Influenza and Healthcare: Get Vaccinated or Wear a Mask

Many hospitals have mandated that all healthcare workers receive their Influenza vaccines. As a rehab professional, it is your duty to do no harm.  By avoiding the vaccine, you risk infecting your patients as they come to you for treatment. As a result, many healthcare organizations have posed either getting your vaccine or wearing a mask, all season.Healthcare Worker Flu Shot MandateEvery year in the United States, an average of 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu€”including approximately 4 million children; they also estimate that anywhere from 3000 to 49,000 people die of flu and flu-related illnesses each year. The CDC estimates that $1.7 billion is spent on medical costs for children with the flu and an additional $2.1 billion is spent in indirect costs like missed work to care for sick children.It’s conceivable that if you work for a hospital your director may have received an email like this, All employees MUST sign a Flu Consent or Flu Declination Form by Oct. 31.

Those persons who decline, MUST wear a yellow surgical mask whenever they are present in a patient-care area.The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. In addition, they now recommend six feet as the new safe distance from a patient.

Common Excuses to NOT get a Vaccine:

  • Oh, the Flu isn’t so bad.
  • I’m healthy. I don’t need the flu vaccine.
  • The Flu vaccine makes me sick.
  • Wait, I got the flu vaccine and got sick.
  • It’s too late for me to get protection.
  • I don’t trust the vaccine is safe.

Many Healthcare Professionals have enough excuses to write a book, however there are far too many misconceptions regarding vaccines. Flu vaccine’s have been made the same way over 50 years. Vaccines have a great safety track record, in which more than 100 million have been given, with limited adverse reactions. Additionally, there is oversight as all Influenza vaccines are closely monitored by the Centers for Disease Control & Food and Drug Administration.

It stands to reason that there will always be opposition to most things in life. Some rehab professionals will have valid reasons to decline their vaccine, which is okay, however the result will be wearing a yellow mask, when in any patient care area, the entire influenza season.

Here at Centra Healthcare Solutions, we have many rehab therapy positions just waiting for a skilled professional to fill them. Whether you’re looking for the excitement of a travel therapy job, the flexibility of temporary positions or if you desire a regular, full-time position,contact us today.

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