Wednesday, October 21, 2009

[Buffalo, NY] Nurses should be able to refuse flu vaccine:

October 18, 2009, 6:42 AM

It is very important to protect hospital patients from workers’ “viruses,” as stated in a letter. But viruses passed from worker to patient do not come close to the viruses, bacteria and other potentially “fatal bugs” that all health care workers are exposed to every day they work. We are all trained to take every precaution to protect both worker and patient from sharing any of these germs, but it is a risk of the job.

Another identified “high risk” group this flu season is children and yet the New York State Health Department did not mandate the shots for all teachers and threaten job loss for those refusing the vaccinations.

If still working, I would comply with the mandate because I believe in vaccinations for prevention. But I also feel people have a right to refuse the vaccinations and should not be punished by threat of job loss.

The real truth lies somewhere in the middle ground of protecting the patient and keeping hospital personnel well to provide staffing to care for the anticipated influx of very ill patients from H1N1 this flu season.

Just because we choose to work in health care we still have the same rights as everyone else, including the right to refuse medications and vaccinations. We take the risks every day. We should also have the rights.

Barbara Burr, R. N., retired

No comments:

Post a Comment