Why Health-Care Workers Are Quitting in Droves

The moment that broke Cassie Alexander came nine months into the pandemic. As an intensive-care-unit nurse of 14 years, Alexander had seen plenty of “Hellraiser stuff,” she told me. But when COVID-19 hit her Bay Area hospital, she witnessed “death on a scale I had never seen before.”

Last December, at the height of the winter surge, she cared for a patient who had caught the coronavirus after being pressured into a Thanksgiving dinner. Their lungs were so ruined that only a hand-pumped ventilation bag could supply enough oxygen. Alexander squeezed the bag every two seconds for 40 minutes straight to give the family time to say goodbye. Her hands cramped and blistered as the family screamed and prayed. When one of them said that a miracle might happen, Alexander found herself thinking, I am the miracle. I’m the only person keeping your loved one alive. (Cassie Alexander is a pseudonym that she has used when writing a book about these experiences. I agreed to use that pseudonym here.)

The senselessness of the death, and her guilt over her own resentment, messed her up. Weeks later, when the same family called to ask if the staff had really done everything they could, “it was like being punched in the gut,” she told me. She had given everything—to that patient, and to the stream of others who had died in the same room. She felt like a stranger to herself, a commodity to her hospital, and an outsider to her own relatives, who downplayed the pandemic despite everything she told them. In April, she texted her friends: “Nothing like feeling strongly suicidal at a job where you’re supposed to be keeping people alive.” Shortly after, she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and she left her job.

Since COVID-19 first pummeled the U.S., Americans have been told to flatten the curve lest hospitals be overwhelmed. But hospitals have been overwhelmed. The nation has avoided the most apocalyptic scenarios, such as ventilators running out by the thousands, but it’s still sleepwalked into repeated surges that have overrun the capacity of many hospitals, killed more than 762,000 people, and traumatized countless health-care workers. “It’s like it takes a piece of you every time you walk in,” says Ashley Harlow, a Virginia-based nurse practitioner who left her ICU after watching her grandmother Nellie die there in December. She and others

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Sutter Health Cancels Mediation, Forcing Antioch Healthcare Workers into Second Strike Over Unfair Labor Practices

ANTIOCH, Calif., Nov. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Just after Sutter Wellness refused to discount in very good faith and canceled mediation, far more than 350 healthcare staff at Sutter Delta Clinical Middle in Antioch will strike for a next time commencing Monday, November 8th. Staff at Sutter Delta Professional medical Center say substantial understaffing, tricky working disorders, and a sequence of unfair labor procedures prompted the vote to strike for a next time.

On November 7, following management at Sutter Delta canceled the bargaining session which had been scheduled with federal mediation, U.S. Reps. Mark DeSaulnier and Jerry McNerney despatched a letter to Sutter Health and fitness CEO Sarah Krevans, urging the healthcare firm to arrive at an agreement with staff in crafting on unsafe staffing.

“We comprehend that obtaining experienced and skilled well being care employees is a problem appropriate now, not just for Sutter Delta, but throughout the country,” wrote U.S. Reps. DeSaulnier and McNerney. “It is our comprehending that this medical center has not seen a major fall in individuals around the final couple of decades, but dozens of personnel have resigned their positions during this time and have not been replaced, which has considerably elevated the workload on all those who stay. For the wellness and protection of the men and women of Antioch and surrounding communities, this situation should be fixed.”

The letter is accessible to look at right here.

Workforce at Sutter Delta Clinical Heart say problems are dire for caregivers and clients inside their facility as management ignores concerns about understaffing and functioning situations. Staff are nervous about affected individual and personnel basic safety and say they have been pushed to the restrict by their employer.

“We voted to strike for the reason that we want to set a cease to Sutter’s unfair labor methods and due to the fact we treatment about affected individual safety, and we want safe staffing ranges. We are fatigued and overcome, and we feel like Sutter management is ignoring our worries,” said Stefanye Sartain, a respiratory therapist at Sutter Delta Medical Center. “Our hospital has many job openings that have not been posted mainly because management feels they never need to have the positions loaded. But we are so short-staffed, it truly is challenging to offer sufficient treatment. Sutter is eroding the staff members and it can be not safe for

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CMS: Healthcare workers must get first COVID shot by Dec. 5 to continue Medicare, Medicaid participation

The Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Providers (CMS) has issued its promised unexpected emergency regulation necessitating team working at healthcare services be vaccinated for COVID-19 as a affliction of participation in Medicare and Medicaid.

