Why I Am Leaving My Nursing Job
Vaccine Mandate — “Why I Am Leaving My Nursing Job”
Originally appeared on TheChattanoogan.com:
CHI Memorial, Dignity Health, and All Administrators in Chattanooga, TN and throughout our companies, the following letter is my heart felt forced termination for not complying to allow, against my own will, the injection of an illegally mandated vaccine under Emergency Use Authorization.
First, I would like to express I have enjoyed working in my unit for the last three years. We have a culture of helping and supporting each other through the best and worst of times. I worked through the 2020 COVID pandemic when we did not have proper PPE. Our facility’s PPE policies were changed several times to omit use of PPE used with infectious diseases we once would take protection from when encountering. Our loop masks that we wore for the entire 12-hour shift came in a box for months that stated on the side “not for medical use.” In the beginning of the pandemic, we were not afforded N95 masks unless we worked in the COVID units then we were able to have 1 N95 mask, we were handed a brown paper lunch bag with a sheet of paper to log each shift we wore it for. After 7 shifts of wearing the same N95 mask we could turn it in for a new one while the used one was sent for sterilization. Loop masks and N 95 masks are only made for a one-time use, but we knew PPE was limited and took what we could get.
Each day I worked I had no idea what I would be walking into or what disease I might take home to my own family and children, BUT I showed up and worked tirelessly with my work family. Even through months of mandatory pandemic overtime I WORKED without proper PPE and without compensated payment for exposure. I was able to work in the COVID ICU to see which PPE they used and the process of donning, doffing, Code Blue in COVID rooms, and the dependency they had on each other because otherwise we could not make it.
There were signs made that sat in front of our hospital that spelled out “Heroes work here.” Administrators met us at the door coming and going from our shift cheering for us. We had catered food delivered. I remember one morning in particular administrators met us at the door to give us small bags of candy just before Christmas 2020, then we were delivered a $15 gift card through the mail at home but paid our own taxes on our paychecks. Honestly why did you not keep your candy, cheering, and signs and just pay the small taxes for each gift card? I did not feel like a hero at all, I felt expendable just as I do now. Administrators would not come to our units, JACHO would not come into hospitals, and even patients were terrified to show up at the hospital to receive needed care. Many nurses, respiratory therapists, cleaning staff, and others left us in 2020 either to leave the bedside all together or to travel, but I was there, and I worked.
Secondly, the mandated vaccine. I am educated with an Associates Degree in Nursing and will complete my Bachelor of Science in Nursing next month. I have bedside experience not only with infectious COVID positive patients, but also post COVID patients or what some have coined the phrase as COVID long haulers. If anyone is educated and informed enough to make a conscious decision of medical treatment, vaccination, or health plan I am 100% qualified to make that decision for myself and my children. I am a patient and staff advocate. We at the bedside educate each patient, as it is their right, of their care plan and medications. Our patients have a RIGHT to refuse any treatment or medication for whatever reason they choose, and I will stand beside them on their educated decision. If a patient chose to refuse lifesaving treatment and would rather go home to pass peacefully then I support their decision, this is what we do! I do not force treatment on patients against their will because this is against the law, unethical, and immoral. I must also advocate for myself too because no one else obviously will.
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