How to get to work in a snowstorm? - page 11

Hi. I was wondering what your hospitals policy is on snowdays? Ours doesn't have one and I live 1 1/2 hours from work. The highway was actually closed and I was still expected to come in?... Read More

  1. by   deehaverrn
    still reading though everything (only up to pg 8) but had to post before finishing (bedtime for bonzo)
    I can see parts of both sides of the story. First you need to be prepared for the weather whereever you live. If you live in the noth , there usu. will be snow. I have AWD. I have always driven myself to work when it snowed less then 2 feet, higher than that and i simply can't get through unplowed roads. I do resent people who live an hour away who call out consistently because I know for a fact that when they were interviewed they denied that this would affect them getting to work in inclement weather. In 25 years I have only been late twice due to weather. My manager gave me complete grief both those times. Once was after 25 inches of snow, we had shoveled our driveway but the road was not plowed. Once the plow came though I left for work almost immediately so was one hour late..my boss actually checked with people she knew in my area to see if I was truthful (which they affirmed). Another time after a hurricane sent rain our way, I got up at my usual time, not expecting trouble and the road was like a river! NO way would I risk it, I told them I would let them know as soon as it was safe, and my boss kept calling me every 10 to 15 minutes!! I did finally go in to work so was less than two hours late. Later that day, we learned that a girl in an SUV (much bigger than my car) had been swept away and into the creek on a parallel road two blocks from us. Twice they sent National guard people out after us, but then we were on our own to get home. Once they told us at the end of our night shift that they would find us a place to sleep, and that we could have a free meal in the cafeteria. We were sent to an outpatient area to sleep on stretchers than suddenly two hours later there was all this noise..the cleaning crew had arrived (and yet on the floor the nurses had to clean because the housekeeper had called out). It was impossible to sleep with all the noise, plus they had scared us to death. Later when we went for supper we were told that everyone only got one meal and we had had breakfast (yeah cuz a donut is equal to a whole meal).
    At a previous job, I arrived at work and only two aides had come in for my shift. It was surprising cause I lived about the farthest away. The night shift nurses were in the lounge smoking (this was years ago) and immediately called the sup who dismissed them. They had taped report but had done nothing but sit and wait for someone to arrive, so no meds had been given (including insulin) although the aides had started breakfast. Two admits were just put in their rooms. It was a medical unit with 30 beds. I was the only RN there!! I paged the sup, who offered nothing. Listened to report. Gave instruction to the Aides. Gave out insulins and reviewed the vitals and blood sugars. Then quickly rounded through all the rooms. Next the OR called to tell me that should give one of the admits the preop dose...WHAT? I told them that they needed to talk to the supervisor because I would NOT be getting an elective surgery patient ready under any circumstances. I don't even remember the rest of that day, but I do remember that no one else came in and I was not relieved until evening shift at 3 pm. (by 5 nurses). I was written up for not getting the ops ready (I don't recall if they actually had their surgery or not). The next time it was bad weather...I called out.
    I do resent when people will call the night before (who don't even live far away) when there is only forecast for 6-9 inches. Then when we only get 3 inches they don't come in anyway, and nothing happens to them. I think having to take paid time off is too easy. I guess it needs to be a compromise. Everyone should have a plan, if you're afraid to drive or live far away..come early or stay with someone who lives closer, or work out a deal with someone else to work for you while you take another day for them (maybe a weekend when they want off?) But that is just for the ordinary storms, for extreme weather no one should risk it...I have made a decision that if it is too bad for me to drive, then I'm not coming in, not even if they send someone for us. I had questioned how they had lists of volunteers to do this because I questioned the safety of just getting in the car with someone you don't know..plus who tested their driving skills? It was ironic because another area hospital had a guy who drove their nurses in, arrested for murder later that same month. However, legally, I'd think that in a case where your employer is arranging for your ride, they would be liable workman's comp. wise for any accident. Having said that, its still not worth it.
  2. by   angel337
    honestly, i'm more worried about the nurses that are stuck at the hospital with no relief. i can't imagine being forced to work probably 24hours with no sleep because my relief couldn't make it. the patients suffer to, but they will suffer more with a dog tired nurse or no nurse at all. this is where administration comes in. i think if nurses can't make it in then the managers need to be there. lets see how fast they get to work.
  3. by   Christie RN2006
    Well those of us in Ohio are dealing with this topic today... we are supposed to have blizzard to near blizzard like conditions. The nurse following me actually showed up at a decent time, so I was able to leave this morning. When I left, 2 of the nurses hadn't shown up yet... I guess one couldn't get out, so someone with 4WD was going to get her. I think only 1 nurse out of the whole unit made it to work on time this morning! Normally it only takes me 10 minutes to get home from work, but this morning it took 25ish!
  4. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from Christie RN2006
    Normally it only takes me 10 minutes to get home from work, but this morning it took 25ish!
    No better down here in IL!
  5. by   Kyrshamarks
    I wish my daily commute was only 1-25 minutes. Try 2-2 1/2 hrs each way everyday. And I only live 40 miles from my work.
  6. by   lauralassie
    Snowing so much in Ohio now. I live 2 hours away. I came to the city yesterday before the bad ice storm came. We're medical professional. Use your head , figure it out! I'll leave early tonight. If you've ever been stuck at a hospital , you'll understand. Of course I would work for someone if there are snow emergienies that some can't make it. But if they just want the day off and leave me there, pay backs are a #*^*#.
  7. by   gitterbug
    Made it to work many times when other staff who lived very close called off. I did what was expected, was never offered any special treatment or perks, and went home when I could. All of that changed for me when we had a flood here a few years ago. I was treated very badly by the facility, not offered any type of assistance, was without power, water, low on food, no phone service either. I made up my mind then that I will never place myself in danger for the job again. Let administrators who don't know squat about actually working the floor take care of the problems. I don't call off on a whim, but if the major road is closed, I cannot get there, so someone else has to cover. If I am there, I make my own plans to stay where I want. No the facility never pays the bill but I don't put up with anyone else in the room either. I had my eyes opened and I never think the facility has my interest in mind when they say come it. Not the patients either, just the money they will lose.
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I think a lot of people have brought to light a valid point. What is administration/mgt doing to support those who make beyond-call-of-duty efforts to help out during crises? I am appalled by some of what I read here. It would not only be nice, but in so many cases, NECESSARY, to feed, house and care for staff who cannot make it home or are stuck working exceedingly long shifts that go on for days.

