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Discussion Starter #1
<p>I work in a hospital in the neonatal intensive care unit. I am a healthy 29 year old mother of two home schooled children who have never been in a child care setting and never will be. I work three twelve hour shifts a week.</p>
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<p>This week my hospital enacted a policy that says that anyone who refuses the flu must wear a face mask upon entering the building and throughout their entire shift between December 1 and March 31. If you refuse the shot based on a medically backed reason you only have to wear it while in a patient care area. If you refuse it based on personal reasons you have to wear it at all times. They are running an incentive program which will give $1000 to the 'team' who gets the most people vaccinated.</p>
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<p>I am pretty sure I am the only person in our unit who has refused the shot. I have been adamant about not taking it. My son is not vaxed at all and my daughter was vaxed to a year.</p>
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<p>We do not require any visitors to wear a mask unless they are actively coughing or they request one. We do not check the vax status of any visitors. We do limit visitors to 18 years and older.</p>
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<p>I wash my hands so many times in a twelve hour time period that I come home with dry almost cracked hands. Our visitors are supposed to wash for 3 min upon entering the unit but half the time they don't even use soap. Most of the time my babies are in isolettes so there is a layer of plastic between me and them. All of the nurses are great about calling in when sick. We do not put our babies at risk. Period.</p>
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<p>I am SO angry that they are differentiating between what they deem 'valid' reasons to not take the shot and what they seem to think are trouble makers. Why can't I wear my mask while in patient care areas? Our rooms are enclosed and our desks are outside the rooms. Is it really necessary for me to wear a mask while sitting at the desk charting?</p>
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<p>I know there is no way to get around the mask unless I get the shot. At this point I am torn between standing up for my beliefs or giving in and getting the shot. If I wear the mask I will have approximately 54 days to wear it. So much of my work is compassion and personal interaction and half of me will be blocked from my parents. It makes me mad and so sad that I am being bullied into injecting something into my body.</p>
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<p>Yes, I realize I have a choice, but it still feels like I am being bullied.</p>
 

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<p>My DD was in the NICU for a month last year.</p>
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<p>Please get the flu shot.</p>
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<p>The way visitors deal with masks and handwashing has nothing to do with your issue, but you might bring it up in a staff meeting as a concern for the health of your patients.</p>
 

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<p>What about if you have a religious reason?  Even if you really don't but just say you do, will they still make you wear the mask?  That's BS.  And yes, I also had a preemie in the NICU so I'm not unaware of the issues.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>CallMeMommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278613/should-i-just-give-up-and-get-the-flu-shot#post_16037175"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>What about if you have a religious reason?  Even if you really don't but just say you do, will they still make you wear the mask?  That's BS.  And yes, I also had a preemie in the NICU so I'm not unaware of the issues.</p>
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Having a religious reason for refusing the flu shot will not prevent her from being able to catch the flu so I would certainly assume that she would need to wear the mask. I had a baby in the NICU who was relatively healthy but I saw many babies that were much more fragile. If you decide to refuse the shot is it possible that you change departments for the flu season? I understand you have the right to refuse but those tiny babies have the right to be shielded from possibly life threatening illnesses for at least as long as they are hospitalized in intensive care.<br>
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Discussion Starter #5
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>TCMoulton</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278613/should-i-just-give-up-and-get-the-flu-shot#post_16037215"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><p><br>
Having a religious reason for refusing the flu shot will not prevent her from being able to catch the flu so I would certainly assume that she would need to wear the mask. I had a baby in the NICU who was relatively healthy but I saw many babies that were much more fragile. If you decide to refuse the shot is it possible that you change departments for the flu season? I understand you have the right to refuse but those tiny babies have the right to be shielded from possibly life threatening illnesses for at least as long as they are hospitalized in intensive care.<br>
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<br><br><p>Yes, that is Assuming the flu shot works....which is greatly debated by many people. I have never had the flu and if I did do you think I would go to work? When we take a job in the NICU we understand the fragile lives we handle and we do our best to protect them. We have never had a baby get the flu in our unit and we have never had the mandated flu shot.</p>
 

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<p>Would the flu shot prevent the transmission of the flu? Is it transmitted via secretions or can it be transmitted by touch? If it cannot be transmitted by touch, then I could see just wearing a mask. Couldn't you get a strain of the flu for which you aren't vaccinated? I think it is reasonable to wear the mask. I'd at least give it a try and if you hate it so much, then later on get the shot.</p>
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<p>I can understand wanting to protect the little babies assuming the shot actually works and that they actually have the appropriate strains that are going around this year. I don't know what I would do in that circumstance. However, if you are completely against the vaccine, then wearing a mask is reasonable and taking every precaution to prevent transmission of any disease to the babies, which you are already doing anyway seems appropriate.</p>
 

