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Hospital Mandates Employees Get Flu Vax Or Be Fired


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  #1  
August 30th, 2011, 12:59 PM
foxfire_ga79
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Iowa Girl Conceived After Father's Death Not Entitled To Benefits, Appeals Court Rules | FoxNews.com

Wow.
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  #2  
August 30th, 2011, 03:33 PM
Super Mommy
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Wrong title or link?
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  #3  
August 30th, 2011, 05:03 PM
foxfire_ga79
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Oh holy crap, I didn't copy the link. lol That's the last news article I posted about.


Let's try this again:

Get Flu Shot Or Get Fired, Hospital Says | FoxNews.com
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  #4  
August 30th, 2011, 08:26 PM
KimberlyD0
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OK I'll bite

I think this is a good thing. In the profession in question they're working with people who are especially susceptible to the flu and more likely to succumb to the severe effects of the flu including death.

I understand some people don't want to have a flu shot, or other vaccines, but in this case its more important to protect those at higher risk, that being the patients.

The chances of a high risk patient (like those with AIDs, Cancer or other autoimmune deficiencies) dieing from complications of the flu, is more probable then the risks to healthy individuals receiving the vaccines.

I know if I was in that field and my choice to not have this vaccine resulted in someone dieing from complications of the flu (or any other VPD) then I would not be able to live with myself or to forgive myself.

They talk about their rights, and I get that, but what about the rights of the patients? the ones truly at risk? Are their lives not important enough to protect them?

When DD#2 was hospitalized as a baby, and while my dad was in the hospital with cancer we refused nurses who did not have the vaccine because the risks were just to high. Our entire family also got the vaccine to protect them.


...ok.. hiding now...

Last edited by KimberlyD0; August 30th, 2011 at 08:31 PM.
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  #5  
August 30th, 2011, 08:45 PM
AMDG's Avatar Margaret
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If I worked at that hospital I would be angry BUT I believe a private company should be able to fire people for just about any reason.
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  #6  
August 31st, 2011, 01:34 AM
Frackel's Avatar DOh!
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I would personally let them them fire me, because I wouldn't be getting that vaccine. Making something contractually mandatory after a contract(employment contract in this case) has been signed isn't usually legal. It'll be interesting to see where this goes.

They obviously haven't thought through why they've never been able to get more than 65% compliance(personally I think that number is high and they've probably rarely gotten anywhere near even that-but that's just a guess on my part I have no facts to back it up with other than observation) with the voluntary vaccines. Or how their patients will be affected when they lose a portion of their staff due to this.

I'm not too keen on people who push a vaccine on folks that very well may compromise their lives and/or health-especially employers. I can understand why there is a desire for as much protection as possible, for all involved-not just patients. That doesn't necessarily have to come from a vaccine though. Especially one like the flu shot that only protects against 40% of the potential strains in any one year. Despite the fact that there are so very many more that we could potentially contract at any given time(though thousands upon thousands exist, not including mutations, most wouldn't likely make most of us in the US sick).

I also understand why sometimes that "protection" isn't as clear cut as it may seem. It very well may be worse, for some, than whatever it is supposed to protect someone against. I can think of at least one vaccine that nearly got me fired because I refused it, repeatedly. That was when I worked in a facility that makes medical equipment. Even though their machines sterilize quite well, they tried to force every possible vaccine on us as they could.
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  #7  
August 31st, 2011, 05:00 AM
GinaB's Avatar Ex-Navy Lifetime NRA!
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Personally as someone that has contracted a staph infection while in the hospital, I am for anything that makes the employees totally sterile. I go to the hospital to get well, not get sicker.
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  #8  
August 31st, 2011, 06:47 AM
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I don't have an issue with hospital requiring its employees to vax for the safety of their patients...I can understand why they're upset, but hospitals should put the safety of their patients first and the vax is a reasonable precaution to help prevent spreading flu to ill & immunocompromised patients.
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  #9  
August 31st, 2011, 06:54 AM
foxfire_ga79
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Totally sterile?? You realize that only happens in certain ORs, right? Not even all surgeries are sterile, only a few of them are.
And what makes people think they are contracting the flu from the medical staff? Hasn't it occurred to anybody that there are PATIENTS in the HOSPITAL with the flu?? Are they going to mandate vaccination of all patients exhibiting "flu like" symptoms to protect other patients? The flu happens to be airborne, which means you can catch it from breathing the same air as someone who has it. Like passing a patient in the hallway that has the flu, or while you're sitting in the waiting room. There's no need to be so quick to blame the medical staff for the flu.
Staph is a different story. People don't get injected with toxins to prevent that, they need to improve their cleaning routines for that.
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  #10  
August 31st, 2011, 08:44 AM
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...just jumping in here. This isn't anything new. Starting in 2009 with the H1N1 outbreak, many hospitals started to require direct patient care employees to receive flushots.

