Nurse not vaccinated against flu refuses to wear surgical mask

31

After 11 years at Springfield’s Cox South hospital, it was hard for Carla Brock to walk in on Monday, knowing that she was about to be fired.


“I love my job, and I loved the people I worked with,” said the preadmissions nurse.

Just as expected, Brock was let go when she told her superiors that she would not put on a surgical mask. It’s the kind the hospital requires for employees — like Brock — who are not vaccinated against the flu.

A board-certified holistic nurse, Brock said, “I have spiritual and religious reasons to not have those toxins in my body.”

Brock is speaking out because she believes the hospital’s new requirement to wear the mask amounts to a scarlet letter; CoxHealth says it is simply putting the patient first.

Mandated flu shots are already part of a national debate that pits employee rights against what some say is patient safety. Most recently, in December, an Indiana hospital fired eight employees who refused to get flu shots, according to ABC News.

Brock’s situation adds another layer to the debate. This is the first year that CoxHealth employees are required to either get the vaccination or to produce paperwork showing an exemption, according to Stacy Fender, media relations coordinator for CoxHealth. In the past, flu shots were only strongly recommended.

In early September, Brock sought and was granted a religious exemption, although she admits she’s more “spiritual” than “religious.”

Written By: Thomas Gounley
continue to source article at news-leader.com

31 COMMENTS

  1. She’s got a valid point.

    Wearing a mask would make much less difference to patient risk than ensuring physicians actually washed their hands – something shown to be a huge problem in many hospitals. Cox might be some kind of rare exception but stupid stuff like that tends to happen at most hospitals. E.g People attending work when they’re sick, because they’ve used up all their sick leave and can’t afford time off without pay.

    So the hospital admin might not be able to argue that wearing a mask is anything more than a punitive requirement, when there’s other practical steps they could improve on. E.g. providing that correct medication, serving actual food to patients, hiring cleaners that actually clean stuff etc.

    A fairer and more effective approach to compel vaccination compliance might be public flogging or a dunking in the village pond. But to ensure it’s fair and reasonable then the non-hand washing physicians would also have to incur similar punishments. Plus the cooks and cleaners and the admin that hired them all.

    And isn’t certifying religious people for medical practise, who believe that gods are directly responsible for health and disease, a little incongruous in 21st century medicine? Even the fire service are attempting to excorcise arsonists in their ranks. Same thing should apply to exorcising witches from medicine.

  2. If they just sacked her for not getting vaccinated that would have solved the problem. Do you seriously want someone who thinks there are toxins in vaccines treating patients. She’ll be bringing her leeches in next.

    Michael

  3. Even assuming her reasons for not having a vaccination made sense, what possible “spiritual or religious” reason could there be for not wearing a surgical mask?

    I hope she does get flu, then perhaps she will realise (although I suspect she won’t) that “spiritual or religious” reasons don’t override “logical and rational precautions”

  4. “A board-certified holistic nurse…”

    A what now?

    If she genuinely believes that vaccinations are dangerous, how can she in good conscience work for a medical establishment that, presumably, inflicts them on innocent patients? Is she not, in her own eyes, complicit in the practice?

  5. In reply to #4 by Pete H:

    She’s got a valid point.

    Really???????

    Wearing a mask would make much less difference to patient risk than ensuring physicians actually washed their hands – something shown to be a huge problem in many hospitals. Cox might be some kind of rare exception but stupid stuff like that tends to happen at most hospitals. E.g People attending work when they’re sick, because they’ve used up all their sick leave and can’t afford time off without pay.

    So the hospital admin might not be able to argue that wearing a mask is anything more than a punitive requirement, when there’s other practical steps they could improve on. E.g. providing that correct medication, serving actual food to patients, hiring cleaners that actually clean stuff etc.

    These other issues really have no relevance to the vaccination issue or HER risk of passing on infections. Management tightening up on these other issues, would be just as correct as reducing transmitted infections by vaccination, but are not a reason for permitting the ignoring of the vaccinations. or masks.

    A fairer and more effective approach to compel vaccination compliance might be public flogging or a dunking in the village pond. But to ensure it’s fair and reasonable then the non-hand washing physicians would also have to incur similar punishments. Plus the cooks and cleaners and the admin that hired them all.

    This looks comical!!!! You have to be joking!! … I’m not sure why you would include this in a serious discussion.

    And isn’t certifying religious people for medical practise, who believe that gods are directly responsible for health and disease, a little incongruous in 21st century medicine? Even the fire service are attempting to excorcise arsonists in their ranks. Same thing should apply to exorcising witches from medicine.

