Are you ready?

  1. Are you required (or forced) by your employee contract/rules to show up ready for duty in the event of a disaster. I know many would just naturally gravitate toward work if something happened and we were needed but I am just wondering if it is the norm now to have these plans in place in case of a disasterous event. We are required in my area and the rule es that if you don't show up you will get fired. In the past this has been a dificult issue for those of us with young children and families at home. Not to mention that the thing that you really want to do in a disaster is be home with your family surviving and protecting. If you are required do you plan on showing up? Just wondering. Historically, there are people who don't show up which doesn't seem fair to those of us who do.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Fgr8Out
    Hmmmm.... I don't know the entire answer to this question... at least as far as my facility goes.

    In 1997 we had a major flood... our facility is located near the river and, while we were in no danger... we were required to stay until such time as our replacements were able to arrive...IF they could arrive. I was lucky, I was able to go home that day. But I know that many others were put up at the hospital... either continuing on in their shift... or just required to stay because of the likelihood that replacements might not be available.
  4. by   boobaby42
    In GA we have a NurseAlert volunteer group that will go to the area of disaster. I volunteered when they started the group. I will go to areas hit close to me, unless it is a major catastrophe like hurricane hugo. In that case, we would ship out to the coast. Of course, I will not go until my family is accounted for and safe.Icouldn't be an effective nurse if I didn't know for sure my family was safe. That may be wrong, but that's the way it is.
    At the health department, we have our little emergency bags always packed, ready to grab and haul a-- to wherever disaster strikes. Latest one was a tornado 2-3 years ago.
  5. by   JillR
    If there is a disaster and the facility calls us to come in, we cannot refuse, that would be grounds for dismissal. If they cannot reach us by telephone, and we don't show up, they cannot fire us. I have worked at this facility for six years and they have never declared an emergency, I know they did this once about a year before I started working there, for a tornado touch down. I tell the single parents, that if they are home alone with their children, do not answer the phone, but I don't think that will be a problem, because no one ever answers their phones during non-emergent times anyway.
  6. by   fedupnurse
    We are not required to. On 9/11 I was sick with a stomach virus and they called to see if I would come in. Since I was puking my head off I had to say no. Many people showed up to work and there weren't any casualties sent our way (50 or so miles from NYC). Also with new Mandatory OT restrictions in place I don't know if they can legally fire you. Let's face it, we all have lives! Maybe get caller ID or screen your calls thru an answering machine. They can't fire you if they couldn't get in touch with you. If they try I'd call the ACLU!
  7. by   kids
    Originally posted by JillR
    If there is a disaster and the facility calls us to come in, we cannot refuse, that would be grounds for dismissal.
    edited the quote for the part I wanted


    If I were put in this position my respone would be (as harsh as it sounds)...I was lookin for a job when I came here, I'll be lookin for a job when I leave here.

    My family comes first <PERIOD>
  8. by   biscuit_007
    I agree with kids-r-fun. I have a wife and 2 young kids and they are my top priority. No job in this worl is better or more rewarding than being Daddy. So i imagine that i could find another place to wor if i had to.
  9. by   jurbyjunk
    I live in a bedroom community to Vancouver, BC, Canada. I know that there are contingency plans in situ for things like airplane accidents (or for when the Pope visited in 1984). What we would really consider to be a disaster here would be a major earthquake. I do know that in the case of a disaster, I am expected to come in, dependant upon whether or not I could get there. My employer is located on one side of the Fraser River and I live on the other. The only way to get across the Fraser is either by one of 2 bridges or by rapid transit (which is what I take, since I do not own a car) across the Skytrain bridge. I personally would not choose to "cross the river", mainly because I would doubt that the Skytrain would be running. I'm an OR nurse, and my unit manager has already said that she would not expect me to put myself in danger by coming to work. However, I figure that I have 2 options open, should I choose to "help out". I work at a hospital which is one of 13 health care facilities in one "health care region". Theoretically I am employed by that region. I suspect that I would either volunteer to help out at either the Royal Columbian Hospital (trauma center) or closer to home (and therefor probably more accessible) at Eagle Ridge Hospital, which is certainly much smaller but at least I could get there, hopefully.
    Last edit by jurbyjunk on May 18, '02
  10. by   mattsmom81
    We have always had disaster lists and call responsibilities as far as alerting each other to the disaster. I have never heard of anyone being reprimanded for NOT showing up as requested.

    I've been involved in several jet crashes here in the Dallas area and we have always had many more staff show up than we actually need when disaster strikes. (Thank God.)
  11. by   ceecel.dee
    Employees at our place tend to just show up to help even for a multivehicle car crash (a quite small community, obviously), and my kids are all over 12 so they could come with me a just watch TV in the doctors lounge or something. I would drop everything and run to help out my coworkers with just about anything if I were home, and I hope they would do the same for me.

    Mandatory response? No, it isn't mandatory at our place, but they do call around if need be.
  12. by   Cascadians
    We're members of NERT / NET / CERT
    http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/cert/
    Community Emergency Response Teams,

    an excellent FEMA program taught and coordinated by local Fire Departments, which gives classes and hands-on training and certification for emergency preparedness and response, with advanced classes and drills and lots of opportunity to practice skills.

    It is a voluntary citizen approach, and the participants are trained to help assisting in disasters after they, their family, and their neighbors are OK.

    Most medical folk are naturally going to help during emergencies, but if a biowarfare outbreak occurs and first responders end up dying en masse, and protection is not given, medical personnel will not be as apt to jump in.

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