Nurse: 'I was fired for refusing flu shot' - page 12

by DesertRN2

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  1. 0
    Quote from JamesR
    So i guess i am still trying to grasp the logic of thinking that if you are vaccinated you will not encounter or carry a certain virus. If i am vaccinated wouldnt i still encounter and carry the virus just the same as someone who has not been vaccinated. A vaccination is just to help me create antibodies so that the virus isnt as powerfull in my own body. It has nothing to do with the patients i see... can someone help me out here? Not sure why it would threaten my patients if I had not been vaccinated?
    When you are vaccinated you are still exposed to a virus. But when successfully vaccinated, your body is able to nip an infection in the bud. Unvaccinated, the virus can proliferate exponentially (virus's need the cells of a susceptible living organism to multiply). In the case of the flu in particular, the symptoms the virus causes make you a perfect virus spreading machine; cough, sneezing, runny nose all efficiently spreading the virus's that your body has cultivated. While these symptoms would hopefully prevent you from working, you're still virulent for days before symptoms appear, and we all know there are times when we work when sick.
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    ...I look forward to my flu shots. I don't want to get sick.

    Isn't the real issue here, nursing shortages? There aren't enough nurses to cover the sick leave shifts. Our healthcare workforce is running on bald tires. An investment must be made for everyone's safety. Those unemployed new grads, need to be hired and trained. Failure to plan for and train the nurses needed today, and in the future - is negligent. As long as there are thousands of U.S. new grads with licenses who can't get jobs, whose fault is it, really, if there are not enough nurses to cover sick days?

    I can see why nurses must have extraodinary levels of accountability, and extrodinary levels of responsibility. I'm all for having people leave hospitals, alive. I cannot see why nurses should be rewarded for all that they do, and all that they sacrifice, with the loss of personal and individaul rights. Take away the nurses right to refuse immunizations, ...What other medical services, proceedures, or medications will become mandatory? If I force a competent patient to go under the needle, isn't that against the law? Why should it be lawful to make nurses submit to activities unlawful for the general public? Once one employer makes it lawful and mandatory -they all will. Free choices will not exist.

    Please, get immunized.... I see no problem with using positive incentives. How about ... three added paid days off, for nurses who get immunized? I'd bet the immunization rates would go up.
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    To those against mandatory flu shots... just curious if you are anti immunizations for children? What about TB testing requirements and measles vaccinations for healthcare providers? I WANT to be fully immunized for MYSELF as well as my patients. A healthy HCW can show very few sx. of the flu but still be contagious to a compromised patient. It seems like an ethical issue to me. I am so surprised that this is an issue.
  4. 1
    Quote from PDXPonySN913
    Isn't the real issue here, nursing shortages? There aren't enough nurses to cover the sick leave shifts. Our healthcare workforce is running on bald tires. An investment must be made for everyone's safety. Those unemployed new grads, need to be hired and trained. Failure to plan for and train the nurses needed today, and in the future - is negligent. As long as there are thousands of U.S. new grads with licenses who can't get jobs, whose fault is it, really, if there are not enough nurses to cover sick days?
    The issue isn't nursing shortages- it's money. It's not that there aren't enough nurses to cover a sick day, it's that the hospitals don't want to pay for the nurse's sick time AND the replacement nurse. So call-ins either are not covered (short staffing) or the nurses are penalized for using sick time so the hospital doesn't have to pay for it. New grads aren;t being hired and trained because it;s more expensive to hire a new grad. Nurses with experience benefit the hospital more. Sure, an investment needs to be made, but no one has the money for or is willing to make that investment right now. Hospitals are businesses too.

    Quote from PDXPonySN913
    I can see why nurses must have extraodinary levels of accountability, and extrodinary levels of responsibility. I'm all for having people leave hospitals, alive. I cannot see why nurses should be rewarded for all that they do, and all that they sacrifice, with the loss of personal and individaul rights. Take away the nurses right to refuse immunizations, ...What other medical services, proceedures, or medications will become mandatory? If I force a competent patient to go under the needle, isn't that against the law? Why should it be lawful to make nurses submit to activities unlawful for the general public?
    You're right that it is illegal to force a patient into a procedure that they have not given consent to. If that's what the hospital was doing, it would also be wrong. They aren't forcing the employee into anything, they are offering a condition of employment. You can say to a patient "You need to take this medication or you're going to get really sick and maybe die." The patient can still say no. They will get sick and maybe die. An employer can say to the employee, "You need to get a flu shot or you will be fired." The employee can still say no. They will be fired.

