© 2021 KLCC

KLCC
136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401
541-463-6000
klcc@klcc.org

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Oregon's Willamette Valley seen from Eugene
NPR for Oregonians
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health & Medicine

ONA wants nurses with valid vax exemptions to be accommodated, not fired

nurse_hands.jpg
Oregon Nurses Association
/

Oregon’s largest nursing organization says it’s concerned that some hospitals are denying nurses’ religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccination --and adding to a growing staffing crisis.

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) supports the vaccine mandate for all health care workers. They report, statewide, the rate of vaccination for Registered Nurses is already over 90%.

At the same time, the ONA argues that hospital systems must take medical and religious exemption requests seriously.

Kevin Mealy is spokesperson for ONA. “PeaceHealth in particular, was in a staffing crisis long before the pandemic started," he said. "And adding additional strain to ICU nurses to ER nurses—watching their colleagues have to leave even if their exemption is approved-- makes a dire situation all that much worse.”

Mealy said the ONA is in current talks with PeaceHealth management and urges hospitals to accommodate nurses with valid, approved exemptions.

Those accommodations include testing requirements, increased personal protective equipment (PPE) and shifting nurses from patient care to non-patient facing positions, Mealy said.

large_image_for_ona.jpg
Credit Oregon Nurses Association

Copyright 2021 KLCC.

Related Content