Volunteers were included in the count early on.
In November at the last surge our healthcare system went to a "pause" with having volunteers on site volunteering. However some services have been ongoing remotely.
This week I was given the go ahead to offer the vaccine in this first round to volunteers that were coming in on site prior to the "pause" as well as to other services that will be helpful as we prepare to open vaccines to the community.
Have found that all I have contacted thus far have been interested in getting the vaccine and excited to return.
There have been some services that we are attempting to bring back that I have found just a few that due to health reasons, or getting more involved in other services that they volunteered for have decided to end their services here at the hospital. This has been just a couple in the 35-40 that I have already contacted in this first round.
The next offering will go to those volunteer service assignments that are on the floors, such as our volunteer patient ambassadors, etc...
Working closely with our CNO and Director of Pharmacy on this. I would suspect that there will be changes along the way, due to number of doses received, number giving out etc..., but excited that we are moving in this direction as well as having supportive leadership at this facility.
Very hopeful. - Alice
Magruder is providing vaccine to those volunteering currently, which are very few. We have about 10 currently coming in on a regular basis. We are referring others to our local health dept. who are taking the lead on vaccinating the public in Ottawa County. As volunteers return, it is my understanding, we would provide vaccine. Not all are wanting it, but is offered.
My volunteers are all still furloughed but have been included in the vaccine. "Technically" volunteers are suppose to be treated as staff-is what I have been preached to from surveyors. They will be receiving their vaccines starting Monday. they are in the last tier of "staff" tiers to receive their vaccines. I was called way back at the beginning when we found out that the vaccine would be available for healthcare workers and they were included in the count.
At Mercy Health St. Anne, we have not included furloughed volunteers to receive vaccines at this time. I asked my supervisor and the Pharmacy Director heading up vaccines this week and their response is that our state has not moved into the next phase of vaccinating those 65 and older. It is strictly healthcare associates. My argument to them is that our volunteers are healthcare associates who through no fault of their own are unable to serve at this time. I am pushing for them to include volunteers but at this point to no avail. I did find out that another one of our Mercy hospitals gave their furloughed volunteers vaccines. The reasoning behind it was they had additional vaccines. I am not satisfied with that answer. More to come...
Madison - to your question about tiers:
Mount Carmel has four tiers - our COVID-facing/ICU/ED providers, all other patient-facing providers, our on-site support staff (EVS, dietary, etc.), and off-site/work from home staff.
Volunteers weren't specifically included in a tier but were given the green light to schedule their vaccination when we opened it to our fourth tier colleagues. I didn't quite understand that placement but tiers three and four opened within a few days of each other; the difference was negligible.
I was just asked about this week! Volunteers at The Christ Hospital are still suspended. They are not included in any of our tiers for the vaccine. Our Pharmacy Director said they were not tiered per their interpretation of the state guidelines but as I am understanding you all, they can be. I am going to share this information with leadership to start the discussion about it.
The vaccine is not currently required for staff so it is not required for volunteers.
For those of you who are vaccinating volunteers, how do they fall into the tiers? What are your tiers?
Also, Julie, with all of your volunteers still being suspended, how are they including those in the tiers? What is the messaging behind it?
Thank you for sharing!
Mount Carmel is offering the vaccine to any volunteer who is currently serving in the hospitals. Currently I have about 80-90 who are serving, with about 50 new candidates going through the on-boarding process. I do not know if furloughed/LOA volunteers will be included in future. We have an online platform for appointment scheduling, which I have shared with the active volunteers. The vaccine is not being considered a requirement.
At OhioHealth, our volunteers are still suspended. We have been assured they will be included in one of the tiers to be announced once the patient facing staff and providers have been vaccinated. Many of our volunteers have asked so I am anxious to be able to provide them with details around timing and process but haven’t been able to do so yet.
My volunteers are all still furloughed, but I received word last week that they will be included in the next tier of staff that can received the vaccine.
I am waiting to see if they put any "restrictions" on it-technically they can't because they need to be treated just like staff, but we will see what happens.
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