    As has been stated, a nurse's health not only affects her, but her patients. Who cares if my accountant gets a flu shot? If I have cancer and my white count is in the toilet, I'm not going to see my accountant. I am going to see the nurse who comes to give me my chemo and change my dressings. The same nurse who has been taking care of 6 other patients who might have contagious diseases.
    Laidback Al likes this.
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    It is not completely true-vaccines do affect the person being vaccinated. You can never predict who will get the anaphylactic reaction or who may develop guillain barre syndrome. You may not be allergic to latex one day, but have a hypersensitivity reaction the next. I also know of a woman who lost her hearing from a flu vaccine. It is what we call idiosyncratic reactions. No one know the how or why. It is also bad medical science. I was 49 years old when the H1N1 virus reared it ugly head. Fortunately, I worked as a contract nurse for a company who runs flu clinics and even we were not forced to take shot. I wasn't about to take the H1N1 vaccine because at my age, I know I was exposed to the virus probably back in the 1960s when that epidemic went around. Thus based on science, I already have immunities to that strain for the rest of my life. Why would I want more put in to me? Now I had no choice but to take the H1N1 in 2010 because it was mixed with the seasonal flu vaccine and no one has immunities to the new seasonal flu strains that go around each and every year. Forcing a nurse to take a vaccine goes against the moral and ethical principle of autonomy. Plus what were we taught in Nursing 101? What is single MOST effective method of preventing the spread of infections? It isn't vaccines, it's plain and simple good hand washing.
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    Another thought: I don't think the reason we are mandated to take a flu vaccine is because our employers care about our welfare. If they cared about our welfare we would all be getting mandatory rest breaks, bathroom breaks, and uninterrupted meal breaks. Now that would be a first, wouldn't it? I have worked many a 12 hour shift, that turned in to a 13-14 hour shift without so much as a pee break because of the acuity of the patients and one new admission right after the other.
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    One last thought-there will never be a vaccine for the common cold. There were numerous times I HAD to report to work on a coronary intensive care unit with a cold and ear infections. Patients can catch those illnesses from us too. Again it goes back to hand washing and wearing PPE when providing care for our patients.
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    thatís correct, consider the flu vaccine joke of 2009. i work flu clinics every year. in 2009, we all took the seasonal flu vaccine that the cdc said would protect us. then november rolls around and the cdc admits they screwed up, so they mass produce h1n1 vaccine. we had ppl getting in to arguments with us because we had certain criteria on who was allowed a vaccine. basically only the elderly, small children, day care providers, healthcare providers and i think pregnant women were contraindicated when it first came out. two of my sons caught what they thought was swine flu. one of my sons told me he thought it wasnít any worse than a bad cold. my other son got a secondary ear infection, but he always gets ear infections from a cold or allergies, so i canít exactly blame that on the flu. people take the flu vaccine and still contract the flu. the flu vaccine is not 100% foolproof, there are risks involved, so i donít see the point in forcing anyone to take it-period. some people are against childhood vaccinations. ted kennedyís family claims the mercury preservatives in the vaccine cause autism. every manufacturer of the flu vaccine carries a pregnancy warning, even the brands that we are allowed to give to pregnant women-fluzone and fluvirin. flulaval is contraindicated in pregnant women and anyone under the age of 18. if itís so innocuous, then why do all brands carry warnings. i believe these hospitals better be reading the package inserts on this mess until they have it memorized like i do. one year, around 2004 i believe, there was contamination of the vaccine and large batches of it had to be recalled. i remember this because i had my hours cut short that year because of the crisis. there was a 60 minute report regarding military personnel being forced to take the anti-malaria drug mefloquine (larium). many of those individuals suffered irreversible brain damage, long lasting psychological effects including aggression, suicidal thinking, depression, and psychosis. malaria is a deadly disease if left untreated, but it can be just as deadly to consent to the treatment. does the same not apply to flu vaccines? do nurses want to trade in their civilian life for the life of a military soldier?
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    To Ella Halligan: You bring up a very valid point regarding fomites. I contracted a MRSA infection-a boil on my face from a nursing home where I work. I am meticulous about hand washing between patients. I clean my stethoscope between patients. I believe to this day the culprit was the telephone at the nurse's desk. How often have you seen anyone disinfect the telephones at the nurses station or in the patient rooms-probably never! Judging from the point of entry on my face right next to my ear where I hold the phone, it makes sense. Also we have forgotten similar cases of unethical medical treatment. What about the Tuskegee Syphillis study and the Willowbrook study where the MRDD children were injected with hepatitis virus. These same studies used coercion-either with excessive benefits as in the Tuskegee men's experiement or with punitive measures as with the Willowbrook study. Coercion violates our rights to self-determination. This is in the ANA Code of Ethics.
  10. 0
    Quote from mcneillmama3
    Another thought: I don't think the reason we are mandated to take a flu vaccine is because our employers care about our welfare. If they cared about our welfare we would all be getting mandatory rest breaks, bathroom breaks, and uninterrupted meal breaks. Now that would be a first, wouldn't it? I have worked many a 12 hour shift, that turned in to a 13-14 hour shift without so much as a pee break because of the acuity of the patients and one new admission right after the other.
    Ok, I always get my flu shot( I have asthma, and it's not pretty if I get the flu), but you make a good point here...


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