According to an announcement from the company, health care services must have a plan in place that ensures all qualified staff have obtained the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine sequence or a a person-dose COVID-19 shot “prior to supplying any care, treatment or other companies” by Dec. 5. Qualified staff will then need to be completely vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022.

“Ensuring patient safety and protection from COVID-19 has been the concentrate of our efforts in combatting the pandemic and the continuously evolving difficulties we’re observing,” CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure mentioned in a statement. “Today’s action addresses the danger of unvaccinated health and fitness treatment staff to patient basic safety and presents balance and uniformity across the nation’s health and fitness treatment process to strengthen the wellness of individuals and the providers who treatment for them.”

CMS claimed its new regulation necessitates health care services to establish a approach for exemptions based on health-related problems or religious grounds in accordance with federal law. The entire interim rule is 214 internet pages long and is scheduled to be revealed in the federal register Nov. 5.

Connected: Conflicting federal, condition COVID-19 vaccine needs have hospitals trapped in noncompliance

The agency claimed these demands will apply to around 76,000 suppliers and deal with much more than 17 million health care personnel across the U.S.

It plans to guarantee compliance with the COVID-19 vaccination prerequisites by way of a survey and enforcement course of action. Surveyors who decide a service provider or provider does not fulfill the needs will be cited as noncompliant be provided a grace time period to grow to be compliant “before supplemental steps come about,” the company mentioned.

“CMS’ goal is to convey healthcare vendors into compliance.  Nonetheless, the agency will not hesitate to use its total enforcement authority to guard the overall health and safety of clients,” the company wrote in its announcement.

CMS claimed in the announcement that it has by now found an “encouraging” 9% uptick in nursing property workers vaccination costs considering the fact that asserting in excess of the summer season that team in all those services would be demanded to be vaccinated. The company also referenced a report

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Healthcare workers must be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4 with no testing exception, CMS orders

Dive Transient:

  • Hospitals and other health care facilities ought to mandate COVID-19 vaccination among employees or threat losing Medicare and Medicaid funding, CMS mentioned Thursday. Staff have to be totally vaccinated by Jan. 4.
  • The rule arrived coupled with an purchase from the Occupational Security and Well being Administration requiring corporations with 100 or more staff to guarantee workers are thoroughly vaccinated, and these who are not must be examined on a weekly foundation by Jan. 4. Businesses need to also present paid-time off for staff who need to get vaccinated.
  • The CMS rule will influence about 17 million healthcare personnel at 76,000 amenities, the agency reported. As opposed to the OSHA necessity, healthcare workforce will not be in a position to forego the vaccine and be tested frequently.

Dive Insight:

The rules that dropped Thursday comply with many others rolled out in July demanding vaccinations for federal staff members and contractors. As it stands now, 70% of American grownups have gained two doses of a coronavirus vaccine, according to a White Dwelling push launch.

Hospitals, ambulatory operation centers, dialysis facilities, dwelling health and fitness agencies and extensive-time period treatment amenities that get federal funding from Medicare or Medicaid will have to be certain employees have gained at the very least a person dose before they can supply any treatment, procedure or services to individuals by Dec. 5.

The rule applies to each scientific and non-medical personnel, like students, trainees, volunteers and people delivering therapy or other solutions under agreement or other arrangements.

“The prevalence of COVID-19, in certain the Delta variant, in wellbeing treatment configurations improves the risk of unvaccinated staff contracting the virus and transmitting the virus to patients,” CMS explained in a launch. “When wellbeing care staff are unable to work because of illness or exposure to COVID-19, the pressure on the wellbeing care procedure results in being more serious and further more limitations affected individual entry to risk-free and essential treatment.”

Both of those states and wellness programs have historically employed vaccination requirements for other conditions, these types of as influenza and hepatitis B, in accordance to a White Residence report.

And approximately 40% of all U.S. hospitals at present have COVID-19 vaccination necessities for their workforce.