    There is a valid question, as why an anti-vaccer is being employed in a hospital, where infection control matters. I’m sure some medical negligence lawyer could explain it!

  6. The reason for firing her should not be that she refuses to be vaccinated, but the fact that she is incompetent. If a nurse doesn’t understand what vaccines contain, how they work, and what their importance is, then she is not qualified to work as a healthcare professional.

  7. AS usual it’s all about RIGHTS, at the expense of RESPONSIBILITIES.

    Of course, the patients’ rights not be infected are secondary to her right to believe in bullshit

    Another case of girly belief in woo?

  8. In reply to #6 by mmurray:

    mmurray @ 6

    “She’ll be bringing her leeches in next.”

    Leeches still are used – in eye surgery.

    There are two common species in the UK, the ‘Three Star’ and the ‘Five Star’ leech ; National Health Service and Private.

  9. In reply to #13 by Geoff 21:

    In reply to #6 by mmurray:

    mmurray @ 6

    “She’ll be bringing her leeches in next.”

    Leeches still are used – in eye surgery.

    There are two common species in the UK, the ‘Three Star’ and the ‘Five Star’ leech ; National Health Service and Private.

    Ah yes I should have remembered that and picked another example. Also maggots are used for some wounds. Best to stay out of hospitals.

    Thanks –

    Michael

  10. Am I the only person astonished at the large number of health workers who clearly don’t understand how viruses spread, the dangers that viral infections pose to patients and how vaccinations work (i.e to be truly, fully, effective, blanket vaccination is essential)?

    Are these people simply employed straight from the street with no training? Where is the famous empathy and commitment that health workers supposedly embody? How can they not know that influenza is a potentially deadly virus and that can lead to other, similarly deadly, complications?

    I also have zero sympathy for the hospital administrators. They make loopholes in their vaccination policies – then have to try and close them by using coercion. Little wonder they’re getting tied in knots.

    Why, I am forced to ponder out loud, are health workers who will not, or cannot, be vaccinated simply sacked?

    Paraplegics are not employed as road builders. Diagnosed schizophrenics are not employed as marriage guidance councillors. Convicted arsonists are not employed as summer foresters. Kindergartens do not queue up to employ pederasts simply because they’re experienced ‘holistic’ child minders. The Army does not send its recruiters to peace rallies. Health workers who cannot, or will not, be vaccinated should be disqualified from working in healthcare environments in any capacity that is likely to bring them into contact with patients – QED.

    Peace.

  11. In reply to #6 by mmurray:

    If they just sacked her for not getting vaccinated that would have solved the problem. Do you seriously want someone who thinks there are toxins in vaccines treating patients. She’ll be bringing her leeches in next.

    Michael

    If she has a religious or spiritual thing against toxins she should wear a mask all the time as the air is full of pollution. Driving her car down the street with the window open exposes her to all kinds of toxins. She can’t really escape them; a mask in everyday life, a la Japan, might reduce this intake of religious and spiritual offending substance, a wee bit.

  12. In reply to #9 by paulmcuk:

    “A board-certified holistic nurse…”

    A what now?

    If she genuinely believes that vaccinations are dangerous, how can she in good conscience work for a medical establishment that, presumably, inflicts them on innocent patients? Is she not, in her own eyes, complicit in the practice?

    Good point. What is a holistic Nurse; an ignorant nurse, an arrogant nurse or a fraudulent nurse? Perhaps she is all three?

  13. She’s a bad ass! I bet she smokes Camel straights in the operating room!

    If you want to work in porn, you have to get STD screenings. I don’t see how there is any sympathy for her argument. She doesn’t have to work in that industry.

    As a side business, she teaches holistic health classes, including one called “The Danger of Vaccines.”

    Oh, see. There ya go. She works in an entirely different industry.

  14. Obvious solution: Skip the idea of the mask and fire her. Then hire someone who understands science, biology and medicine enough to work in the field.

    This is what you get when you allow nonsense to mingle with reason as many hospitals do, e.g. board certified holistic nurses (Christ on a cracker it makes me ill that such a phrase even exists). Let her ply her foolishness in a foolishness based huckster shop. Then everyone will be happy. Everyone else at least. :)

  15. In reply to #15 by Stephen of Wimbledon:

    Am I the only person astonished at the large number of health workers who clearly don’t understand how viruses spread, the dangers that viral infections pose to patients and how vaccinations work (i.e to be truly, fully, effective, blanket vaccination is essential)?

    Are these people simply employed straight from the street with no training? Where is the famous empathy and commitment that health workers supposedly embody? How can they not know that influenza is a potentially deadly virus and that can lead to other, similarly deadly, complications?