Mandatory Flu Shots Hit Resistance

"New York this year became the first state to require all health-care workers with direct patient contact at hospitals, health centers, hospices and private homes to get flu shots -- both the seasonal flu vaccine, which is already available, and the swine flu vaccine..."

I think mandating vaccinations is a good thing because it puts patient safety first. Study after study has shown that the vaccines are safe and effective.
CDC - Seasonal Influenza (Flu) - Q & A: How Well Does the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Work?
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  #11  
August 31st, 2011, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L-SBB View Post
I don't have an issue with hospital requiring its employees to vax for the safety of their patients...I can understand why they're upset, but hospitals should put the safety of their patients first and the vax is a reasonable precaution to help prevent spreading flu to ill & immunocompromised patients.
ITA.

Were I to be admitted to a hospital, I would choose a hospital where all employees are vaxed over one where it were only voluntary (all other things being equal).
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  #12  
August 31st, 2011, 09:52 AM
foxfire_ga79
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Or people who are worried about catching the flu should make sure THEY get vaccinated in case they come across someone who's not? If I were immuno-compromised I wouldn't take a chance and hope that everyone else around me was vax'd.
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  #13  
August 31st, 2011, 10:06 AM
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I see no reason to make all employees get the flu shot. Perhaps and this, is a big perhaps, those who are dealing hands on with patients who are most at risk ie the ICU, NICU oncology etc. should be required to receive them or be transferred to another unit.

Flu vaccines do not protect against all strains of the flu so even with the shot a patient still has a risk to contract the flu. Many of those who will be required to get the shots will never have any patient contact while vendors, whom the hospital have control over employee requirements, will have day to day contact with many including those who are immunocompromised. Much of the equipment that a patient is discharges with is not hospital property and is supplied by and trained by private durable medical vendors.

Maybe this is one of my tin foil hat moments but this seems more like a ploy on the hospitals part to cut down on employee ot caused by sick time.

so if anyone needs me

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  #14  
August 31st, 2011, 10:20 AM
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I don't see how they can require people to get vaxed or get fired. The flu is airborne so having employees vaxed won't help if there are people in the hospital with the flu.
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  #15  
August 31st, 2011, 10:44 AM
L-SBB's Avatar Bb Cowgirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire_ga79 View Post
Or people who are worried about catching the flu should make sure THEY get vaccinated in case they come across someone who's not? If I were immuno-compromised I wouldn't take a chance and hope that everyone else around me was vax'd.
I don't believe those who are immunocompromised can be vax'd...for a vax to work effectively, your immune system has to be strong enough to generate a response to the vax.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho06 View Post
Flu vaccines do not protect against all strains of the flu so even with the shot a patient still has a risk to contract the flu. Many of those who will be required to get the shots will never have any patient contact while vendors, whom the hospital have control over employee requirements, will have day to day contact with many including those who are immunocompromised. Much of the equipment that a patient is discharges with is not hospital property and is supplied by and trained by private durable medical vendors.
This logic I don't really follow...of course flu vax doesn't protect against all strains, but there's value in protecting some % of patients against getting some flu strains. Viewing it as an all or nothing (vax won't completely protect, thus no point in requiring it) is like saying that because we can't make a hospital 100% sterile that there's no value in them requiring nurses & doctors to wash their hands or put gloves on before treating a patient. I wouldn't expect hand washing or gloves to protect against all type of dirt/bacteria spreading, but a reduction in the % of preventable illness through enhanced cleansing (or vaxing) is still a reasonable goal for a hospital.
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  #16  
August 31st, 2011, 10:53 AM
tiredmom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Flu can be spread both by large droplets as when someone sneezes or coughs; but is not technically "airborn" in that it cannot become aerosolized and travel long distances. It can also be transmitted by direct skin to skin transfer, and by indirect contact ie with a contaminated object such as medical equipment or countertops.

While patients may be infected with influenza, they are not in direct contact with other patients. It is the heath care workers who are touching, or are within 3-6 feet of patients that run the greatest risk of transferring their influenza to that patient. This is especially troubling when you consider how many patients an individual nurse, doctor, or technician may come in to contact with on any given shift.


http://www.acponline.org/clinical_in...on/flu_hcw.pdf
Quote:
A review of nosocomial influenza outbreaks in the hospital setting compared attack rates of patients with those of HCWs, and found that HCW attack rates mirrored, and even surpassed, patient attack rates in epidemic areas of the hospital.6 In addition, the study reported median excess patient mortality rates of 16 percent, with rates in excess of 33 to 60 percent for ICU and transplant units.
Quote:
THE EVIDENCE
Immunizing health care workers safely and effectively prevents a significant number of influenza infections, hospitalizations, and deaths among the patients they care for, as well as preventing workplace disruption and medical errors by workers absent from work due to illness, or present at work but ill.7,8,9

