Q: Is there a benefit to getting a flu shot? Does your hospital require Biomeds (HTM) professionals to get a flu shot? Do you get one voluntarily?
A: Flu shots here are required, even for HTM.
A: Just think of the impact to your patients if you do not get the shot. It is not all about us, it is about the patients we serve.
A: Is there a benefit? Who knows, it is given to help prevent the flu, not necessarily to stop a person from getting the flu. Our hospital network makes it mandatory to get a flu shot unless you have a religious or health reason. I have never gotten one voluntarily, and I have only had the flu one time in my life (lucky me).
A: I did a year of graduate work in virology working with retroviruses after getting my undergraduate degree. In addition to HIV and FIV, I also did a great deal of study of the Orthomyxoviridae family of viruses which include influenza. Based on my knowledge and experience I feel that the vaccination for the flu is more than just beneficial, it is vital. Throughout history the flu has killed many millions of people. Due to its recombinant nature it is difficult to accurately tailor any vaccine to every possible variant of the flu, but it can greatly reduce the likelihood of catching the disease. Given our exposure to various strains in a hospital setting, this is vital to our own health. I also see this as a patient safety concern however, since by reducing our own vulnerability to influenza, we make ourselves less likely to be carriers of the disease. Since by nature of said hospital setting it also reduces the likelihood of our exposing patients, many of whom are immune compromised in one way or another to the flu. Our hospital requires all personnel who have direct patient contact to get vaccinated. Since by nature of our jobs we are often in patient rooms, this includes biomed. All staff are given the option to “opt out” of the vaccine, but this is discouraged. Going forward I believe it is the hospital’s intent to require staff who chose to opt out of vaccination to wear masks when in patient care areas. Based on my above statements, I doubt it will come as a surprise that I willingly get vaccinated every year.
A: Yes our hospital requires as a condition for employment. The debate is major; however I guess our greatest benefit is to remain gainfully employed. Whether it keeps me from getting the flu, I don’t know because I haven’t gotten it since I take the flu shot. Kind of like the “tree falling in the woods” debate. Would I continue if it was not a requirement for employment, I would have to say yes.
A: The answer to your first question (Is there a benefit to getting a flu shot?), is elusive. I did quite a bit of research on the subject, which lead me to my decision (below). Even the media recently admitted that last year’s flu shot was mostly ineffective. Our facility does require the flu shot for all employees (including Biomed), but they also allow us to refuse. If we do refuse, we’re required to sign a declination form and wear a mask in patient care areas until flu season is officially over in our county. I’m really glad I get a choice. I choose to wear a mask, which protects me from more than just the particular flu strain “they” gambled on for this year. I’ve been wearing a mask every flu season for several years, and haven’t contracted the flu yet. When I sign my declination form, it asks why I’m refusing, and I always say “I’m allergic to neurotoxins.” What cracks me up is when other employees ask why I’m wearing a mask. I say, “I didn’t get the flu shot.” They start backing away, like I’m contagious, as if their flu shot offered them no protection at all. I absolutely support the theory of flu shots, but the science isn’t perfected yet, and in my opinion the benefits do not outweigh the risks. I can’t see any benefit from injecting neurotoxins directly into your bloodstream. But that’s my personal opinion, and I don’t judge or bash those who do get the flu shot. Just offering my opinion in response to your questions.
A: While I agree that we should think about the patients, I have a completely different experience that has caused apprehension towards the mandatory flu shot requirement at my hospital. My mother-in-law was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome as a result of receiving the flu vaccination. We ultimately lost her after an 18-month painful battle toward some form of recovery. She received flu shots in the past so there was no reason to suspect there would be an issue to this magnitude. This is now my greatest concern every year since there was no past history that would have any of us question receiving this vaccination. It only takes a little research to find how frequent this actually occurs. Something that we never knew until we experienced it firsthand. What is best for the many is easy to say until you become one of the few exceptions to that rule.
A: It is now a requirement for employment here. Otherwise, I would not get it. You need to prove it works first.
Q: I’m looking to see what the average on-call pay is among Biomeds. I feel the on-call pay I receive is not within the average for my area of the country and I was hoping other Biomeds could help me get a good estimate on what the average on-call pay is. At my shop we only receive $1.75 a hour and 2 hours minimum of OT when called in. I’m in the Midwest and I feel this is too low.
A: I don’t have on-call with my current employer, but at my previous position it ranged from $2.50-4 an hour. For some reason it started low and increased if you were on for more than 24 hours straight. They paid for 3 hours minimum of OT in lieu of paying for gas. I’m in the Pacific Northwest.
A: Here in the frozen white north (a.k.a. Canada) we get $3.30/hour or $4.90/hour on a holiday with a minimum 6 hours if called in.
A: We receive $2 an hour and it isn’t worth it. Two hours for a call in. I’m in Ohio.
A: I no longer work there, but in Virginia we were getting minimum wage for on-call and a two-hour minimum to come in. We went salary and that went away and it turned into 50-60 hour workweeks plus rotating on-call, that’s why I left.
A: Here on an island we were getting the minimum wage and 40-45 minutes to come in. But all that stopped, now we are on recall which means we do not get paid on-call pay but if you get called in you get two hours minimum overtime pay after you complete a 40-hour workweek. I really think our management should pay us at least $2-$3 on call so the employees can be motivated.
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