Dordt nursing students encounter vaccination requirements

Ella de Jong—Staff Writer

Though Dordt University is not requiring its students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, those in the nursing department are encountering vaccination requirements through their studies. Of the hospitals in partnership with the nursing program, sixty percent are requiring vaccination for those involved with clinicals.

“I don’t want to pass it to a patient who could die from it” Bomgaars said, “So, from that respect, yes. I do think nurses should be vaccinated”. 

The nature of their job has required nurses across the globe to receive a vaccination. They were some of the first to receive it, as healthcare professionals. The two hospitals located in Sioux Falls and the two in Sioux City are requiring vaccination from some of their employees, including Dordt students. Still, Sioux Center Health is not requiring vaccination from its entire staff. Though its affiliate, Avera, requires vaccination from its employees. They have reinstated a mask mandate, however.

At Dordt, students were able to opt out of a vaccine, but the high percentage of hospitals requiring the shot made refusal difficult. 

“I am not against vaccines in any way,” Cori de Jong, a senior in the nursing program, said. “But when it gets to the point where people are being forced to do something they do not want to do, I believe it violates their freedom.”

Dr. Bomgaars mentioned a nursing student hesitant about the COVID-19 vaccine. They had been labeled an anti-vaxxer upon sharing their vaccination status, though they had been vaccinated against other diseases. 

They’re in a position in healthcare, and it’d be different if it wasn’t healthcare,” Erica Nikkel, a sophomore nursing student, said. “If you’re in a position of taking care of people who are super vulnerable and you have the opportunity to prevent something for yourself that could spread to other people, you should take the opportunity.” 

In 1978, the very last case of smallpox was reported. The smallpox vaccine was able to eliminate the disease in the twentieth century.

“If everyone had gotten vaccinated in March, I think this would be over,” said Bomgaars.

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