Vaccines and Stupidity

(Names have been withheld to protect privacy; I am not the author of this piece but it is too important not to post and it is being done so with permission.)

A facility is presently in outbreak mode for Influenza A and a **** takes it as personal insult.

She feels it is a real slap in the face because she has a 98% compliance rate from the residents for taking the flu shot and a 94% compliance rate amongst staff. Those are some very good statistics right there let me tell ya.

In fact, the facility has never been in outbreak since she became Director of Care and ???, her Infection Control Practitioner.

She credits that success for the following reasons: in order to refuse the flu shot in her facility you have to have one of two things.

1) A Dr’s. note verifying a medical reason for refusing the flu vaccine, or

2) The balls to stand before her and sign a letter of refusal. (Said balls had better be elephant size..)  Number two is far more challenging then number one, I assure you.

There is judgment in her face as you stand before her, signing that letter of refusal as you explain to her how you “Don’t believe in vaccines”.

See here’s the thing. She doesn’t really care if you “don’t believe in vaccines”. You have every right to not believe in vaccines; but if that is the case, you need to go work for Walmart, or the TD Bank, or Air Canada perhaps.

The one thing you should not be is a nurse, working with the ill, the frail, the elderly, the immune compromised. Take your beliefs and put your own family at risk, but get to hell away from her residents.

In fact she only has four nurses who have those kinds of cojones.

This outbreak was caused by one of those four. She is ground zero.  She doesn’t believe in vaccines.

Oh she believed in it last year while her brother was undergoing chemotherapy but he’s doing well now so she doesn’t believe in vaccines this year. She won’t put her brother at risk but she is quite prepared to put someone else’s brother at risk, someone else’s father at risk.

Quote from ****: “I do appreciate the fact she at least called me two weeks ago to inform me she was flat on her back in bed with a confirmed Influenza A. One is contagious of course with Influenza long before one actually shows symptoms. She recognized our residents were now at risk.”

Immediately, the infection control practices we increased by intense cleaning with Virox, running extra educations surrounding reminding staff to wash their hands more, and going over the isolation protocols.

Of course it was all too little too late.

Out of 121 residents, in the facility, the outbreak has been contained to five residents with more in isolation as those five and all their roommates are banned to their rooms until this outbreak is over.

The flu vaccine will not save the residents from contracting Influenza but the fact they were vaccinated may save their lives. In years gone by, half of them would have died.

The Director doesn’t take the flu vaccine for herself as she has a pretty good immune system and knows that she would probably fight off the virus with nothing more than a few days in bed as a consequence.

She gets the flu vaccine for her patients.

If it were up to her, and it may be, just a little, as she fully plans on getting on this immediately and advocating for this at the government level…..anyone who works in the medical profession will be required by law to be vaccinated.

Why not!? You can’t send your kid to school without vaccinations? So why the hell not?

Quote from ****:

“Have you ever stood at the bedside of a child with leukaemia? I have.

Have you ever stood at the bedside of a parent fighting for their life? I have.

Have you ever stood at the bedside of a burn victim? I have.

Have you ever stood at the bedside of a 92 year old man who still enjoys his life and places all his faith in you that you will keep him safe, healthy, and happy? I have.

I am of the opinion when one works in Heath Care, the rights and safety of the ill, the fragile, the vulnerable supersedes the individual rights of a medical care practitioner, by far.

In fact, every nurse in the world took an oath pledging exactly that philosophy.

The Nightingale Pledge is one of the oldest International pledges, only outranked in age by the Hippocratic oath.

The Nightingale Pledge is the same oath written by Florence Nightingale for the first graduates of her first nursing program out of St Thomas Hospital in London in 1865.

Today it does not matter if you are a graduate of a nursing program in England, Canada, the Philippines, the Congo, India, or Egypt. It does not matter what name your God goes by, what language you take the oath in, every nurse takes the Nightingale Oath.

And when you take it, you are expected to abide by it for the rest of your life.

In much the same manner when one gets married one is expected to abide by the oath of loyalty, fidelity, love, and devotion for all the rest of the days of our life…..but, sadly, we all know how serious that oath is taken.

There was a time when an oath meant something. When it was important. It was a promise of standard of conduct, a declaration of ethics. A vow before God and man that no matter what, nothing would get in between that pledge.

There was a time when to be an oath breaker was a shame no person wished to be accused of let alone walk with. Today, an oath means…..I promise until/unless it becomes inconvenient, until I perceive it to be a violation of my rights. Because we all know my rights are more important than your rights. I am entitled to be the centre of the universe. I am entitled to place my personal ideologies above yours, even it means it costs me little but costs you, your life.

When my father was very ill in the hospital, a very sick nurse walked into the waiting room.

A private duty nurse. The regular staff was not good enough for one particular family. Their mother was so very important they required a private duty nurse.

That very ill nurse walked in for duty and informed the private nurse going off duty that she just didn’t know if she could stay. She was so sick.

A bit of a scuffle broke out as the nurse leaving knew she couldn’t damn well stay as she had plans for the evening. All the family knew someone better stay as they would not have their mother left in the hands of the nurses of the facility. (Fine nurses I will add as a side note, each and every one of them.)

They insisted this sick nurse had to stay until the agency sent someone else.

My husband watched this interaction going on while sitting in the waiting room. We were only allowed in two at a time to see my father.

XXXX, who has never been known for keeping his tongue in his pocket aside from being one of those people who takes oaths very serious, knew just one thing.

My father was there fighting for his life.

And one sick nurse could set the spark of an outbreak on that floor that had the potential to kill my father.

XXXX stood up, and much to my poor sister’s horror, went into full warrior mode as only XXXX can do.

I wasn’t there. I was in the room with Dad. Had I been there, I might have attempted to mitigate the embarrassing interaction which followed whereby XXXX took it on as his personal responsibility to throw that nurse off the floor while the employer (the son of the patient) basically informed XXXX what an arsehole he was.

There was almost a Donnybrook in the waiting room.

By the time I returned to the waiting room the smoke had cleared and despite the mutterings and glares between both men, the nurse was gone.

XXXX was correct. Absolutely 100% correct. And I am grateful to him for walking the talk on behalf of my father. That nurse had the very real potential to set off an outbreak on that floor which could have killed my father.

Yes. I am going to get on this immediately. Before I retire from this profession yearly inoculations will be mandatory for nurses.

I told XXXX this last night. He is quite prepared to join me in this but said to me, “That is a tall order for a couple of little nurses. Two voices don’t have that kind of power”

And I say…..”Watch us!”

From Wicked Emerald:  Just to illustrate the point and the necessity of vaccines: http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2011/02/15/17282731.html


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