Exemption Friendly Facilities

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Specializes in ER. Has 29 years experience.

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I just saw an ad for the local nursing home, it was posted on Craigslist stating that they are an exemption friendly facility. They posted it in the neighboring County, I know for a fact that a number of nurses left because of the mandate. They are also offering a $10,000 sign on bonus. I thought this was interesting.

ThePrincessBride, BSN

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU. Has 7 years experience. 1 Article; 2,467 Posts

Yikes.

It really hurts the profession when so many nurses are anti-vax. 

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 29 years experience. 2 Articles; 3,860 Posts

Interesting side note, I responded to ad, since I thought "I can handle two or three shifts a month". But I can't handle wearing a mask. I developed severe claustrophobia from my year-and-a-half of working behind the mask.

It's a nursing home so they are only eight hour shifts. I am fully vaccinated including the booster shot, which just about killed me. I asked if there was an exemption on wearing a mask. I got an answer right away from the director of the facility saying she wishes she could, but I would have to wear both eye protection and a mask.

I answered back telling her that I would like her to let me know if that changes.

Wouldn't claustrophobia be a consideration under the Americans with Disabilities Act? And, I don't see the logic in exempting for the vaccine but not exempting for the suffocating PPE. 

I'm pretty certain that some facilities are granting these exemptions easily because the alternative is a severe shortage of staff. I told the gal that the vaccine mandate is not the primary reason why nurses are leaving the field. I'm sure she knows that though and is just trying to cope with present-day realities.

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience. 1 Article; 2,032 Posts

So you are saying that it was the same facility that first mandated the vaccine, staff left because of the vaccine mandate, and now they are offering $10,000 bonus with an exemption for the vaccine (staff doesn’t need the vaccine). I agree the about face is because of the shortage. So maybe those nurses who left can now go back and pick up an extra $10,000. 

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 29 years experience. 2 Articles; 3,860 Posts

6 minutes ago, Daisy4RN said:

So you are saying that it was the same facility that first mandated the vaccine, staff left because of the vaccine mandate, and now they are offering $10,000 bonus with an exemption for the vaccine (staff doesn’t need the vaccine). I agree the about face is because of the shortage. So maybe those nurses who left can now go back and pick up an extra $10,000. 

The facility in question is a local nursing home. They are advertising in a neighboring County Craigslist, and I personally know that there was a big uproar there and several nurses left instead of getting the vaccine.

The vaccine here is a Statewide mandate for many segments of the economy, including healthcare workers and state employees, etcetera. The vaccine mandate for the Department of Transportation has taken many snow plows off the road and we are expected to have pretty bad supply chain issues this Winter because of that.

I think the nursing home has always had chronic staffing issues, and these were exacerbated by the general problems caused by covid that are driving nurses out of the workforce. I believe that they are trying to capitalize on the fact that the hospitals are taking a harder line, and the more stubborn segment of the nursing Workforce might go to exemption friendly facilities.

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience. 1 Article; 2,032 Posts

How are they able to offer exemptions if it is a state wide mandate for HCWs? Are nursing homes exempt from the law, or they are just more generous in accepting exemptions? Weird, but yeah I agree nursing homes are notoriously short staffed even pre Covid.

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 29 years experience. 2 Articles; 3,860 Posts

33 minutes ago, Daisy4RN said:

How are they able to offer exemptions if it is a state wide mandate for HCWs? Are nursing homes exempt from the law, or they are just more generous in accepting exemptions? Weird, but yeah I agree nursing homes are notoriously short staffed even pre Covid.

People are getting religious exemptions. I think the last hospital I work at is exemption friendly. I know of a nurse who was able to get a religious exemption there and there are probably others that I haven't asked. She's definitely not religious, but very much on the conservative side of things, and very distrustful of government actions surrounding this pandemic.

I'm not sure how these exemptions are being granted but I think that the facility has a lot to do with those decisions. I've also read about very hard line facilities that are not granting them at all. For me it wasn't an issue because I decided to get the vaccine.

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 29 years experience. 2 Articles; 3,860 Posts

Just to clarify by the way, I know that the hospital in the neighboring County lost a number of nurses due to the vaccine mandate. That is why I think this nursing home posted their ad on the Craigslist for that County. They are trying to capitalize on some of the people who left their jobs, and have bills to pay.

I just thought I would share this interesting development in this whole Saga. Now there are facilities using the catch phrase "covid exemption friendly" to beef up their Staffing. Plus, a $10,000 sign on bonus for a nursing home is something I have never heard of before.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 17 years experience. 5 Articles; 10,668 Posts

1 hour ago, Emergent said:

Wouldn't claustrophobia be a consideration under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

It would likely be caught in the "reasonable" portion of the accommodations. Pre-COVID, we had an orientee to the OR who thought she would be exempted from having to wear a mask in the OR due to claustrophobia. She didn't get past day 1 because that isn't a reasonable accommodation due to infection concerns. I'm sure the same applies elsewhere in healthcare related to COVID.

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience. 7,755 Posts

32 minutes ago, Emergent said:

People are getting religious exemptions. I think the last hospital I work at is exemption friendly. I know of a nurse who was able to get a religious exemption there and there are probably others that I haven't asked. She's definitely not religious, but very much on the conservative side of things, and very distrustful of government actions surrounding this pandemic.

I'm not sure how these exemptions are being granted but I think that the facility has a lot to do with those decisions. I've also read about very hard line facilities that are not granting them at all. For me it wasn't an issue because I decided to get the vaccine.

I'm not sure how that would work since the vaccine mandate for HCWs in Washington doesn't allow facilities to determine their own criteria for an exemption.

 

2 hours ago, Emergent said:

Interesting side note, I responded to ad, since I thought "I can handle two or three shifts a month". But I can't handle wearing a mask. I developed severe claustrophobia from my year-and-a-half of working behind the mask.

It's a nursing home so they are only eight hour shifts. I am fully vaccinated including the booster shot, which just about killed me. I asked if there was an exemption on wearing a mask. I got an answer right away from the director of the facility saying she wishes she could, but I would have to wear both eye protection and a mask.

I answered back telling her that I would like her to let me know if that changes.

Wouldn't claustrophobia be a consideration under the Americans with Disabilities Act? And, I don't see the logic in exempting for the vaccine but not exempting for the suffocating PPE. 

I'm pretty certain that some facilities are granting these exemptions easily because the alternative is a severe shortage of staff. I told the gal that the vaccine mandate is not the primary reason why nurses are leaving the field. I'm sure she knows that though and is just trying to cope with present-day realities.

The ADA doesn't only protects your employment when the accommodation you are seeking is "reasonable", ie it has no potential adverse effects for anyone else.  

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 29 years experience. 2 Articles; 3,860 Posts

People who need their service dogs are granted that even though some people are allergic to dogs. I'm curious if a rights lawyer would be interested in pursuing this.

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience. 7,755 Posts

21 minutes ago, Emergent said:

People who need their service dogs are granted that even though some people are allergic to dogs. I'm curious if a rights lawyer would be interested in pursuing this.

There are certainly some cases that might have a chance of winning that a lawyer might be interested, whether a facility would be required under the ADA to allow unmasked HCWs to work directly with an at-risk population probably isn't one of them.

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