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<p>Hmm, well, what if you get the flu vax and then get the flu? How is that going to help anyone? That seems pretty wrong to distinguish who has had the vaccine and who has not. What if some one is walking around w/ the flu, who had the vaccine? Just because they got the vaccine, they don't have to wear a mask? What about people walking around with the start of some other virus and not know it.</p>
<p> I would present the situation to some superior, for some point or other. Ask that everyone have to wear a mask, because they can still spread the flu, or some other illness. I'm surprised you even have an option. My bil works in the nicu and has to have every vax they say.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #8
<p>One of my big concerns with this shot is the H1N1 incorporated into it this year. I vowed to never get that and I am not a guinea pig either.</p>
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<p>Also, a co-worker said "I would rather get the shot than get the flu." It's not an either or type thing. The flu shot does not gurantee anything. A different co-worker and I have never gotten the shot or the flu...I am sure there are hundreds or thousands out there with the same history.</p>
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<p>If I am told to get the shot or get another job, then I guess I have to decide if my beliefs are more important than my paycheck...so of course I would have 'no choice' but to get the crap injected into me. I just don't see how it can be acceptable to bully people into injecting chemicals into his/her body.</p>
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<p>I have no problem wearing the mask but I don't think I should be punished for it being a personal choice. I will absolutely wear it while in a patient care area because this was what I chose to do.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #9
<p><br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>bbrandonsmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278613/should-i-just-give-up-and-get-the-flu-shot#post_16037317"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Hmm, well, what if you get the flu vax and then get the flu? How is that going to help anyone? That seems pretty wrong to distinguish who has had the vaccine and who has not. What if some one is walking around w/ the flu, who had the vaccine? Just because they got the vaccine, they don't have to wear a mask? What about people walking around with the start of some other virus and not know it.</p>
<p> I would present the situation to some superior, for some point or other. Ask that everyone have to wear a mask, because they can still spread the flu, or some other illness. I'm surprised you even have an option. My bil works in the nicu and has to have every vax they say.</p>
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<br><br><p>All very valid points that I have brought up around the unit. Unfortunately, I am the most 'crunchy' person in the unit so I am the only one scratching my head over this one.</p>
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<p>Then, on top of the vax getting me sick, there is a possibility that I could be pregnant. I am in the two week wait right now. If I am, will they still require me to get it? Will I be allowed to fall under the medical reason and only wear the mask in certain areas? I think not because the vax is recommended for pregnant women...thimerisol and all. So my babies life is less important than those that I work with?</p>
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<p>I know I am very fortunate that they are giving a choice right now. Like I said, if I am literally forced into it with the threat of my job I will just bend over and take it (so to speak LOL!). If I want to work in any baby or child related setting I am going to be faced with this decision over and over again.</p>
 

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<p>I also worked in a hospital setting. During a flu outbreak, people like myself (no flu shot) could NOT report to work. I was off work for 5 weeks one year. I did not get the flu that year, but all of my co workers (that worked with fragile/palliative patients) ALL got the flu and the flu shot.</p>
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<p>So.....unfortunately people think the flu shot protects against the flu. It doesn't, mostly I believe it adds chemicals to your body.</p>
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<p>I wouldn't get the shot, wash very often, make sure to protect your hands so germs don't get into the cracked, dry skin, don't wear scrubs outside the hospital (change at work), shower everyday, stay healthy and if you have any symptoms do not report to work.</p>
 

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<p>I also work in a hospital, and we have this EXACT same policy.. I too think it is absolutely RIDICULOUS. I just gave in and got the shot, although I really didn't want to.. but having to wear a mask 24/7 while in the hospital is just ABSURD! They just want to make it where you pretty much have no choice but to get it. ugh, <img alt="" src="http://files.mothering.com/hopmad.gif" style="width:31px;height:20px;" title=""></p>
 

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Discussion Starter #12
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mzpuff</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278613/should-i-just-give-up-and-get-the-flu-shot#post_16037625"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I also work in a hospital, and we have this EXACT same policy.. I too think it is absolutely RIDICULOUS. I just gave in and got the shot, although I really didn't want to.. but having to wear a mask 24/7 while in the hospital is just ABSURD! They just want to make it where you pretty much have no choice but to get it. ugh, <img alt="" src="http://files.mothering.com/hopmad.gif" style="width:31px;height:20px;" title=""></p>
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<p><br>
See, part of me is thinking I should just go ahead and do it so I won't have to play their stupid games. Then part of me is wanting to take a stand and refuse based on principle alone.</p>
 

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<p><a href="http://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm123694.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm123694.pdf</a></p>
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<p> Do you know which vaccine they want you to get? I searched for the new all in one vaccine for this year and found this. Read number 8. No study on pregnant women to evaluate fetal safety. I think that is on all the flu vaccines. At least I remember reading the same thing in last years H1N1 insert.</p>
 

