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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Hospitals fear a lack of staffing as a deadline loom for vaccines

Hospitals and nursing homes in the United States are exacerbating staff shortages as the state deadline for health workers to be vaccinated against COVID-1.

With states like New York, California, Rhode Island and Connecticut taking effect this week, there are fears that some employees will quit their jobs or be fired or suspended instead of receiving the vaccine.

“We do not know how it will end. We are concerned about how this will exacerbate the already quite serious staffing problem.

In California, where healthcare workers have until Thursday to fully vaccinate, some hospitals are expecting shots, suspensions or relocating people to other positions, Emerson-She said. He said many traveling nurses have refused hiring in California because of the state’s need for vaccines.

But Dr. Jeff Smith, chief operating officer and executive vice president of hospital management at Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said health workers cannot leave their jobs and go to another hospital with a state order. .

He expects 97 percent of Cedar-Sinai’s approximately 17,000 employees affected by the vaccine mandate to meet the deadline. Another 1 percent have applied for medical or religious exemptions. Those who do not comply by Friday will be suspended for a week, and will be fired in October if they do not comply or if there is no inactive situation, he said.

The hospital was able to recruit more than 100 nurses last month and used some traveling nurses.

“We’re in a better place but don’t want to reduce the challenges that other hospitals are facing,” Smith said.

Healthcare workers in New York had to get at least one dose by the end of Monday, but some hospitals have already begun taking action against suspensions or otherwise holdouts.

The Erie County Medical Center Corporation in Buffalo said about 5 percent of its hospital staff have been put on unpaid leave for not being vaccinated, while 20 percent of staff at its nursing home. And Northwell Health, the state’s largest healthcare provider, says it has begun removing obsolete workers from its system, although it says its workers have been vaccinated nearly 100 percent.

“For those who haven’t made that decision yet, please do the right thing,” said New York Governor Kathy Hochul.

Some hospitals in New York have developed contingency plans that include shutting down non-complex services and restricting nursing home admissions. The governor also planned to call for medical training from members of the National Guard, retired or vaccinated workers from outside the state.

About a dozen states have immunization orders that cover hospital healthcare workers, long-term care facilities, or both. Some give exemptions on medical or religious grounds, but those employees often have to submit for regular COVID-19 tests.

States that have set such requirements already have higher vaccination rates. The highest rates are concentrated in the northeast, the lowest in the south and midwest.

The Biden administration will require about 17 million workers in health facilities who are still required to fully vaccinate Federal Medicare or Medicaid under one rule.

This has worried some hospital officials, especially in rural communities where vaccination rates are low.

“We’re seeing the need to reschedule staff in some cases, in some cases just to maintain the necessary services, and there are going to be some delays,” said Troy Brantz, president and chief executive of Community Hospitals in McCook, Nebraska.

He said 25 of the hospital’s 300 staff had said they would resign if vaccinated. The rest of the estimated 100 vaccinated workers – a group that includes nurses and cleaning and maintenance workers – did not decide.

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He further expressed concern that it would be difficult to hire new staff when the hospital is already in short hands.

“It doesn’t make us very confident that it won’t turn into a two-night dream for American health care,” he said.

Many hospitals and nursing homes are already suffering from staff crises because many nurses and others have left as a result of epidemic burns or have traveled from state to state for lucrative jobs.

White House Press Secretary Jane Sackie noted that hospitals in Houston and Maine have lost relatively few staff when staff needed to be vaccinated.

“We see in many places that it’s working, it’s working. This is creating more security and security in their workforce, ”said Saki.

In Rhode Island, where the vaccination order went into effect Friday, the state said hospitals could allow vaccinated employees to work 30 days after the deadline where their dismissal would compromise patient safety. This order is being challenged in court because it does not allow religious exemptions.

In states that do not have a mandate, some hospitals are imposing themselves.

Ginger Robertson, a registered nurse who works at a mental health clinic at a hospital in Bismarck, North Dakota, has requested a religious exemption from the need for her hospital vaccination. He said he would look for another job.

“Honestly, I really love my job. I love it. I enjoy my patients. I enjoy where I am,” he said. “I don’t want to leave, and I don’t want to be vaccinated.”

She said other nurses were also considering giving up what she called an “insulting” order.

“We feel frustrated, like we’re not intelligent enough to make these choices ourselves,” Robertson said.

A North Carolina-based hospital system announced Monday that more than 155 of its more than 15,000 employees have been fired for failing to comply with its Covid-1 vaccine requirements.

Last week, Novant Health announced that 375 workers had been suspended and given five days to comply. About 200 of them did so before Friday’s deadline – those who submitted approved discounts – spokeswoman Megan Rivers said.

The Massachusetts order, issued by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, only applies to restrooms, supportive living facilities, hospice programs, and home care programs. It allows medical and religious exemptions but does not require regular examinations. Deadline is October 31.

In Connecticut, a vaccine order for state-run hospital staff went into effect Monday. This does not apply to privately run hospitals, some of which are imposing their own requirements. Medical and religious exemptions are possible, but anyone else who fails to get vaccinated will be barred from the workplace.

As of Wednesday, about one percent of New York’s more than 5,050,000 hospital staff had been fully vaccinated, according to state data. Nursing home data on Sunday showed that about one percent of nursing home workers were fully vaccinated.

The New York City Hospital System has reported a 95% vaccination rate for nurses and a higher rate for physicians.

In Missouri, which became a deadly Covid-1 hot hot spot in the summer, the Mercy Hospital system is required to vaccinate staff at hundreds of medical centers and clinics in Missouri and surrounding states by Thursday.

Anyone who does not comply will be given a 30-day unpaid suspension, Mercy spokeswoman Bethany Pope said.

By Heather Hollingsworth and Tammy Weber

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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