Are you required to be up to date on vaccinations?

  1. Are we required under our licensure to be up to date on vaccinations? Do most employers require this? Can you file exemptions?
  2. Visit moodyred01 profile page

    About moodyred01

    Joined: Jan '07; Posts: 23; Likes: 10
    from US

    10 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    Depends on where you work. For instance, I work with dialysis pts (read: lots of blood everywhere) and I keep my hepatitis up to date. I did not keep anything else (Td, MMR, DPT). However, I'm returning to school and will work with children and women of child-bearing age so I have obtained those immunizations as well.
  4. by   texastaz
    I am required to be up to date. I have worked for an Agency for years and I do know that they do not keep up with when I am due. I do think this it is important, I also I think while companies can be blamed for not keeping up with their employees - I feel it is a individuals' responsibility. I also think all healthcare workers should be vacinated for free - and that too, means nothing.
  5. by   moodyred01
    So are we required under our license? Or just some companies require it? I know there are tons of docs who don't keep up to date so I'm curious here.

    What if you are medically or religiously exempt? Don't they have to respect that?
  6. by   changeofpaceRN
    Quote from moodyred01
    So are we required under our license? Or just some companies require it? I know there are tons of docs who don't keep up to date so I'm curious here.

    What if you are medically or religiously exempt? Don't they have to respect that?
    From what I know about law, they can not force anyone to have it and it should have no effect on your license. Federal laws are above any state law so exemptions should apply. As for specific companies, if they are federally funded, they usually have to take the exemption or face discrimination. Whether or not they agree and give you an interview is another topic. I am not up to date aside from my Heb B.
  7. by   hikernurse
    I don't think it's required under any license, but some facilities/units do require certain immunizations to be up to date. I work with babies and we have to have Tdap current. We are also strongly encouraged to get the flu shot, but not yet required to do so. Our infectious disease nurse on the unit keeps up with all of this.

    We can exempt ourselves from the flu shot, although we have to sign a waiver stating we know the risk and that we will be required to stay home if there is an outbreak on the unit. I imagine if you have a strong need to exempt, then that would be an option; obviously there would be no problem if it is a health need.

    Do you have a specific unit in mind to work at?
  8. by   caliotter3
    I have only been required to have an updated PPD. I just had to go through getting titers for my immunizations associated with clinical practice for school. If I weren't in a school situation, I doubt that any job would require it of me.
  9. by   drgnflydggr
    My employer draws titers at our pre-employment physicals. At orientation, I learned that I was not immune to one of the diseases in the MMR (can't remember which). I was given the opportunity to receive a free MMR vaccine and to have another titer drawn in six months. I appreciated the knowledge, and I appreciated receiving the vaccine again at no cost. Because I have no religious affiliation, I couldn't think of a reason not to receive the vaccination again, and hope that the immunity will "take" this time. My last job, in LTC, did not require any sort of immunization history. They offered the Hep B if the employee hadn't had it yet, and flu vaccines every fall. I would imagine that vaccine requirements would be site-specific. My school requires a vaccination history. If your beliefs (or other conditions) prevent you from being vaccinated, they require a form stating that you understand the risks and accept responsibility.
  10. by   ghillbert
    Yes.

    As a patient, I'd hope my nurse was correctly immunized.
  11. by   eden
    Immunizations here are required before you can go into nursing school so it's a non issue and while work prefers you to be immunized they cannot force you to be. Really though I've never met a nurse who refused to get immunized as it really benefits them as well as the immunocompromised patients they deal with.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from ghillbert
    Yes.

    As a patient, I'd hope my nurse was correctly immunized.
    Particularly in places like ob/newborn units and others where people's immunity may be compromised, like oncology and pedi wards! I would want MY nurse up to date, too, as a patient!

    And yes, most nursing schools REQUIRE current vaccinations, to include Hep B and PPD check before you can even start, so for the most part, you will have to be current to begin your nursing journey.

    Think about the wellbeing of your patients and unless there is a real medical issue affecting you to prevent such, be up to date on all recommended vaccines at all times! Also remember, you mayl have no idea the immunity status or communicable disease profiles of all patientsyou come into contact with; you want to be protected as much as reasonably possible.

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