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Hospitals fear shortages as vaccine deadlines approach: Coronavirus Updates: NPR

Michelle Chester, director of employee medical services at Northwell Health, is preparing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital. Hospitals and nursing homes across the country are preparing for a worsening staff shortage as the state deadline for employees to be vaccinated with COVID-19 is approaching.

Eduardo Munos / AP


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Eduardo Munos / AP

Michelle Chester, director of employee medical services at Northwell Health, is preparing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital. Hospitals and nursing homes across the country are preparing for a worsening staff shortage as the state deadline for employees to be vaccinated with COVID-19 is approaching.

Eduardo Munos / AP

Hospitals and nursing homes all over the United States Exacerbation of staff shortage When the state deadline for medical personnel to be vaccinated with COVID-19 has come.

This week, the final results will come into effect in the following states: New York, CaliforniaAt Road Island and Connecticut, some employees may quit, dismiss or suspend rather than obtain the vaccine.

“I don’t know how this works, and I’m worried about how the already very serious staffing problem will get worse,” said Jan Emerson Shea, a spokesman for the California Hospital Association. , Added that the organization is “absolutely” supporting. State vaccination requirements.

Healthcare employees in New York had to take at least one dose by the end of Monday, but some hospitals have already begun to suspend or otherwise take measures against holdouts. bottom.

Erie County Medical Center Corporation in Buffalo said that about 5% of hospital employees are on unpaid leave because they are not vaccinated and 20% of their staff are in nursing homes. Northwell Health, the state’s largest healthcare provider, said employees were almost 100% vaccinated, but began excluding unvaccinated workers from the system.

“Do the right thing to those who haven’t made that decision yet,” said New York Governor Kathy Hokul.

Some New York hospitals have developed emergency response plans that include reducing non-essential services and restricting access to nursing homes. The Governor also created a plan to call for assistance from medically trained members of the National Guard, retirees, or out-of-state vaccinated workers.

Approximately 12 states require vaccinations for hospitals, long-term care facilities, or both health care workers. Although some people grant tax exemptions for medical or religious reasons, their employees often have to undergo regular COVID-19 testing.

States that set such requirements tend to already have high immunization rates. The highest rates are concentrated in the northeast and the lowest rates are concentrated in the south and midwest.

The Biden administration will also require approximately 17 million workers in federal Medicare or Medicaid medical facilities to be fully vaccinated under rules still under development.

This is worrisome to some hospital personnel, especially in rural communities where vaccination rates tend to be low.

Troy Brands, President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Hospital in McCook, Nebraska, said:

He said 25 of the hospital’s 330 employees would definitely resign if vaccination was needed. The rest of the approximately 100 unvamped employees (group including nurses and cleaning and maintenance staff) has not yet been determined.

He is also worried that it will be difficult to hire new workers if the hospital is already short.

“I’m not very confident that this will be less than a nightmare for American medicine,” he said.

Many hospitals and nursing homes are already suffering from staff shortages as many nurses and other people resign or go to lucrative jobs to move from state to state as a result of a pandemic-related burnout. ..

Whitehouse spokesman Jen Pusaki said Houston and the main hospital have recently lost a relatively small number of employees after demanding vaccination of their employees.

“This is working in many places and is effective. It creates more certainty and protection in their workforce,” said Pusaki.

In California, where healthcare workers need to be fully vaccinated until Thursday, some hospitals expect to be dismissed, suspended, or moved to other locations, according to Emerson Shea. She said many travel nurses declined to work in California because of state vaccine requirements.

However, state-wide missions prevented healthcare workers from quitting their jobs and going to other hospitals, said Dr. Jeff Smith, CEO and Executive Vice President of Hospital Operations at Cedars Sinai Medical Center based in Los Angeles. Said.

He estimates that approximately 97% of Cedars-Sinai’s approximately 17,000 employees affected by the mandatory vaccine will comply by the deadline. An additional 1% apply for a medical or religious exemption. Those who do not comply by Friday will be suspended for a week and will be fired on October 8 if they do not comply or there is no reason to take it into account, he said.

The hospital also hired more than 100 nurses last month and uses several travel nurses.

“We are in a good location, but we don’t want to minimize the challenges that other hospitals may face,” Smith said.

In Rhode Island, where vaccination obligations come into effect on Friday, the state states that hospitals keep unvaccinated employees working 30 days past the deadline in case dismissal of them jeopardizes patient safety. He said he could allow that. This order has been challenged in court because no religious exemption has been granted.

In non-obligatory states, some hospitals impose their own obligations.

Ginger Robertson, a registered nurse working at the Mental Health Clinic in a hospital in Bismarck, North Dakota, has requested a religious exemption from her hospital’s vaccination requirements. She said she would look for another job if she couldn’t get it.

“Honestly, I really like my job. I’m good at it. I enjoy my patients. I enjoy where I am,” she said. “So this is a really difficult place. You have to choose between two things you don’t want to do. I don’t want to leave and I don’t want to be vaccinated.”

She said other nurses were also considering leaving what she called an “insulting” mission.

“We feel depressed, as if we didn’t have enough intelligence to make these choices ourselves,” Robertson said.

The North Carolina-based hospital system announced on Monday that more than 175 of its more than 35,000 employees were fired for failing to comply with COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

Last week, Novant Health announced that 375 workers had been suspended and given five days to comply. Nearly 200 people, including those who submitted an approved exemption, did so before the deadline on Friday, said Megan Rivers, a spokesperson.

The Massachusetts mission, issued by Republican Governor Charlie Baker, applies only to rest areas, livelihood support facilities, hospice programs, and home care programs. It allows medical and religious exemptions, but does not require regular examinations. The deadline is October 31st.

In Connecticut, vaccination obligations for state hospital employees came into effect on Monday. It does not apply to privately run hospitals. Some of them impose their own requirements. Medical and religious exemptions are possible, but anyone who is not vaccinated will be excluded from the workplace.

According to state data, about 84% of New York’s more than 450,000 hospital workers were fully vaccinated as of Wednesday. Nursing home data up to Sunday showed that approximately 89% of nursing home workers were fully vaccinated.

The New York City hospital system reports that nurses have a high vaccination rate of 95% and doctors have a high vaccination rate.

In Missouri, which became a serious COVID-19 hotspot in the summer, the Mercy Hospital system requires staff from hundreds of medical centers and clinics in Missouri and neighboring states to be vaccinated by Thursday.

According to Mercy spokeswoman Bethany Pope, those who do not comply will be subject to a 30-day unpaid suspension.

Hospitals fear shortages as vaccine deadlines approach: Coronavirus Updates: NPR

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