Hospital Worker Shortages Begin. Will There Be Anyone Left to Care for the Sick?

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Hundreds of employees across the country are standing firm in their decision not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 despite the threat of losing their jobs. Scores have simply quit while many others have already been fired.

A health system in North Carolina has fired 175 people who were not vaccinated. Last week, the Winston-Salem-based health system Novant Health had announced 375 employees had been suspended and given five days to comply with the mandate. On Monday, they fired 175 of them.

The Delaware News Journal reports ChristianaCare has fired 150 employees who could not agree to its COVID vaccine mandate. Nurses in Delaware, President Biden's home state, told the paper beforehand they already "felt they were in crisis due to understaffing."

Dozens of State Troopers Resign in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, dozens of state troopers have resigned after they were told to get the shot by October 17 or face termination from their jobs.

"Many of these troopers are going to be returning to their previous municipal police departments within the state that allow for regular testing and masks," said Michael Cherven, president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts.

Cherven explained that the State Police were already struggling with staffing shortages and the mandate is making the situation even worse.

"The State Police are already critically short-staffed and acknowledge this by the unprecedented moves to take officers from specialty units that investigate homicides, terrorism, computer crimes, arsons, and human trafficking, to name just a few," Cherven said.

In New York, public school teachers and staff are required to get vaccinated by 5:00 pm Friday, but many are protesting that mandate.

Some hospitals and nursing homes in New York have started removing workers because they haven't met the state's Monday deadline to get immunized.

Is There a Better Way?

Melody Butler, a nurse and the executive director of the nonprofit Nurses Who Vaccinate, says some healthcare workers don't want to get vaccinated because the research was fast-tracked or they have natural immunity from already overcoming a COVID infection. Others are concerned about how the vaccine will affect fertility.

Butler believes that showing sensitivity toward employees and their concerns, rather than forcing them to comply or face the consequences, will lead to a better outcome.

"Speak to individuals in a compassionate and kind manner," she explained. "Knowing that the person talking to you wants you to get vaccinated not because it's the law, but because they care."

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