Rural Hospitals Worry They Will Lose Staff Because Of Biden’s New Vaccine Mandate

Enlarge this image

A health care worker administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a resident at the Jordan Valley Community Health Center in Springfield, Mo., in this June 29 file photo.

Liz Sanders/Bloomberg via Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Liz Sanders/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Enlarge this image

Signs illustrating the proper way to cough and wash your hands are displayed outside a business in Clifton, Texas, in 2020.

Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images


Health
A N.Y. Hospital Will Stop Delivering Babies As Workers Quit Over A Vaccine Mandate


The Coronavirus Crisis
Nurses Are In Short Supply. Employers Worry Vaccine Mandate Could Make It Worse

Brooks-LaSure said she knows some hospitals and nursing homes are worried the vaccine mandate will cause staffing shortages, especially in rural areas. But she said health care workers who aren’t vaccinated and become sick or have to quarantine also cause staffing shortages.

The government is also concerned about safety. «It’s very clear from the data that staff who remain unvaccinated are affecting both the patients who are coming in to the facilities as well as their colleagues,» Brooks-LaSure said.

Brooks-LaSure said staffing issues may not end up being as severe as some fear. She pointed to the experience in Maine, where Gov. Janet Mills put a state mandate in place for health care workers.

«Even though there was a lot of noise around what these mandates mean, the actual number of health care workers who quit was very limited,» Brooks-LaSure said.

#RIGHTNOW: More than 100 people are gathered on Portland’s Western Prom near Maine Medical Center to protest the Mills administration’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. @newscentermaine pic.twitter.com/Tlgi7QUVgX

— Hannah Dineen (@hannah_dineen) September 8, 2021

Mandates mean more vaccinations. But also, hate mail

In New Hampshire’s rural Coös County, Tom Mee has been working through the issues of putting a mandate in place. He’s the CEO of North Country Healthcare, which decided to require vaccines for people who work at its three hospitals after the Food and Drug Administration gave its full approval to the Pfizer vaccine.

Staff have 60 days to get the shot. «Our D-Day is Oct. 23, and one way or another, our workforce will be 100% compliant with the vaccine,» Mee said.


The Coronavirus Crisis
Why Lagging COVID Vaccine Rate At Rural Hospitals ‘Needs To Be Fixed Now’


Politics
Biden Lays Out Plan To Mandate Vaccines Or Testing For Millions Of Workers

Mee said the decision was the right thing to do to protect the health of patients and employees. But it has been difficult to implement. He has received hate mail. But the mandate is working: A month ago, 78% of staff were vaccinated, but now it’s up to 90%.

But he said it’s inevitable that the mandate will mean a handful of employees quit or are forced to leave, gaps he expects to be able to fill by shifting staff around.

«It’s a scene that you’re going to see repeated throughout the United States,» said Mee. «I’ve been in health care for 34 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this before.»

Enlarge this image

In this April 26 file photo, Connecticut National Guard medic Todd Smith administers a COVID-19 shot at a mass vaccination site in East Hartford, Conn.

Jessica Hill/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Jessica Hill/AP

Enlarge this image

In this April 5 file photo, Leanne Montenegro, 21, covers her eyes as she receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a FEMA vaccination center in Miami.

Lynne Sladky/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Lynne Sladky/AP

In this April 5 file photo, Leanne Montenegro, 21, covers her eyes as she receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a FEMA vaccination center in Miami.

Lynne Sladky/AP

  • vaccine mandate
  • COVID
  • rural health care

Комментарии 0