    I can say I would be hard-pressed to put myself in danger for a place that has so little regard for staff who work so hard in times like this.

    Anyhow, I, too have a real problem when admin/mgt does not roll up their collective sleeve and pitch in/help out when desperate times call for it. Bad examples. I am saddened by how common such disregard is by what I read here. I guess I am lucky.
  9. by   wonderbee
    Today we're battling a winter storm here in PA. I guess my situtation is a bit different since I'm in home (hospice) care. I have a 50 mile radius north from our office. When the warnings came out, we saw as many patients as we could with many of us going late into the night last night. Most of us will be off today and tomorrow except for those with 4WD and only for dire need situations. The problem isn't just the snow, it's the ice.
  10. by   Christie RN2006
    Quote from Roy Fokker
    No better down here in IL!
    So I fell asleep at 9am with only 2 inches on the ground and woke up at 6 to over a foot! They are saying that the worst is just now hitting?!?!
  11. by   kdblueey
    I live in Ohio and we have been having some bad weather, especially today (blizzard warning). Years ago, I lived about 22 miles from the hospital where I worked. The town (small) had people with large/safe vehicles offer to go and pick up anyone who couldn't make it in. I lived too far, for which I was glad, as the road for which I lived on was pure ice. I was glad they didn't offer to come and get me. Right now, I live around 15 miles from my job. Hopefully, the weather and roads will be clear enough for me to go to work tomorrow night...hopefully.....
  12. by   vamedic4
    Quote from RNsRWe
    A tad off topic, but this caught my attention: Maybe it's different in different states, but here in NY you CANNOT be accountable for patient abandonment if you have NOT ACCEPTED that patient assignment. If you haven't yet stepped in the door to the hospital, how on earth can you have established a patient-nurse relationship for that shift?? Sounds like a hollow threat, and I've never taken kindly to such from any employer. Ever.
    The above is true, you can't be terminated for an assignment you didn't receive or were unable to take because you WEREN'T THERE. Run from a facility like that and never look back.
  13. by   vamedic4
    Quote from bethin
    Haven't seen any hotels lately for $20-$30, my 2-3 hr wage.

    My employer does not provide beds or pay for hotels for staff. Beds in our hospital are for pts or dr's only. Would be wonderful if they did, as they have one empty floor with beds made up. Is this more common in larger hospitals?

    Thank God I still make it to work in the snow....somehow.
    bethin...I'm lucky that our hospital has their thinking caps on in times of crisis, like the ice we get every blue moon. They'll put us up at a hotel close by because we've all worked in times of crisis and they understand that THEY TOO HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY IN TIMES LIKE THIS. I think you all are forgetting that. Your employer is responsible for YOUR safety as well as the safety of your patients. Period. That means that ...when need be, they need to do whatever it takes to ensure adequate staffing and staff that isn't overworked, that they're fed, whatever. These are needs that are BASIC and necessary.
    Imagine the fallout if a diabetic RN had come in on a night like the one's some of you describe, was overworked, didn't eat or take her meds, and ended up arresting and dying because of her conditions. I'd own your facility faster than you could say "oops."

    Of course that's an extreme hypothetical situation, but could it happen? Sure it could. If you work for an employer that doesn't have your best interests in mind when it comes to the BASICS...then I hope you have great health and life insurance.

    I disagree wholeheartedly with those of you who think that it's not the hospital's job to feed/clothe/provide rest for those who HAVE to be here in the event that the OP posted about. Yes, they absolutely do.

    vamedic4
    I hate cold...but I love snow.:chuckle

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