    I also have zero sympathy for the hospital administrators. They make loopholes in their vaccination policies – then have to try and close them by using coercion. Little wonder they’re getting tied in knots.

    Why, I am forced to ponder out loud, are health workers who will not, or cannot, be vaccinated simply sacked?

    Paraplegics are not employed as road builders. Diagnosed schizophrenics are not employed as marriage guidance councillors. Convicted arsonists are not employed as summer foresters. Kindergartens do not queue up to employ pederasts simply because they’re experienced ‘holistic’ child minders. The Army does not send its recruiters to peace rallies. Health workers who cannot, or will not, be vaccinated should be disqualified from working in healthcare environments in any capacity that is likely to bring them into contact with patients – QED.

    Peace.

    I agree completely. The answer to why they don’t just fire these fools for incompetence is because they mix nonsense with sense.

    They have to hire an idiot for the position of idiotic medicine because the insurance company will cover idiotic medicine and the hospital needs the money. Then you come to a dilemma when, surprise of surprises, the idiot does something idiotic.

    The sad thing is because the tendrils of the creepy wide-eyed holistic hoard are entangled in the business of health care the hospital will now hire another idiot to fill the funds driven position of hospital idiot. Or, I may just be a pessimist.

  16. Well, vaccines are cheap. Pharmaceutical companies that produce medicine to cure flue sure don’t want people to be vaccinated.

    Maybe she works for them…

    People might be more rational than we think. Whenever irrationality shows up with constance, follow the money flow. Money follows bullshit like water follows sodium in hypotonic solutions.

  17. A lifetime of living with a disability and working in the field have taught me run like all get when a do gooder with an agenda comes your way.

    Isn’t the medical industry about the patient, not about staff? I should know better than ask that. But as a patient going to a hospital or medical facility that says it works on best science of the time it is fair to let her go. If she were honest she would work at a holistic facility instead of playing out a professional dishonesty. I would rather have the honesty of forced prayer than this hidden agenda stuff which means their dogma is more important than the patients. Yes fire the nurse.

  18. 9 o’clock Monday morning; Hi nurse,please put this mask on as you have not been vaccinated and could either catch or spread an infection.Nurse;no it is against my spiritual beliefs.Ok fuck off out of this hospital and don’t come back until you are ready to obey the rules.Easy!!

  19. What is a “holistic nurse”? I have a sneaking suspicion that the patients of this hospital won’t miss out on anything after this dismissal.

    Although I find the reason for rejecting the vaccination stupid, I am also very skeptical about the mandatory flu vaccinations. How effective are they really? I suspect they are a waste of time. The virtues of Tamiflu have certainly been grossly exaggerated by the company that produces it.

  20. I agree that her understanding of immunisation should call into question her competence in a health science role but I find myself in the strange position of having some sympathy for her position – medical intervention for a non-current condition is, as far I know, not mandatory. I suppose one exception I can think of in the UK is Hepatitis B immunisation for surgeons but if one is unable to tolerate or respond to the injections, they’ll let you work as long as you can prove you don’t have the infection currently and realise you are at risk of exposure (and subsequent loss of work if you become infected).

    If Ms. Brock is a pre-admission nurse, she is almost certainly sees currently-well patients who are coming for elective treatment. Unless the patient is acutely infected with e.g. ‘flu or she is (in which case she shouldn’t be at work) I do wonder what the hospital’s evidence base is that a simple surgical mask would be effective (especially as nobody keeps it on the whole time). On the other hand, given her objections generally, I suspect she has no up-to-date immunisations at all, which is worse.

    I agree with Stephen of Wimbledon, they’ve given her an out (in ‘religion’) that should not exist. Mandatory immunisation is not the answer to low uptake amongst staff – they should be having it anyway based on the acceptance of sound evidence. By making her wear a mask (which I do feel would be marking her out and possibly worrying to patients) they are giving her ammo to complain with. Why not remove her from her current role and redeploy her? Then they might address her educational needs…

  21. “This is the first year that CoxHealth employees are required to either get the vaccination or to produce paperwork showing an exemption,,,”

    Since when do viruses care about paperwork? They can’t read English.

    In 11 years, I wonder how many people passing through her hands have died from some mysterious infection.

  22. In reply to #24 by jokitch:

    In reply to #12 Nodhimmi
    What do you mean by “Another case of girly belief in woo”
    Do you really think gender has anything to do with stupidity?

    Is belief in woo the same as stupidity?
    If a particular gender was found to have more of a propensity to be supernaturalists (if a proper study was done), would you be okay with the results regardless of which gender it was?

    I agree that Nodhimmi’s comment was offensively stated, but your reply muddied the water.

Leave a Reply