In a recent article published in Skilled Nursing News, Lori Porter, the CEO and co-founder of the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) said “there is hesitancy, of course, until we know if it’s mandated or not, we’re not really going to know exactly what’s going to happen. From what we can tell, the CDC won’t make it mandatory, it will be up to the states and the states might pass it off to the facilities as more of an employer policy. So until we know what the outcome is, there is a great deal of hesitancy among CNAs (certified nursing assistants)”.
Porter maintains a private website that culls opinions from 7,000 CNAs across the U.S., and some informal polls indicated “a lot of anxiety among CNAs” surrounding COVID-19 vaccination. “They don’t believe there was time to develop a proper vaccine,” she said, “they don’t want to be guinea pigs”. Another significant disconnect is the lack of trust between CNAs and the leadership at their facilities.
This is a pivotal point in the pandemic, a time where trust is first and foremost. Do you really know what your relationship is with your frontline staff? Even in the best situation, it is important to have an education that is provided by experts in the field, the CDC, the local health department, etc. There is a ton of online, educational resources available, use them, educate your staff, support them, and above all, know that if there is a trusting, collaborative relationship in your center, you will have more success with staff taking the vaccine when it is offered. Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!