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What to do about DNP and flu shot?

Nurses   (18,926 Views | 252 Replies)

Travelingon has 17 years experience as a BSN.

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

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I wasn't going to read through this entire thread, but I ended up doing so anyway because the different viewpoints are interesting, to say the least. I'll be the first to admit I don't like to be told I have to do something whether I want to or not, so I get why some people don't want to get flu shots as required by their employers.

However, rebelling against this requirement just for the sake of rebelling, as it seems the OP is doing ("I WILL NOT"), is unproductive and, to be honest, foolish. The science is there. The benefits of herd immunity are well-known and well-documented. If somebody wants to work in the health professions, getting a yearly flu shot is something they need to get used to unless they have a legitimate medical excuse. Otherwise, behaving like a toddler having a tantrum and saying "I won't do it, and you can't make me" just makes one look silly. Unfortunately, this attitude is dangerous, and it simply isn't compatible with working in healthcare. 

OP, I recommend you change careers. You don't seem to be particularly attached to nursing by the tone of your post; it's a tough job for those who enjoy it, but it can be pure unmitigated hell for those who don't. Whatever you choose, I wish you the best of luck.

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Jory has 10 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNM.

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On 1/29/2020 at 6:49 PM, Dachshundmom said:

I am finishing my MSN soon, and had thought that I would get my DNP. However, I am second guessing this after a big ordeal from my school about me not taking a flu shot. My hospital does not require it if I wear a mask. I hate to put the time and money into getting a DNP, and at some point be required to take a flu shot to work in nursing. I WILL NOT. I will change careers. I’m not looking for pro flu shot comments here. However, I am looking for advice and useful information on what you think the future holds in this matter. I also have an MBA, and can just as easily go into a DBA program.

Honestly? You don't need to be a nurse.  I suggest you find another profession. You wouldn't work where I live.  We don't do the mask BS. You take the shot or you are fired.  

More than 20,000 people die every year due to the flu.  You are living under a rock if you think the vaccine isn't important.  

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My cousin was a pharmacist with history of Cancer.   Was advised by her employer that she had to have flu shot.  Her oncologist advised her against it so she refused.   She was fired.   

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BostonFNP is a APRN and specializes in Adult Internal Medicine.

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1 hour ago, mobaby said:

My cousin was a pharmacist with history of Cancer.   Was advised by her employer that she had to have flu shot.  Her oncologist advised her against it so she refused.   She was fired.   

Her oncologist advised her against getting the IIV/RIV4 vaccines (as well as the LAIV4 vaccine we avoid in immunosupressed individuals)? Something seems strange there, or there is more to the puzzle missing. 

In any account, it it a reminder of why it is important for people without contraindications to receive their vaccines to help keep your cousin safe. 

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subee has 48 years experience as a MSN, CRNA and specializes in CRNA, Finally retired.

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1 hour ago, mobaby said:

My cousin was a pharmacist with history of Cancer.   Was advised by her employer that she had to have flu shot.  Her oncologist advised her against it so she refused.   She was fired.   

I did an internet search on this since my own sister had cancer.  I couldn't find one cancer treatment organization that did NOT recommend the flu vaccine.  One site recommended not to use the nasal spray type.  Your "cousin" may have another health health condition (and the list is very short) which precludes her being immunized (allergies, ill at the time, under six months old), but nowhere could I find that cancer was, not only a contraindication to immunization, it was especially recommended for cancer patients.  Now, whether she should have been fired is troubling to me.   We know that there are rare cases of people who can't receive the vaccine and we are going to eliminate the classes under six months old and presently ill.  We are left only with people with certain allergies and they just aren't going to affect the herd immunity enough to make a case for firing them.  But this person could have been fired for another reason....lots of reasons.  These anecdotal stories don't add anything to the conversation.