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<p>I wouldn't do it, and I think its crazy that they are trying to punish people who don't have a medical reason for not getting the shot. Another thing that comes to mind is: ok, so someone gets the shot, gets the flu, doesn't think its the flu, since they got the shot, or maybe, doesn't even have any symptoms of flu, but is still carrying the flu(so they go to work(not even thinking they're sick, because they have no symptoms) and get the baby sick(since they don't have to wear a mask, because they're immune to flu, and despite the 60-70% chance that the vaccine doesn't provide protection against The Flu, they think THEY can't get it. End result? a preemie with the flu <img alt="greensad.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com//images/smilies/greensad.gif"></p>
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<p>I would probably challenge them, see if theres any recourse I could take for this type of religious discrimination <img alt="wink1.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com//images/smilies/wink1.gif"> BUT, it may also mean your job was on the line, which in my case, it probably wouldn't be a big deal, because if I were working, my income would most likely just be for savings, at this point in time, we live comfortably on only DH's income. But, then again, I might not have the energy to challenge them formally, and I would choose to only wear the mask in patient areas(if at all)--unless a supervisor pointed it out to me that I have to wear it, but overall, wearing the mask might not be such a big deal to me anyways, I cover my face in real life already.</p>
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<p>Vaccines are becoming a huge issue for me now, because I am planning on applying for nursing school. while I have most of the school's required vax'es, from childhood, I have a feeling that hospitals are going to have stricter standards(i.e. flu vax) and, while it kinda freaks me out, I have no problem fudging things a little bit(which includes opting myself out of the state vax registry, and fibbing a little about my vax status to employers(I might just get my flu vax from elsewhere(i.e. the vitamin aisle, etc. rather than from the pharmacy))</p>
 

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<p>I am immunocompromised and I have been in the hospital quite a few times in my life. I would never ask anyone to put something in their body for my benefit. I am happy as long as you follow hygienic protocols. Thats just me though. Hospitals are no place for sick people as it is. There is no amount off flu vaccines that will make a hospital less germy.</p>
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<p>Honestly I would rather have somebody that skipped the flu shot who followed every good hygiene rule to a tee, than somebody who got the shot and assumed they could not give me the flu.</p>
 

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<p>Flu vaccine reactions can last more than 54 days, and can cause much more discomfort than a mask.</p>
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<p>I wonder if anyone will legally challenge the hospital regarding the different mask requirements based on reason for refusing the shot.  Clearly the requirement to wear a mask while at your desk it is meant to be a punishment if it does not apply to those with medical exemptions.</p>
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<p>And if the hospital allows employees to get the FluMist, which says right in the package insert makes you contagious for over 21 days, the flu vaccine requirement obviously has nothing to do with patient safety. </p>
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<p>What about saying you have an allergy to one of the flu vaccine ingredients? Here are the package inserts, which list the ingredients in the "Description" section. <a href="http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm094045.htm" target="_blank">http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm094045.htm</a></p>
 

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Discussion Starter #17
<p>Thank you all for your replies. I really appreciate being able to talk to others about this.</p>
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<p>As for getting it somewhere else or claiming an allergy....I have to turn in 'proof' from a doctor stating either of those things. Plus, what happens if they ever find out I lied? I would rather just wear my mask for 54 days (and I am pretty sure my management will allow me to only wear it in patient care areas) than risk my job.</p>
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<p>It would be so much easier to just take the shot and get it over with but it would make me feel like I gave in to their demands and bullying tactics. I KNOW I am a safe and competent nurse who protects my patients at all times. I would never put a baby in harms way. If I am sick I am home. I wash my hands and use the alcohol gel all the time. I use moisturizer at breaks to keep from getting an open crack leading to infection for me or the babies. I feel confident in my ability to keep my patients safe while also following my beliefs.</p>
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<p>I guess it is time to suck it up and grab a box of masks. On the bright side, I get to stop before my birthday! Haha!</p>
 

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<p>You said in your first post you feel as if you are being bullied, I think you actually are being bullied.  Certain perks are given to those who are compliant.  Those who are not must wear something so everyone can see/know they were not compliant.  The message is clearly there and obvious. </p>
<p>And you have your own kids to think about should you accept the virus.  </p>
<p>And in many cases the flu shot can give someone the flu.  And if you accept the flu shot just know this same thing will come up next year and the year after that.  </p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Amatullah0</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278613/should-i-just-give-up-and-get-the-flu-shot#post_16038046"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I wouldn't do it, and I think its crazy that they are trying to punish people who don't have a medical reason for not getting the shot.</p>
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<p>How exactly is making someone wear a mask punishing them</p>
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Discussion Starter #20
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>TCMoulton</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278613/should-i-just-give-up-and-get-the-flu-shot#post_16038293"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><br><br>
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<br><br><p>I think what she means is that if I were ... say egg allergic .... then I would only have to wear the mask when I am in a patient care area. Since I would be choosing to not take the vax due to personal reasons I have to wear it the entire 12 hour shift no matter where I am in the hospital. Well, except for my 30 min break to eat.</p>
 
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