by Conduit For Action
Just a short time ago nurses and other medical professionals were hailed as heroes as they worked long stressful days risking their lives to care for COVID-19 patients. But now some hospitals are kicking some of these heroes to the curb – firing them for not getting the COVID vaccine.
Plus, what happens if the hospitals need these hero nurses after firing them? There is a new variant that may be resistant to the vaccines.
They are still heroes in our book! When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, nurses and other medical professionals put themselves at risk. A gown, a mask, gloves, an eye shield and some hand sanitizer was all the protection they had from the COVID-19 virus. Sometimes even those basic items ran out. Do you remember the picture of a nurse in New York holding a sign saying, “We risk our lives to save yours”? Her hospital was running out of protective gear and she was begging for more.
They were at risk. They were exhausted working long hours. They were under tremendous stress. There wasn’t even an option to get a vaccine because the vaccines were still in the development stage. Yet they cared for your loved ones… and still do.
When New York became the first big hotspot for the virus and their hospitals were overwhelmed, some Arkansas nurses traveled to New York to fill the depleted ranks of nurses. Heroes.
How are Arkansas hospitals paying back our heroes? Some Arkansas hospitals are demanding the nurses get the vaccines or be fired (despite a nursing shortage). Some nurses are saying “no” despite the prospect of losing their livelihoods.
Is it just a few hospital workers who say “no”? According to WebMD “1 in 4 hospital workers who have direct contact with patients had not received a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of May” and “among the nation’s 50 largest hospitals, the percentage of unvaccinated health care workers appears to be even larger, about 1 in 3.”[i]
According to Bloomberg Business only 35% of hospitals nationally had imposed a vaccine mandate by August 19.[ii] Most mandates are by their employers but in New York there is a state mandate. Obviously, the percentage of nurses who get the vaccine will change but so will the number who are no longer in the profession as they face deadlines for choosing between complying or being fired.
A nurse in Pennsylvania called the Dave Ramsey Show asking how to adjust his finances because he is likely to lose his job because he will not take the vaccine. Ramsey said the nurses’ bosses were idiots. Ramsey also said to not to change his financial plan and instead to immediately go get a better paying nursing job since there is a nursing shortage. (See video) Unfortunately, switching nursing jobs may be much more difficult in rural areas. It may also be more difficult as more hospitals answer President Biden’s call for more businesses to impose mandates.
There is a nursing shortage. The mandate is making it worse. Nursing shortages risk the care of patients. When does the nursing shortage become the greater health risk?
While many see the vaccine as the best bet, neither taking the vaccine nor remaining unvaccinated is without risk. Statistically, fewer vaccinated people get COVID but it is not a guarantee. Fewer vaccinated people who get the virus end up in the hospital or in a hospital’s intensive care unit but some do. And, then there is the conundrum of risking side effects or risking possibly worse outcomes from infections if unvaccinated.
Vaccinations seem like the better option but maybe not for all, and that is a choice should be made by the individual not by a corporate mandate.
At Conduit we have talked to several nurses who refuse to submit to the vaccine. For example, one nurse complied with the mandate by getting the first shot but when the nurse had a negative reaction to the shot the nurse opted not to get the second one and was fired.
Some nurses have told us they are working with lawyers to discuss their chances at lawsuits. Some have already left the job they loved and are working at another place where there is no mandate. Others are just hanging on until the deadline, hoping their hospital will rescind the mandate or grant an exception or hoping the legislature will step in to prohibit such mandates.
Will there be help from lawmakers? Montana became the first state to prohibit private employers from mandating Covid-19 vaccinations. (See- article)
A few weeks ago, Senator Bob Ballinger filed a resolution asking the Arkansas legislature to extend the special session of the legislature to consider protecting employees faced with mandates. His resolution was never debated because a majority of his colleagues in the Arkansas Senate decided to instead adjourn and go home. To read more on what the legislature left unfinished and how your Senator voted on adjournment read our article, Legislature’s Punt Has Negative Consequences.
In recent weeks the Arkansas legislature has held hearings concerning the mandates and to hear the pleas of employees seeking protection. It seems unlikely the legislature will be able to consider legislation on the issue until the current deadlines for vaccinations have passed.
What happens if the hospitals need these hero nurses after firing them? Scientists are already watching a new COVID variant called the “Mu variant” that has appeared in 39 countries including the United States and it may be resistant to vaccines. (see New York Post video)
Tell your state Representative and state Senator what you think about how these heroes (nurses and all medical staff) are being treated. Support your nurses and hospital staff and use this sample resolution to show support for healthcare freedom and choice regarding the COVID19 vaccine mandates. Click here.