CNA Required to stay during Irma

  1. I work as a CNA near Ft. Myers in Florida. I've never been through a hurricane yet as I've only been here a few years. My boss says that if there is a mandatory evacuation for our area, that since I am on Hurricane Team A, I must still stay at work or I will lose my job and my CNA license. I'm terrified of this storm, but I'm more terrified to lose the job I love.

    Is it legal for them to pull my license if I leave the state under a mandatory evacuation? I've seen some things about this being part of a nurses job, so does the job of a CNA require the same, that I stay?

    Thank you!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   NurseSpeedy
    They can't do crap to your certification or a nurse's license unless you abandon patients without someone to take over their care before you leave. If you are evacuating you won't even be on duty so it wouldn't apply. They are bluffing.

    They will most likely fire you and it won't look good when trying to get a new job, but they cannot yank your credentials for abandoning your job.
  4. by   CNAFLRDA
    Several of my co-workers have left and she's said they will lose theirs as well. But yes that is the word I am hearing "abandonment."
    I asked about this about a week ago. Patients have been brought to our facility from another that was more south. The building itself is not evacuating. But I am being led to felt that I cannot. I live in a Zone A evacuation area and I should be gone by now. But she is telling me I can work and bring my pets etc. As long as I do not leave.
    My family asked me to take a leave of absence, anything, and come home for a few days. But she keeps telling me that I will lose my license for abandonment and it will be reported to the state.
    I am so scared but I just cannot lose my job. I love it
  5. by   Julius Seizure
    So what did you end up doing, OP?
  6. by   Julius Seizure
    BTW, just to clarify for you as a newer Florida resident:

    When they order a mandatory evacuation of zone A, they mean leave zone A. So going from your home to the hospital and staying there would count as following the evacuation order. You aren't required to leave the state or anything like that. Many of my friends in zone A just went to stay with friends/family who lived in zones B or C.
  7. by   nurse2033
    They do not issue your credential so they can't take it away.

    You can't abandon patients you have never accepted care for. If you stay home sick, for example, you are not abandoning the "potential" patients you would have cared for if you went to work.

    If you left in the middle of a shift, for example, without handing off patients to another staff member, that would be abandonment.

    This reeks of bullying, misinformation, and bad management. They could however fire you if you don't follow the disaster policy.
  8. by   mslove717
    What ended up happening?

    They can (and probably will) fire you, just like they can fire you for any reason, any other time they wanted. But they can't pull your license. It's not abandonment if you haven't excepted an assignment (ie you're not at work). I am up north and don't know about evacuation zones. However if it came down to it, I would evacuate. I can always get another job but not another life. Especially if you work as a CNA, you are generally underpaid anyway, and have different liability than a nurse.

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