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In response to my post - my cousin was advised that the flu vaccine could take her out of remission therefore she should not be immunized as would do more harm than good.   I am not doubting her story as she lost a job she loved and cannot work in the health field again unless she submits to the vaccine.   I don't have access to her records so you can quote whatever research you like but that is her story.     

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subee has 48 years experience as a MSN, CRNA and specializes in CRNA, Finally retired.

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4 minutes ago, mobaby said:

In response to my post - my cousin was advised that the flu vaccine could take her out of remission therefore she should not be immunized as would do more harm than good.   I am not doubting her story as she lost a job she loved and cannot work in the health field again unless she submits to the vaccine.   I don't have access to her records so you can quote whatever research you like but that is her story.     

Well, I agree, she shouldn't have been fired just for refusing flu vaccine on doctor's recommendation.  Just saying that it sounds of quackery.  No cancer organization I found agrees with that MD's recommendations.  In fact, patients can get the vaccine between cycles of chemo.  And I hope you don't have access to her medical records:).  Are you a nurse?  If you were, you would know that just isn't gonna happen.

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BostonFNP is a APRN and specializes in Adult Internal Medicine.

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33 minutes ago, mobaby said:

In response to my post - my cousin was advised that the flu vaccine could take her out of remission therefore she should not be immunized as would do more harm than good.   I am not doubting her story as she lost a job she loved and cannot work in the health field again unless she submits to the vaccine.   I don't have access to her records so you can quote whatever research you like but that is her story.     

Was this an actual oncologist or an "oncologist" natropath?

FWIW, I don't buy the story as being factually true. 

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39 minutes ago, mobaby said:

In response to my post - my cousin was advised that the flu vaccine could take her out of remission therefore she should not be immunized as would do more harm than good.   I am not doubting her story as she lost a job she loved and cannot work in the health field again unless she submits to the vaccine.   I don't have access to her records so you can quote whatever research you like but that is her story.     

I'm sorry your cousin got cancer. I'm sorry she got fired. Assuming there is a valid reason she can't get vaccinated, that is one of the main selling points for everyone  who can be vaccinated should be! Does that make sense to you?

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Orion81RN has 7 years experience.

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On 2/2/2020 at 11:31 PM, Megarline said:

I'm really wondering what your point is with this link. It backs up what others are saying, not you. You state that the flu vaccine only helps those who have been vaccinated. This is a direct quote from the very end of the article, so, yes, I read the whole thing. 

"Unfortunately, the decision not to vaccinate oneself or one’s children doesn’t just affect them."

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WestCoastSunRN has 20 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CVICU, MICU, Burn ICU.

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I read through this whole thread thinking the OP would show back up, but hasn't.  

This is a tangent, but I'm so curious as to the focus of a DNP for someone who has never worked as a nurse?  I guess it's just a direct entry NP-type degree?  It's not a completely irrelevant question, though, bc if you have had the unfortunate occasion to watch (as a nurse) a patient die of a largely preventable illness (the flu), it leaves a lasting impression and gives the science some personal "teeth" if-you-will.  

I hate getting the actual shot - had six months of pain and limited mobility from a pharmacist-delivered injection once(hit a nerve, I guess) - I know that's a more common risk and I continue to do it for my job and the sake of my patients - because I want to continue working with patients.  I will admit to having this fantasy that I am healthy enough to not die of the flu, myself, - even though I know better and have seen other healthy humans die of the flu.  The point of me sharing that is to say our egos/emotions/feelings will, at times, defy rational thought/logic.  

I don't know the OPs reason for not being willing to get the flu shot -- it begs questions about other vaccines, etc.  And for me, I'm really curious about their journey into nursing via an MSN/DNP.... 

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A "history of cancer" is not a contraindication to the flu shot. "Could put someone out of remission"-also not any kind of standard assertion.

There has to be more to that story, or the MD is very much an outlier.

My Dad has a history of cancer and has been in remission for 25 years. He has been getting the flu shot (highly recommended by his oncologist) yearly ever since he went through treatment.

Again, likely to be more to that story.

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