Nurses refusing to give a vaccination.
It’s hard to wrap one’s mind around such a concept.
But it’s actually happening in Kansas.
As first reported Jan. 13 by WIBW-TV in Topeka, Kan., the nurses of the Coffey County Health Department declined to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
“My staff is not comfortable with that,” Health Department Administrator Lindsay Payer told the Coffey County Board of Commissioners at a meeting earlier this month.
“It’s a new technology. We’ve never seen it before. It was only studied in 45 people before it was approved,” Payer falsely said of the COVID-19 vaccines.
The actual number of participants in the clinical trials of the two vaccines was more than 73,000, The Daily Beast reported Jan. 17.
Katie Boston-Leary, the American Nursing Association’s director of nursing practice and work environments, suggested that the situation dramatizes the need for nurses to be better educated about health-care issues so they can, in turn, educate patients. She said nurses in Coffey County and everywhere else need to have the facts. And providing the facts is accompanied by a particular challenge these days.
“Busting myths that are so prevalent in the atmosphere, which is something we’ve never seen before,” Austin-Boston said.
Last month, the ANA joined the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association in issuing a joint open letter to “all health-care professionals” emphasizing the importance of high rates of vaccination “if we hope to overcome this virus,” the Daily Beast reported.
“As frontline caregivers, our essential role in protecting the health and well being of our communities goes beyond the care we provide,” the letter says. “As a valued and trusted voice, our example is perhaps the strongest health resource we have.”
Perhaps the nurses of the Coffey County Health Department should find another line of work.
Or perhaps they could speak to Casey Pickering, nurse manager of a 23-bed ICU at the University of Kansas Health System. She was one of the first to get the shot there, and said she did so thinking of the many patients her unit lost who might have been saved.
“I got it for all the people whose lives have been cut tragically short,” Pickering told The Daily Beast. “So many people have died before they were given the opportunity to get it.”
Regarding the month of December, Pickering said: “The most body bags I’ve ever gone through in a month.”
In Coffey County, outside nurses are being contracted so that no one there has to die because of some nurses’ harebrained notions.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have proven more than 93 percent effective.
In addition to the deaths and hospitalizations, the pandemic has harmed the American economy, putting people out of work, hurting small businesses and reducing man-hours worked.
If, as a nurse, if you aren’t willing to help end the COVID-19 pandemic by doing the very thing, through your training, that could help stop its spread, then get out of the way of the people that are willing. Perhaps then take a moment to reflect upon why you got into nursing in the first place.
“As frontline caregivers, our essential role in protecting the health and well being of our communities goes beyond the care we provide. As a valued and trusted voice, our example is perhaps the strongest health resource we have.”
Joint letter issued by the American Nurses Association, American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association