I want to be transparent about writing this article and share my struggle. When you serve on the NAAP Board you are required to do many things that aren’t necessarily in your “wheelhouse” and for me that is a lot of things, including writing articles (lol). The ladies that are currently serving on this Board are some of the smartest, talented, and kindest people I have had the privilege to know and bless them for being accepting of me and my many weaknesses.
These last 18 months have been so challenging that many Activity Professionals have walked away from this line of work. I was told recently 35% even though I do not have facts to back that up. But what I do know in my home state of Ohio, the organization membership has declined, and the want ads are so heavy that Headhunters are sending me emails almost daily and the state office is receiving phone calls looking for people to work — now that is crazy! It used to be maybe 1-2 ads in a month and rare phone calls.
Now in the last week we have all heard the news of the mandates on vaccines at hospitals, concert venues, business and of course the announcement to include nursing homes. This has put my mind into a true quandary. The fact is, I am not vaccinated, and I am not going to go into a big debate about that. I have had no plan to vaccinate. I have been working at my community for 21 years. I have been happy most of that time and really have felt as though I would be there until retirement. Now many of the staff are getting ready to leave including all (2 part time and I already have a full-time position open) but 1 part time person. That means that if I made the same choice my residents would have no programming for a very long time. They have been through so much already. Many other staff, of other departments are also getting ready to leave – this makes me so very sad. My brain tells me to stand my ground and say no while my heart is breaking for my residents and what might happen if I left. There are many factors to add to this but would be too much for one article. The staffing shortage is so very real, and all this additional stress is so very hard on our residents, the families, and staff.
I am a woman of great faith and have prayed over this matter much. I am comfortable and no longer stressed, for a voice within me has told me what I am to do. I am making the decision to remain with my residents and when ultimately mandated I will vaccinate. My heart goes out to each of you in similar situations. The National Association of Activity Professionals board is here for you. If you ever need someone to talk to or vent with, we are only a phone call and/or email away. We love you! Yes, the struggle is real!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.