Mandatory flu shots????

  1. It didn't dawn on me until just right now, don't ask me why, that my choice of NOT getting a flu shot will NOT get me into a nursing program. The director at my school of choice basically stated "it is a requirement that you receive one, however you can sign a declaration that you do not wish to receive one." Then I asked, "would that inhibit my chances of getting into the program?" She replied, "well, the facilities in which we work with it is required due to you working with elderly clients; If you do not wish to get the flu shot perhaps you should look into another career."

    *****?? (excuse the language) I have worked in nursing homes, health centers, private duty, home health agencies, visiting nurses association, hospice AND THEY NEVER REQUIRED me to ever receive or even ASKED if I have obtained a flu shot!!! (mid 90's)

    So, anyone please tell me my dream of becoming a nurse is already dead because I REFUSE to get a flu shot???!!! seriously??? I am so upset right now!!!
    Last edit by Joe V on Mar 4, '13
  2. Visit 45whenimdone profile page

    About 45whenimdone

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 88; Likes: 27
    Stay at home mom, student; from US
    Specialty: Geriatrics


  3. by   lalacb123
    Why not just get the flu shot?
  4. by   Katieerin
    I agree with just getting a flu shot. It is for the safety of your patients and in nursing that is your concern. Even if you have reservations on getting one,it won't hurt you. It is becoming required more and more and may be something you have to get over or choose a different path.
  5. by   donk
    Honestly I felt like you and I had never had a flu shot.... Up until I was accepted into my nursing program. You can complete the classroom hours but not clinical with out, therefore you can't graduate without it. In the grand scheme of things a flu shot is trivial. I just got over it, got the shot and got on with school.
  6. by   elkpark
    Schools can't force you to have the shot -- but clinical sites can refuse to take anyone who hasn't been vaccinated, and most of them do nowadays. And things have changed quite a bit since the mid-'90s -- healthcare employers are really pushing the flu shot now, either really, really, reallystrongly encouraging all employees to get it, or just flat mandating it. How badly do you want to be a nurse??
  7. by   Stephalump
    The majority of our clinical spots require the flu shot. Mine does not, but you must wear a face mask while you're on the property during flu season. If my hospital ever requires the shot flat out, students will no longer be allowed in the program without one.
    How exactly would you attend nursing school without any sort of clinical aspect?

    I hate to say it, but you are so incredibly unimportant to a clinical site, you wouldn't believe it. They don't care what documentary you watched about vaccinations or how super badly you want to be a nurse. They want to cover their behinds, and part of that is protecting patients from the flu as much as reasonably possible. If you get the shot and still get the flu, nothing more could've been done. But let someone die because some random student takes exception to the rules? Um, no.

    Choose your battles wisely. If the idea of getting flu shot is the worst thing ever - worse than losing a career in nursing - then go on your way and don't look back.
    Last edit by Stephalump on Feb 28, '13
  8. by   Katieerin
    I have even read forums on here where nurses who did not get the flu shot were not allowed to work for the season regardless if they were sick or not. Do you really want that decision to affect your career?
  9. by   mrsbacktoschool
    Florida Hospital requires all clinical students to have one and for the working staff (no matter if you are nurse, doctor, etc.) you are either required to show you got the flu shot or you have to wear a mask for all patient contact. Period.
    People who got the shot have a cutesy little sticker on their badge stating such. Maybe because we seem to have so many elderly here. Anyway, it seems to be a job/clinical killer if you are the one wearing a mask. I assume the way some hospitals/schools operate, it could be seen as unwillingness to cooperate.
  10. by   Trenata
    Even though I disagree with anyone being forced to be vaccinated, you cannot work in most hospitals without it. I haven't had a flu shot in 20 years. However, it looks like I will have to get one for nursing school. I decided instead of getting the injection with thiomersol or chicken embryos, that I would get the flu mist with over all less ingredients.
  11. by   Boxer Mama
    The simple fact is that there are dozens upon dozens of nurses behind you who will more than gladly get the flu shot to get into the program. Clinical placements are getting harder to come by, with the flood of nursing students right now. So, you have to play by their rules and do what they say. Like mentioned before, it is becoming standard practice at hospitals to require a flu shot. Will you let a vaccine stop you from becoming a nurse?
  12. by   AZMOMO2
    Welcome to Nursing School, where you have to do what they say and just be fine with it.

    Gone are the days of opting out of immunizations and waivers are nonexistent in nursing programs. They have the right to deny entry or have a specific criteria for entry based on whatever they chose when it comes to medical or educational requirements.

    It is much easier to get the sought after clinical spots if they do not have extra paperwork to worry about and provisions are generally not made. It's pretty much comply or else. Which is pretty much what you experienced already.

    I had 1 clinical day left in my entire program after the mandatory flu shot deadline and still had to get it, show proof of it, or I would not have been allowed to continue my program and would have not been able to graduate, all over 1 shot and 1 day.

    I got the shot! My dream and all that hard work was NOT worth risking.
  13. by   AZMOMO2
    Quote from Stephalump

    I hate to say it, but you are so incredibly unimportant to a clinical site, you wouldn't believe it..

    This made me laugh, only because it is so true.
  14. by   phoenixnim
    I hear you. When I found out that they mandated the flu shot across the board locally where I live I was pretty peeved about it too because I have never gotten one, and am afraid of adverse reactions because I have fibromyalgia, and who knows what can happen with that. But, being a nurse/midwife is important to me, so I'm just going to suck it up and get the flu shot when it's time to do so. It is what it is.