It’s been a couple of weeks since the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccines started going out all over the country. There have been several reports of healthcare providers having to wait to get their shots while some facilities have been prioritizing administrators and elderly patients instead of those working on the front lines. 2020 has been full of scandals and scary stories of nurses battling the spread of the virus, so we wanted to check in with providers on how the distribution process is going.
We asked nurses to share their experiences of either getting the shot or having to wait on our Facebook page “Funny Nurses”. Here’s what they said:
Sharing Information with Providers
One of the biggest challenges has been educating nurses on the vaccination process. Keeping everyone in the loop can be difficult when coordinating care among thousands of employees.
“Ours is going well in Tucson. Every hospital is now distributing one of the two vaccines to staff. My husband is in EMS and it’s harder for them to sign up than I think it should be and their employer hasn’t been the clearest but it’s spreading better by word of mouth now.”
“Initially, we were going on a schedule so everyone in the hospital system registered if they wanted it and they were scheduling appointments based on your exposure risk, but they were wasting time with appointments and just opened up vaccination pods to all employees, which is going great.”
Sherri Hopkins Giesman:
“There’s a lack of transparency that breeds distrust in workers.”
Providers Waiting in Line
While the FDA says healthcare providers and nursing home residents should be the first ones to receive the drug, it’s not always clear who should go first within those groups.
“Awful as hell. The first round [of] vax was given to the high administration because of “the small window of administration” and just administered to all respiratory therapists, supervisors and a few RNs that are not even in the COVID-19 unit. Us in the COVID unit were put on the second round of vaccination (at least the few that have not contracted COVID yet).”
“It is a mess. People who will never work with COVID patients getting the vaccine and people who give direct care to COVID patients at the back of the line.”
Randi Calkins Randall:
“I’m an NP student, and I work remotely for my job. I’m last on the list at my clinical site. My employer won’t vaccinate students who are doing clinical. And because I’m a non-patient-facing employee, I’m last on the list (rightfully so). Students in my facility aren’t being considered for vaccinations even though we are patient-facing for our practicum rotations.”
“LTC nurse here, our building had been devastated by COVID. We won’t get the vaccine for another month. Initially, we expected to be vaccinated before the end of the year. I’m pissed.”
Rachel Renae Roberts:
“LTC DON and we have not received a date when we will vaccinate. Meanwhile, our local hospital has started vaccinating from clinic pediatrics to plastic surgery. Oh, and our local fire department is scheduled to start theirs this week. Very frustrated as nursing homes were supposed to have priority and looks like that is out the window now. ?”
Peace of Mind
Despite the many problems mentioned above, many providers commented on how easy it was for them to get the vaccine.
Maritza Hernandez Stone:
“Our urgent care got lucky and I got my pregnant nurse butt vaccinated this morning! We do about 80% of COVID swabbing in our community.”
“I had no problems getting mine. Efficient and friendly.”
Jana Novak Diaz:
“Going great!! All frontline workers in our healthcare system in Wisconsin were offered the vaccine first…. Emails went out December 14th. We had several Advocate Aurora sites to choose from. My own hospital offered the Moderna. I along with several coworkers already received our first dose. Seamless, organized, quick, and easy.”
“Super smooth. We call in to schedule an appointment and they schedule your second dose then too. I was able to get in the next day. Someone said we did 500 vaccines in one day at the clinic. There was an organizational chart about who went first but I think it’s open to our entire hospital staff now.”
Adriane C. Williams:
“My hospital has been awesome. Everyone on the frontlines got theirs first, including housekeeping. The process is smooth and easy.”
“Just got my first vaccine on Sunday, the process was very well organized and easy to make appointments to get vaccines.”
“I may be alone here, but I actually think getting over 2 million Americans vaccinated already is pretty good! I don’t look at that as a failure…I know they had a different goal but to me that’s a success.”
Thank you to everyone that shared their experiences online. We hope everyone who wants a vaccine gets one as soon as possible.