In spite of problems all over prevalent resignations owing to vaccine mandates, techniques that carried out their personal have fared positively, according to the report.

Immediately after UNC

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Kaiser healthcare workers to go on strike

Kaiser Permanente healthcare employees in southern California despatched a strike recognize to executives on Thursday, notifying them of their intent to commence an open-finished strike beginning Nov. 15 in excess of disputes for a new agreement. 

As a lot of as 28,400 healthcare staff, which includes a significant contingent of nurses, could wander off the career in southern California. Yet another 3,400 are set to strike in Oregon. The strike notices were being despatched from 3 independent unions who are a component of a larger sized umbrella union that bargains as a single.

The get the job done stoppage could pose a significant problem to functions in Kaiser’s southern California sector, where the union associates represent about 37% of the workforce in the location exactly where Kaiser operates 14 hospitals and far more than 200 clinics.   

“We did not want to get to the position exactly where we are hanging,” Peter Sidhu, a union agent at the bargaining desk, mentioned. Sidhu is also a previous Kaiser ICU nurse. “The motive that we’re likely to strike is all about client care, mainly because [we] want to appeal to the greatest good quality nurses.”

In a assertion Friday, Kaiser mentioned labor unions are an crucial part of its record and explained the challenge it faces is the “ever more unaffordable” expense of health care. The process claimed that wages and benefits account for half of its operation expenses.

“We are asking our labor associates to operate with us to deal with this extremely serious issue via an curiosity-centered course of action, just as we have finished with other issues in excess of the system of our partnership,” according to the statement.

Kaiser stated that if a strike happens it will provide in contingency team as needed and affected individual care will continue.

All through negotiation, the two sides could not come to phrases on wages and staffing challenges.  

Workers are opposed to Kaiser’s proposal to institute a two-tier wage framework in which new hires would be compensated on a decrease wage scale in an energy to lower costs. Employees dread it will hinder the system’s potential to bring in and retain best talent, and breed resentment. 

The union is contacting for 4% raises throughout the board every single calendar year for the subsequent three years and bigger collaboration and transparency into staffing amounts and demands across the location. 

It is poised to

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NY health care workers will no longer have religious exemptions to vaccine mandate, court rules

New York State health care workers will no longer have a religious exemption to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate after a federal appeals court vacated a temporary injunction Friday.

The three-judge panel in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit also sent the two court cases back to the lower courts to continue.

The ongoing court cases stem from former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order that all hospital and long-term care facility workers were required to get at least one dose of the vaccine by September 27.

CNN has reached out to the New York State Department of Health for comment, and details of how many exemptions the state has already provided.

An attorney for plaintiffs in one of the cases vowed to take the case to the US Supreme Court Friday.

“New York’s mandate forces an abominable choice on New York healthcare workers: abandon their faith or lose their careers,” said attorney Cameron Atkinson, who represents three nurses. “They have committed their futures to God’s hands, and we remain optimistic that the United States Supreme Court will strike down New York’s discriminatory mandate as violating the First Amendment.”

In the second case, 17 health care workers, many of them unnamed doctors, residents and nurses, filed a lawsuit last month objecting to the New York State Department of Health’s vaccine mandate, which didn’t allow for religious exemptions. A judge issued a temporary restraining order on September 14 related to the religious exemptions.

CNN reached out to an attorney representing these health care workers for reaction.

Gov. Kathy Hochul praised the court’s decision.

“On Day One, I pledged as Governor to battle this pandemic and take bold action to protect the health of all New Yorkers,” Hochul said in a statement. “I commend the Second Circuit’s findings affirming our first-in-the-nation vaccine mandate, and I will continue to do everything in my power to keep New Yorkers safe.”

Religious exemptions granted to almost 16,000 workers before ruling, official said

Nearly 16,000 health care employees in New York State have been granted religious exemptions by their employers prior to Friday’s court ruling, the state’s health department confirmed to CNN Friday night.

That’s 15,844 employees of hospitals, nursing homes, adult homes, Certified Home Health Agencies (CHHA), Licensed Home Care Service Agencies (LHCSA) and hospice facilities, said Jeffrey Hammond, deputy director of communications for the New York State Department of Health.

Hammond provided a

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