Nurse: 'I was fired for refusing flu shot' - page 9

by DesertRN2 61,531 Views | 266 Comments

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    Our facility mandates flu shots as well. You can get permission from your PCP not to get one and they will excuse you, otherwise you are fired. I think it is silly to require employees to get flu shots but I was going to get one anyway this year because I am pregnant and it isn't worth it to me to lose my job over this (at least not at this time). I pick and choose my battles (and I am gearing up for one so I didn't want to waste my energy fighting getting a flu shot).
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    First let me remind that some states are a right to work state and others, as in SC, are not. A SC attorney told me "they can fire you because their favorite football team lost last night". No questions asked.

    And now a thought: I never get the flu shot because the last 3 years in a row that I got it I got so sick...all winter I felt as if I had the flu...I was miserable: fatigue, achy, hot/cold, nauseous etc. Each and every year, employee health told me: "you probably have the flu. However it has nothing to do with the shot. You were probably already getting it when you received the shot". My question...why in the world did I bother to get the shot?? So this year I refused and my employer said, fine, but you'll have to wear a mask the entire time you are on the premises, including when you are eating.... I got the shot.
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    Quote from lobianm
    first let me remind that some states are a right to work state and others, as in sc, are not. a sc attorney told me "they can fire you because their favorite football team lost last night". no questions asked.

    and now a thought: i never get the flu shot because the last 3 years in a row that i got it i got so sick...all winter i felt as if i had the flu...i was miserable: fatigue, achy, hot/cold, nauseous etc. each and every year, employee health told me: "you probably have the flu. however it has nothing to do with the shot. you were probably already getting it when you received the shot". my question...why in the world did i bother to get the shot?? so this year i refused and my employer said, fine, but you'll have to wear a mask the entire time you are on the premises, including when you are eating.... i got the shot.
    and how are you feeling?
  4. 3
    Quote from ella halligan rn
    there is another scientifically supported opinion. it is using the precautions we have in place already (whether you entered nursing at the time they were called standard or universal or whatever new term is next around the corner.)

    wash your hands before and after every single patient contact. wear a mask if you have even the slightest of concerns that you might be able to pick up or spread a virus. clean your stethoscope between uses and use dedicated, disposable supplies for patients with contagious diseases. wear the nasty blue isolation gown every single time you set foot into an isolation room (how many of us have seen nurses who simply refuse to abide by those simple precautions unless they risk getting written up?)

    you should be doing all of those things anyway. the fact of the matter is, the flu shot only covers about 3 strains of the flu. and it is the "best guess" as to those manufacturing the flu shot as to which strains are most likely to be needed at the time that the flu shot will be given... which is months after they begin production of the vaccine! there is no guarantee whatsoever that the flu shot any person receives will protect them from whatever strain of flu happens to actually be going around in their area.
    what if you don't "have any concerns that you might be able to pick up or spread a virus," yet you have unknowingly been exposed to the influenza virus? let's suppose that the virus is replicating in your body and you are destined to become symptomatic...in a few days. you do realize that you are contagious before you are symptomatic, correct? hand washing is really good and all, but since influenza is also spread via the air through droplets which escape from your respiratory tract, universal precautions are not going to help that vulnerable patient you just took care of. or do you always wear a mask?

    you cannot be forced to get a flu shot. you have the choice to not work at any facility which requires it. there are reasons to refuse the shot, and perfectly good reasons for a facility to require it.
    ChristaRN, CuriousMe, and Grey Lady like this.
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    I got the flu shot and I got sick. I was miserable. I called employee health because I wanted it documented I did get sick after getting "the shot". They said they can't see me because I am sick and they do not see sick people. Then I told her my symptoms and she said "it sounds as if you got the flu". Thats the truth. Go figure.
    KaroSnowQueen, nola1202, and Anne36 like this.
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    If you are going to work with any immunocompromised person, I think you have an ethical obligation to be fully vaccinated.
    ChristaRN and CuriousMe like this.
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    pinksugar, I understand how you feel. I had to get the vaccine so I can support my family. Im only a student right now, but I have no choice in my own healthcare if I want to be a nurse. Does that make sense?
  8. 0
    lineearthlinnker that does not make any sense. Do immunocompromised people go to the grocery store, church, or ANYWHERE? If ALL the other patients in the hospital are not reciving the same vaccines as the nurses, then surely they would be at huge risk by just being in the hospital. Are all the people they are around getting vaccinated? Do Nurses tend to get sicker or many more of these illnesses than the general population? I seriously doubt it.
  9. 3
    Quote from Anne36
    lineearthlinnker that does not make any sense. Do immunocompromised people go to the grocery store, church, or ANYWHERE? If ALL the other patients in the hospital are not reciving the same vaccines as the nurses, then surely they would be at huge risk by just being in the hospital. Are all the people they are around getting vaccinated? Do Nurses tend to get sicker or many more of these illnesses than the general population? I seriously doubt it.
    In the hospital staff will have more than causal contact such as passing someone in a grocery store. The patients will be coughing while you are close to them doing routine care for several minutes and they may also be on oxygen devices or nebulizers that propel whatever the patient has directly at you in tiny particles.

    However, crowded city buses are probably the worst places to try to stay healthy. In cities with a large Chinese population, the older riders will make sure all windows are open for ventilation even in the middle of Winter snce they are very aware of disease spreading in cramped areas or close contact for an extended length of time.

    We also screen patients entering the hospital who meet certain criteria for the flu just as we also have a process for MRSA(ICU) and TB (LTC).
    nola1202, Anne36, and Grey Lady like this.
  10. 0
    A mask sounds like it would go a long way with or without a flu shot.


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