Terminations, job walk-offs could be ‘devastating’ to communities
“It will be really terrible. We’re already understaffed,” said one veteran registered nurse who works at a health care facility north of Seattle.
She said she will lose her job after her employer’s Aug. 31 mandated vaccine goes into effect unless she complies with the requirement.
She estimates that as many as 400—20 percent—of the health center’s 2,500 employees refuse to take the vaccine. That number will likely shrink due to the financial hardship of job loss, she said, though “even losing 5 percent would be devastating to the community,” she told The Epoch Times.
The nurse, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said her only solution is if her employer grants her a religious exemption, which appears unlikely at this point.
“It looks like they’re going to reject my religious exemption. They need more information, but they’re not telling me what information they’re going to need. It puts me in a really tough situation,” she said. “I have two [elderly] parents who live with me. It would be extraordinarily disruptive to move them. It’s extremely scary trying to start again somewhere else.”
Stephanie Thorpe, a registered nurse in the UCHealth Colorado system, is also stuck between an employee rock and a medical hard place over her company’s pending vaccine mandate.
Thorpe said she, too, could lose her job if her application for a religious exemption is denied.
UCHealth reports more than 92 percent of 26,000 employees systemwide are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
That leaves a reluctant 8 percent who refuse the shots.
These medical professionals—Thorpe included—will have until Sept. 1 to comply with UCHealth’s Oct. 1 vaccine mandate, or else they will face disciplinary action up to and including termination.
“We do allow if there is a religious exemption or a medical exemption as well,” said UCHealth spokeswoman Kelly Tracer. “UCHealth has been facing the same staffing challenges that hospitals around the country are, definitely. It’s a national shortage.”
Thorpe estimates “a couple hundred” staunch opponents to the vaccine mandate “are willing to walk away” because of the vaccines.
“Right now, [UCHealth] is working short-staffed at many facilities,” she told The Epoch Times.
By Allan Stein