First in a series. Must Read Alaska is hearing from medical professionals who are losing their jobs at Alaska hospitals and clinics because of their refusal to take the Covid-19 vaccine. Their identities are being kept anonymous. Share your story by reaching [email protected]
A nurse a Providence Medical Center agrees with the Anchorage doctor who says that there is no rationing of care going on at the hospital, at least not in the way that people may think. Hospitals ultimately always make decisions about care due to the fact that they don’t have unlimited resources.
Read: Doctor says no crisis at Anchorage hospitals
Right now, the hospital is very busy, more so than usual. “It is slammed busy,” she said. “But it’s not a significant difference than in years past.”
The nurse is facing termination because she has not taken the Covid-19 vaccine. She has already had Covid-19, and has a family to feed, works with people she admires and respects, and doesn’t want this testimony to be seen as criticism of them.
“On the contrary, I really want to bring people closer together,” the nurse said.
She wants people to understand that the majority of people in the ICU are suffering the effects of Covid, and the vast majority of those had not been vaccinated. Most of those who are dying were unvaccinated.
But she is opposed to forcing people to make the choice between feeding their families and taking a shot they don’t want to take, for their own personal reasons.
The nurse has worked at Providence for many years and objected to the “medical theater” of the doctors and nurses who stood before the Anchorage Assembly in their lab coats and testified that the hospital is in crisis. She wanted her testimony heard, even if she cannot show up at the Anchorage Assembly. Here are her main points of testimony:
- It would be helpful if the State of Alaska would report how many people are admitted to hospitals each day with Covid, not just how many are in the hospital.
- It would be helpful if the State would break down how many are hospitalized who have been vaccinated, vs. those who are unvaccinated.
- “Instead of having to use the phrase ‘vast majority,’ it would be better if they gave a number,” she said. “Such as, if there are X number people admitted today with Covid, that would give people an idea of how serious the spread is.”
- Instead, the State is focused only on the number of positive tests.
- Why are hospitals are terminating skilled nurses and bringing in people from out of state? “With the funds, we could have trained people or hired travel positions,” she said.
- Mandates reinforce distrust of the health care system. This is starting to show up as people mistrusting their doctors and nurses. “If we are mandating the shot, then every ailment someone gets after a forced vaccine, for those people, that ailment is going to be attributed to vaccine. If you hadn’t wanted it but given no choice, and it’s between having your job and insurance or being impoverished, and then you have an ailment, that is where your mind is going to go,” the nurse said.
- When people are told they are going to lose their job and insurance, they are not really being given a choice.
- If 40 percent of people don’t want to get a vaccine, how is that going to affect the nursing shortage later on. That size of population is going to be excluded from becoming nurses. “We are going to lose a lot of people who would have come into the profession, and now they will say they don’t want to be part of the health care industry.”
- Most nurses she has talked to support the vaccine but not the mandate, the nurse said.
- The “shared governance” that is practiced by Providence is not being practiced in this instance because bedside staffs are not being brought into the discussion. Providence never took a poll of its nurses or staff, and this decision affects everyone.
- The hospital said it would not mandate the vaccine, and repeated that, until all of a sudden it did mandate the shot. “They must have been working on the mandate, all the while that we were being told they were not going to mandate it,” she said.
- Providence has a mission statement that says it is the expression of “God’s healing love, witnessed through the ministry of Jesus, we are steadfast in serving all, especially those who are poor and vulnerable.” What is more vulnerable than a pregnant employee who is losing her job because she refuses to take the shot?
“I know of a few cases like that, where they are are going to lose their job and insurance at their most vulnerable time. It just does not line up with mission statement. Mary was turned away from an inn. Now they are saying, ‘We are turning our back on our staff, there is no place for you. You are out.’ The irony of it is overwhelming. The worst of the worst is to do that to a pregnant woman. You are making people poor and vulnerable by doing this.”
The nurse closed her statement by saying she hoped people will get vaccinated if they are on the fence, “but I want to validate the right they have to choose.”