When hospital administrators set their policy—get vaccinated or lose your job—their goal was to increase vaccination rates of hospital staff. The unintended consequence was a shortage of nurses and other hospital workers during a deadly pandemic.
..Jennifer Bridges knew what was coming when her director at Houston Methodist hospital called her up in June to inquire about her vaccination status.
Bridges, a 39-year-old registered nurse, responded “absolutely not” when asked if she was vaccinated or had made an effort to get vaccinated. She was terminated on the spot.
“We all knew we were getting fired,” Bridges, 39, told CBS News. “We knew unless we took that shot to come back, we were getting fired today. There was no ifs, ands or buts.”
Bridges was one of more than 150 hospital workers fired by Houston Methodist hospital.
..Two months after firing unvaccinated hospital staff, Houston Methodist is one of several area hospitals experiencing a severe shortage of medical personnel. Media reports say hospitals have “reached a breaking point” because of a flood of COVID-19 cases.
..Some may be tempted to think Houston Methodist was able to quickly replace the workers they lost, but evidence suggests this is unlikely. Apart from the broader shortage, front line nurses “are burned out,” they say.
“We are all tired of this; nurses are tired of this,” Texas Nurses Association CEO Cindy Zolnierek wrote in a recent public letter..