When You Realize You Are Replaceable

This article discusses how Nurses are terminated for requesting exemption from the Covid-19 Vaccine mandate. Nurses Career Support Article


When You Realize You Are Replaceable

When You Realize You Are Replaceable

It was the dream job, mothers and babies, those perfect newborn babies. Postpartum care, neonatal care, a career that made working the night shift bearable, a wanted escape from the busyness of my home life. It was my third hospital job and my home away from home. I had no intentions of seeking employment anywhere else for the foreseeable future. 

I worked so hard through nursing school, to achieve Cum Laude, to learn bedside nursing, a dream of mine since childhood. There were no late nights or bar scenes for me. Flashcards, studying, and working as a Patient Care Assistant on a fast-paced Telemetry unit were my life. I wanted nothing more than to see RN on my badge. 

Ten years of experience later, and during my third pregnancy, Covid happened. I worked twelve-hour shifts with an N95 mask at 6 months pregnant and without complaint, because this is what I signed up for. This was my job. I was fearful initially, but I was trained well in PPE use and knew I was protected. 

I am a breastfeeding mother. I am extremely cautious of all that I choose to put into my body. I am a nurse that values Holistic medicine and natural remedies. During Covid, my family supports our immune system with daily doses of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, fresh air, and exercise. When the vaccine became available, and I conducted my own personal evidence-based research, I decided the vaccine was not a choice I was comfortable with, not a substance I could put in my body, or my daughter's. I was immediately called a danger to my patients, an irresponsible Nurse, rather than a human being, a mother, a woman that is entitled to her own medical choices. 

The mandates were announced for all Hospital employees, and I submitted a religious exemption promptly and truthfully, maintaining hope in the leaders at the hospital I had been employed by for seven years. The hospital I was born at, the hospital I was so proud to be employed by. 

The week before Christmas, I received the dreaded phone call. My exemption was denied and I had two weeks to comply or be forced into a "voluntary resignation". I was overwhelmed, consumed by emotions, the joy of Christmas ripped away from my family of five. 

I filed for an appeal and was granted a Zoom meeting with the CEO, and the Union that I had paid to protect my rights. I spoke my truth and requested an accommodation of weekly Covid testing. Two weeks later, my request was denied and I was no longer employed. I was disposed of like my hard work and dedication was nothing to the hospital I called my own. A hospital two of my children were proudly birthed at. My name was frequented in Press Ganey Surveys of patient satisfaction. I cried with my patients, I was the one at the bedside during life's most beautiful moments, and in the dark unexpected moments that are so rarely discussed. 

I am replaceable. I am just a nurse that can be fired (or forced into resignation) for my personal medical choices. I am hesitant to start again at a new facility as I now know, that one choice can take away my career and in turn, take food out of my children's mouths. Declined for unemployment because of my "voluntary" choice. 

The daily news report of critical nursing shortages, offers of sign-on bonuses and incentives. I am willing and able to work, but I sit at home with my children, searching for a new job that brings me joy and allows me to continue to homeschool my children. I apply for out-of-state licenses while I question if Nursing is my future, or if a new path is waiting for me. I am not alone in this despair, as over 100 employees in my hospital's organization are in the same circumstance. We are not neglectful, careless nurses and in a country that supports freedom of choice, our choice has been stripped from us. Stripped from the very souls that are at the bedside of our hospitalized population. 

Just one year prior, I was labeled as a hero, but now, my education, skills, and experience mean nothing, as I can so easily be replaced. 

He/She is a Registered Nurse with a speciality in Postpartum/Couplet Care and Pediatrics. Working hard to support breastfeeding and rooming-in practices as well as mind, body healing in the Postpartum period. He/She has three children and is a seasoned homeschooler. He/She loves the forest, hiking and feels that nature is the best medicine. He/She spends his/her free time with his/her family, reading, camping, exploring, loving on animals and taking photos.

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Specializes in RN, MSN, ex-CNA.

How did an "evidence based research" led you to not getting the vaccine? What evidence did you find that vaccinating while pregnant was a bad idea? Every medical body I am aware of heavily encourages the vaccine while pregnant so I don't know what research journals you are reading. 

You worked in a field based on SCIENCE. And you use your lack of ability to think logically to deny science and pretend that you have a valid point. You absolutely do not. Not even close, not even a little. None whatsoever.

Specializes in retired LTC.

Folks!  This is NOT the place to kick down OP for not vaxing. NOT FOR THIS THREAD.

