    HIPAA is not about you, as others have said.

    Get the darn flu shot.
  10. by   AJJKRN
    Mandatory means FREE to me and select nurses come to the floor to administer it. Can't beat FREE and room service! Unless you have a known reaction anyways, then wear a mask
  11. by   dishes
    Quote from CrunchRN
    Kind of late in the season for this to arise isn't it?
    I wondered about that as well
    @mando are you asking the question 'should nurses have a right to refuse just like patients have a right to refuse' as part of a homework assignment?
  12. by   KelRN215
    How would it be a violation of HIPAA?
  13. by   mariebailey
    It is so stupid how controversial this topic is. This vaccine is so benign compared to all the other risks you take as a healthcare provider.
  14. by   greenerpastures
    1. We have been told our work will go to mandatory requirement next year. Mask is not an option. Flu shot or fired/let go for noncompliance.
    2. Flu shot is 23% effective this year - that percentage is a good reason to NOT get the flu shot. However, most hospitals are going to mandatory shots regardless of the ineffectiveness/mutation possibilities.
    3. My work policy - if you choose to wear a mask this year, it has to be changed EVERY time you go into/out of a patient's room, you can't wear one mask all shift.
    4. Staff that got a flu shot have a bright sticker on their name tag. Therefore, in essence, I'm required to walk around with my immunization history in plain view. While it's not a HIPAA issue, it is very tacky and does alert patients to staff that have chosen NOT to have a flu shot for whatever reason.

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