Nurses fired for refusing flu shots
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Thread: Nurses fired for refusing flu shots

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    Posting Addict smsturner's Avatar
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    Default Nurses fired for refusing flu shots

    I thought this was an interesting one. What do you think? Wrongful termination or right move?


    Nurses Fired for Refusing Flu Shot - Yahoo! News
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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Right move. Front-line health care workers should be fully immunized. The only exceptions should be for vaccines the person is documented to be allergic to, and this nurse provided no evidence that she is allergic to chicken eggs which is the only allergen in the seasonal flu shot. Influenza is contagious before a person shows symptoms, so she could be risking the health of everyone she works with, which includes very sick people in that hospital.

    That said, I think after 21 years of service, the better thing to do would have been to transfer her to a non-front-line position where she would no longer be a risk to patients.
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    I don't think they should have been fired, I think an alternative should have been provided.

    My DH works in our local hospital, and it's mandated that all healthcare workers get the flu shot, and if they chose not to, then they are required to wear face masks and gloves (new gloves obviously for each patient).

    The patients in a hospital are already at risk - you don't want to take the chance of giving someone with an already compromised immune system the flu, but you do have to make alternatives for people who's believes prevent them from something like the flu shot.
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    Posting Addict smsturner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    Right move. Front-line health care workers should be fully immunized. The only exceptions should be for vaccines the person is documented to be allergic to, and this nurse provided no evidence that she is allergic to chicken eggs which is the only allergen in the seasonal flu shot. Influenza is contagious before a person shows symptoms, so she could be risking the health of everyone she works with, which includes very sick people in that hospital.

    That said, I think after 21 years of service, the better thing to do would have been to transfer her to a non-front-line position where she would no longer be a risk to patients.
    They actually introduced an egg free alternative this last year. (which is so cool!)


    I definitely think they did the right thing!! I can't imagine having a child with a compromised immune system killed because of their refusal to get one shot.


    I would be curious to know if there is anything religious that would prevent anyone from this? Anyone know?


    ETA: I would be curious, but it wouldn't change my stance on them getting it or not. If you can't get a vaccine because of your religion please get a job where you might not accidently kill someone because of it!
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    I'm back and forth on this one. Between doing what I think is right for myself and balancing the fact that if I was very ill in the hospital and a nurse didn't get a flu shot and gave me the flu which hindered my recovery I would be livid.

    I don't think the lawyer saying that if they have a strong belief on it it is akin to a religious belief gives them a leg to stand on.

    I would rather see a positive reinforcement to getting the flu shot (financial incentive or something) vs. firing much needed and tenured nurses.
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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokr View Post
    My DH works in our local hospital, and it's mandated that all healthcare workers get the flu shot, and if they chose not to, then they are required to wear face masks and gloves (new gloves obviously for each patient).
    I don't think that's a reasonable accomodation because that person will still have to remove the mask to take a drink of water, blow his nose, eat lunch on his break, maybe talk on the phone, etc. and then the protection is gone. But if it is offered, then it should be at the nurse's personal expense, not the hospital's.
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    This nurse works in critical care? With the patients with probably the lowest immunity of all patients in a hospital?

    I have no sympathy for her.

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    What happened to body autonomy? Why should she be forced to put something in her body that she was comfortable with? I am sure as a veteran nurse she was knowledgeable on how to not spread her germs.

    That being said I think employers have the right to fire whomever they would like, I just disagree with firing an employee over something like this when all other indicators show her to be a great employee
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClairesMommy View Post
    This nurse works in critical care? With the patients with probably the lowest immunity of all patients in a hospital?

    I have no sympathy for her.
    This is what I'm thinking.

    If she had a sincere medical reason for not getting the shot, I would think that they would need to find some way to work with her (maybe by having her in a non-patient facing position.) Otherwise, I don't feel bad for her.
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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom3girls View Post
    What happened to body autonomy? Why should she be forced to put something in her body that she was comfortable with? I am sure as a veteran nurse she was knowledgeable on how to not spread her germs.
    Her body autonomy ends when she puts sick patients -- who are coming to a hospital for care -- at risk. And did you read the part about how influenza is contagious before symptoms start? There's absolutely no way of keeping her away from anyone who might have it or keep her from spreading it before she knows she has it. Except for her to not be there.
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