LUBBOCK, Texas — University Medical Center announced late last week that it would enforce a COVID vaccine mandate. That’s not just for existing medical staff but also the next generation of nurses.
Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Dean of Nursing Michael Evans said the school is not requiring nursing students to get vaccinated. However, they may have to anyway to complete their credits in a hospital setting.
“We have a variety of different vaccinations that students are required to have that are outside of COVID other vaccinations,” Evans said. “They’re notified during the application process, actually that they have to have certain requirements in place before they can do clinicals in the clinical facilities.”
Evans said their partnership with hospitals is essential to make sure students are prepared and have adequate experience before graduating from the program. They’re committed to honoring the standards set by the hospitals.
“They call the shots in those ways … We want our students to be able to get that experience at hospitals all over Texas, including UMC and Covenant here,” Evans said. “That’s irreplaceable. So, our students must comply with whatever mandates that the hospital has.”
And incoming nurses are not the only ones getting a notice. KT Black staffs several positions in Covenant outside of nurses and doctor positions. KT Black’s Branch Manager Crystal Domingez said they were just notified of specific positions that will now also need to get the shot by 2022.
“I think it gives us ample time to be able to get both shots,” Domingez said. “And I think that’s what everyone who is going to be implementing vaccinations will do. They’ll give you a couple of months.”