Influenza vaccination of HCWs lowers mortality among patients. A study of 20 hospitals found an overall 51% staff vaccination rate in hospitals where vaccine was offered vs. 5% staff vaccination rate in hospitals where influenza vaccine was not offered. Mortality among patients was 13.6% (102/749) in the hospitals providing HCW vaccination vs. 22.4% (154/688) (P = 0.01) in hospitals that did not.10 In another study of 12 hospitals, HCWs and patients were randomized to receive influenza vaccine. There was no difference in patient mortality between hospitals with patients who received vaccine and patients who did not. However, the mortality rate among patients in hospitals where HCWs got vaccine was 10%, compared with 17% among hospitals that did not immunize HCWs.11
Heard/ community immunity is the form of immunity that occurs when the majority of the community (ie the hospital) is immune to a certain disease. In those situations a member who is not-vaxed is less likely to become infected than a vaxed member in a community where no-one is vaxed.
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  #17  
August 31st, 2011, 12:20 PM
foxfire_ga79
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In all the EMS training I had, we were taught to not put ourselves at unnecessary risks for the sake of patients. All the protective equipment, gloves and masks, were for our OWN protection. The vaccinations I had to have for certification were to protect ME.
For someone whose body has resisted the flu for 32 years, vaccinating for a sickness I'm not prone to is an unnecessary risk. I am under no obligation to cause myself harm or risk harm for anyone else's sake. Nobody knows what the long term effects of these flu shots are, and I don't want to be the guinea pig used to find out what happens after 30 years of getting shots for a sickness I can fight off on my own.
This isn't a short term thing. Most medical professionals stay in their career, so you're looking at potentially decades of exposure to that crap.

As for being transmitted by indirect contact, you're absolutely right. Surfaces must be washed after every patient occupancy. Gloves changed and hands sanitized after every patient contact.

If some people are willing to have the flu shot that's their choice. I don't want it and I would be one of the ones who would quit that hospital. I also find it telling that such a large number of medical professionals are refusing this vaccination and upset about the mandate.
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  #18  
August 31st, 2011, 01:31 PM
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I never claimed it to be an all or nothing thought process. A vaccine will do nothing more than protect the worker from being an active carrier and most likely needing to take time off to recover. The staff will still become passive carriers via their clothing, equipment etc. One does not have to be sick with anything to pass it along. Why not just have those working who are in contact with patients, especially those who are at risk, wear a mask to help prevent the possible transmission of the flu? Seems like a better alternative for those who choose not to get the vaccine than termination IMO




Quote:
Originally Posted by L-SBB View Post


This logic I don't really follow...of course flu vax doesn't protect against all strains, but there's value in protecting some % of patients against getting some flu strains. Viewing it as an all or nothing (vax won't completely protect, thus no point in requiring it) is like saying that because we can't make a hospital 100% sterile that there's no value in them requiring nurses & doctors to wash their hands or put gloves on before treating a patient. I wouldn't expect hand washing or gloves to protect against all type of dirt/bacteria spreading, but a reduction in the % of preventable illness through enhanced cleansing (or vaxing) is still a reasonable goal for a hospital.
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  #19  
August 31st, 2011, 01:32 PM
tiredmom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire_ga79 View Post
In all the EMS training I had, we were taught to not put ourselves at unnecessary risks for the sake of patients. All the protective equipment, gloves and masks, were for our OWN protection. The vaccinations I had to have for certification were to protect ME.
For someone whose body has resisted the flu for 32 years, vaccinating for a sickness I'm not prone to is an unnecessary risk. I am under no obligation to cause myself harm or risk harm for anyone else's sake. Nobody knows what the long term effects of these flu shots are, and I don't want to be the guinea pig used to find out what happens after 30 years of getting shots for a sickness I can fight off on my own.
This isn't a short term thing. Most medical professionals stay in their career, so you're looking at potentially decades of exposure to that crap.

As for being transmitted by indirect contact, you're absolutely right. Surfaces must be washed after every patient occupancy. Gloves changed and hands sanitized after every patient contact.

If some people are willing to have the flu shot that's their choice. I don't want it and I would be one of the ones who would quit that hospital. I also find it telling that such a large number of medical professionals are refusing this vaccination and upset about the mandate.
It's not about you at all. If an individual health care worker refuses a vaccine and only places themselves at risk, that would be fine. But when they refuse the flu vaccine they put patients at risk.

The same article I linked above addresses the ethical obligations of physicians in patient care.

Quote:
AN ETHICAL OBLIGATION
Vaccinating HCWs against influenza represents a duty of care, and a standard of quality care, so it should be reasonable that this duty should supersede HCW personal preference. Internists care for the patients most at risk of influenza-related morbidity and mortality. As Rea and Upshur state ―Physicians have an obligation to their patients to take all reasonable actions to prevent transmission in the context of patient care.‖18 The needs of the patients we as internists are privileged to care for must come before HCW preference and as the professional society representing internists, ACP endorses taking such a leadership position.
It should be well with in the right of an individual to quit a job that obligates them to do something they do not want to do. But the hospital should not be obligated to employ these health care workers that would put their own concerns above that of their patients.
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  #20  
August 31st, 2011, 01:40 PM
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Ditto Jaime
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