Could long-term care students be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Many students majoring in health professions are required to fulfill clinical hours off-campus at various medical facilities – including nursing homes.

President Biden announced last week all nursing home staff would be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

With formal FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine, it may be easier for universities and medical facilities conducting clinicals to make the vaccine mandatory.

Dr. Daniel Van Dussen, a gerontology professor at Youngstown State University, said getting the vaccine is something students should just do.

“Many of us can’t mandate that our students do get vaccinated, but we highly recommend it because of the ethics of going into a long-term care facility and not doing everything possible to look out for the well-being of the residents, as well as their co-workers,” Van Dussen said.

YSU has not yet gotten word from facilities they work with on if vaccines will be mandatory for students coming in to the facilities.

But Van Dussen said a refusal to get vaccinated could create roadblocks after students graduate and want to work in long-term care.

“I would imagine it would be extremely difficult to find an alternative path, particularly for our long-term care administration majors,” Van Dussen said.

Students are required to have 1,000 contact hours in long-term care facilities. Their accrediting body only allows 10% of those hours to be virtual.

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