For her own reasons, she VOLUNTARILY chose NOT to vax.  With that said, it is sad that she must now face resulting sequella of that decision. I wish more employers were more hard-line re non-vaxing. NO WISHY WASHY.

OP - your dilemma is just one example of how nurses are expendable. Just a matter of supply & demand. That facility will just continue to squeak for a while. Sounds like you could have been Saint Mother Theresa and you most prob would have been terminated. Regardless of how good a dedicated & skilled employee you were at that facility. 

You'll likely find another position somewhere else. Change is good altho you won't see that past your wounded psyche at this time. Just know I do feel for you.

Welcome to AN. Also, I recommend new members use an anonymous screen name, even here. Crazies out there in www.

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

While I am strongly pro-vaccine (I work with immunocompromised transplant pts), I support your choice to not take the Covid vaccine. 

That said, there are places that will hire nurses that do not wish to take the vaccine: part of my job is in dialysis units and neither Fresenius nor Davita make vaccines MANDATORY. They are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED and if you do choose not to vaccinate, you have to test frequently. 

Perhaps a clinic job? Our practice does not require vaccines for office staff - its mandatory for providers. 

Specializes in EMT since 92, Paramedic since 97, RN and PHRN 2021.

She voluntarily decided to not get vaccinated and the hospital voluntarily decided not to continue your employment.  What's the issue?     

Poster states she put in a religious exemption, but celebrates Christmas. I don't know of any religion that celebrates Christmas but then tells its followers to not get vaccinated.

Back when Jonas Salk created the polio vaccine everyone got the shot.   People could see the devastating effects of polio, including the severe limp that has been a hallmark characteristic of polio.  There were no protests, no "anti-vaxxers". Scientists have dedicated their whole career to researching viruses and bacteria but she states she used evidenced based research to aid in her decision.  What sources can you site for your research because the reward of the vaccine far outweighs the risks. 

As an ER nurse I have, within the past 2 months, had a normally healthy 38 YOF who come in with mild SOB and fatigue.  She died less than 96 hours later from Covid related symptoms.  

It just really irritates me when I hear medical professionals that refuse to get vaccinated and then whine about it when they don't have a job thereafter.

Specializes in ICU, travel.

It's easy to feel defeated and say, "I'm replaceable."  

Ever play old school D&D?  Highly dangerous and adventurers die very easily.  Per definition, adventurers are very replaceable.  That doesn't mean, however, that everyone can be an adventurer, or that all adventurers should turn tail and run at the first sign of adversity.  

I took all three of my vaccines.  I'm also not blind to the political mire at my feet.  The market needs the nurses.  The patients would be better served by nurses in compliance with PPE than a nurse out of the market.  For those nurses out of the market because of the vaccine for whatever reason:  I'm not going to nag you, but I am going to ask:  How are you going to get back in there?  Are you ever going back?  Are you going to sit back while you just let bureaucrats make whatever choice they want?

@Guest1189140 I understand why you feel sad and upset by this situation. If you had decided to accept the vaccination because the data and science indicated that it is safe and effective AND it would have preserved your employment...do you think you would feel as badly over putting just one more vaccine into your body?

     The vaccine debate aside, I knew from day one of my first job many years ago, that I, and everyone else, is replaceable from an employer's perspective.  I feel that to think otherwise is somewhat delusional or stems from an inflated sense of self-importance-sorry!  It's sad, but in reality, we're all cogs in the machinations of corporate health care that knows no loyalty and in which money will always reign supreme.

Specializes in Critical Care.

The irony of using the phrase "evidence-based research" while being so against the vaccine that you'd risk your career and the ability to provide for your family over it...

The hospital is following actual evidence-based recommendations to protect coworkers and patients that is supported by numerous medical groups worldwide and federal legal precedent. I can almost guarantee you've taken several vaccines as a requirement for nursing. You absolutely had a choice and you made it. I'm so confused hearing people making CHOICES while simultaneously complaining about the outcome. It's a strange victim mindset that I don't understand.

As an adult in America you are free to speak your mind and make your own decisions. What you do not have is the power to force others to bend to your opinions or what should or should not be mandated.

That being said, even if I don't understand it you do have a right to your opinion and I do support that. Good luck.

Specializes in Transitional Nursing.

Get vaccinated or get out.  Sorry, not sorry. 

Specializes in retired LTC.
19 minutes ago, Straight No Chaser said:

Get vaccinated or get out.  Sorry, not sorry.