Nursing

News spotlight: Texas hospital fires nurse for refusing to get H1N1 shot, wear mask

Nurse Leader Insider, January 11, 2010

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When the first doses of the H1N1 vaccine became available to those at high risk of contracting and transferring the disease, many hospitals made it mandatory for healthcare workers to receive the vaccine. Some hospitals warned staff members who did not receive the vaccine that they would have to wear a N95 mask, or they could potentially lose their jobs.

Laurie Haw is a nurse who refused to be vaccinated for the seasonal flu, H1N1, and to wear a mask, so her employer, Seton Medical Center in Austin, TX, fired her.

Seton required employees to receive the seasonal flu shot by October 1 and the H1N1 flu by January 15. After being suspended for not complying with Seton's requirements, Haw was given another chance to be vaccinated or wear the N95 mask. Haw refused, saying that as she worked on the surgical care unit, the last thing patients want to see when coming out of anesthesia is someone wearing a mask. Haw told the Austin American-Statesman that she does not believe getting a vaccine would build up her immune system and that more exposure to the illness is the best way.

When Haw did not comply with Seton’s requests, she was fired in December.

Source: Statesman.com (TX)



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