How to get to work in a snowstorm? - page 5

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   allele
    I have to agree that no job is worth risking your life. I've personally never missed work because of snow....and I do live in a snowy area....but I'm lucky in that I don't have kids right now holding me at home. When I know a storm is coming I simply go to work the night before and just sleep there. It doesn't happen often at all, I think in 6 years I've slept there a total of 2 times when I knew the storms would be big, but that's about it. Once I have a family though, I'm sure that will be more difficult to do...and if I feel that the weather is too dangerous to go in, I simply won't. I'll be glad to make up that time at some point, but not at the expense of my health.
  2. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Perhaps some should look at work that does not involve going to a hospital. A lot of people depend on you there. Not just the patients but your coworkers. One last time, no one is asking you to perform miracles going to work. But a best effort is only fair. Blocking incidents and other such things are obvious barriers and cannot be helped. An impending storm, is something we can plan ahead for, however. And we should.


    I will say, I am glad I work with people who make the effort to get in so I can be relieved when it's time to go. I, too have a family and loved ones at home depending on me and appreciate it when people try to get in so I can take of my family at home. To those who can't make it; we understand. But when you can, it's appreciated when you do, esp after 16 or more hours on the job.

    Nursing is not easy. None of us go into this blind. Just do the best you can is all anyone can ask.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Feb 6, '07
  3. by   Batman24
    If the highway is closed I can't see how they expect you to get to work. There is nothing you can do to control that.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from Batman24
    If the highway is closed I can't see how they expect you to get to work. There is nothing you can do to control that.
    Again: That would be considered a "blocking incident" and an obvious legitmate barrier to going to work.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Feb 6, '07
  5. by   AliRae
    Quote from ruby vee
    i've gotten to work in a snowmobile, snow cat and on skis.
    i love the fact that you've skiied to work. it just makes me happy.

    last year i was working the one weekend we had a bad-ish snowstorm (anything over 1 inch and jersey freaks out!). i hadn't heard that snow was coming (oblivious, much?) and was caught off guard. i was driving an old car at the time, and it just wasn't safe. so i stayed over in an empty room. i slept on a window seat, wore hospital socks the next day and got scrubs from the nicu. i was well-rested and safe. and no one got mad at me for it.

    granted, things might not be so forgiving this year. we're still in trouble for going on strike...
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    One other thing I have heard of: people getting together, sharing the cost of motel room. I know in Oklahoma, some did this. Also often hospitals let employees sleep in empty rooms or sleep rooms for this purpose. Just a couple things I know can help when a known storm is headed your way.
  7. by   barbyann
    Four years ago I was involved in a very bad accident caused by snow covered roads in blizzard conditions on my way to work. My young son was in the car so I could drop him off at the babysitter's house on my way in to work. We waited 8 hours for police/rescue on the highway. Car was totaled and I lost $7000.00 because it was a new SUV (4 wheel) and the blue book value didn't cover my costs.

    I am changed forever by this experience. I evaluate my risk/benefit carefully. It would have to be a very special job/coworkers in order for me to take on this type of risk again. My present job is not one I would take a big risk for in order to keep. I will never again feel guilty for putting my job before my child's safety.
  8. by   canoehead
    I got in accident going home from work last year and totalled my car. I couldn't see because the sun was coming up over the hill I was driving on so there was about 10 seconds that I had to go up the hill following the white line on the side of the road.

    So on sunny days I have to take a roundabout route to get home just to avoid another crash. I still go to work though.
  9. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from AuntieRN
    ...now I live in SC and when I was hired at the hospital I work at I was told if there was a hurricane or bad weather you were expected to come in regardless and if you tried to call out you were terminated on the spot and reported to the board that you abanded your pts....
    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.
    It is the same in SC as well - My guess is that the hospital was banking on the nurses not knowing the position of the BON well enough to realize that the hospital was blowing smoke. I don't take kindly to hollow threats from employers either.
  10. by   lorster
    Quote from AfloydRN
    I never realized how many negative responses I would get by asking such a simple question. I'm sorry but I don't feel my job is worth my life and I am sorry for those who do.
    Man, do you feel a bit attacked? Someone on this thread has decided to sit high on her marble perch and all but tell you that you are a horrible employee because you just happen to value your life and your safety above that of an employer who does not give a rats a$$ about you or your safety.

    To Kate1114, not is all perfect in the nursing world and you think you have all the answers. Not all of us living in hospitalville where there is a hospital on every corner. Some of us have to commute long distances because the pay is crappy which forces us to live away from the city. Not everyone wants to jump on a bad highway in a snowstorm and risk their life for a job. You know nothing about AfloydRN who may be a single parent and finding a sitter in that situation is not always easy to do. You need to come off your high nursing horse and start acting like the compassionate person the nursing school taught you to be.
  11. by   SitcomNurse
    I say poop on it all. No job is worth risking my life, and they drive NUTS in NY, forgeddaboutit when it snows. People think AWD means they WONT skid/hydroplane or otherwise end up off the road. I drive an AWD vehicle, and live on LongIsland.. they draft the plows!!! They race the cops!!!
    Im still callin in for my 45 minute drive to work. Heck, im callin in for my 20 minute drive too. You should see my kids, I plan to.
  12. by   matchstickxx
    Snow in the upper Midwest in the Winter is not unexpected. On the flip side of the coin....what were your plans if you had been at work when the snowstorm started and the highway was closed while you were at work?
    My point is if you accept a position at a hospital so far from home you must be prepared to make an honest effort to be there for your scheduled shift. You also need to be prepared to be "stuck there" in case the next guy or gal can't get to work during inclement weather. If you think this will be an ongoing issue throughout this season, talk to your manager about it now. If this is just a one season problem until you move closer this Spring, your manager may be willing to work something out with you.
  13. by   kate1114
    Quote from lorster
    Man, do you feel a bit attacked? Someone on this thread has decided to sit high on her marble perch and all but tell you that you are a horrible employee because you just happen to value your life and your safety above that of an employer who does not give a rats a$$ about you or your safety.

    To Kate1114, not is all perfect in the nursing world and you think you have all the answers. Not all of us living in hospitalville where there is a hospital on every corner. Some of us have to commute long distances because the pay is crappy which forces us to live away from the city. Not everyone wants to jump on a bad highway in a snowstorm and risk their life for a job. You know nothing about AfloydRN who may be a single parent and finding a sitter in that situation is not always easy to do. You need to come off your high nursing horse and start acting like the compassionate person the nursing school taught you to be.
    Hey hon, never said I had all the answers. Just wanted to see if the OP had even tried to find a way to go to work, or just decided she didn't want to try. I never advocated even driving in the snow. If you actually read any of my posts I advocated getting there ahead of time. And when the OP stated that even the libraries were closed (heaven forbid) and that she had no idea what the repercussions were for missing work (remember there's no "policy") then I suggested that she talk to someone to find out what would happen to her if she had to call in repeatedly. Yes, Virginia, there is snow in Michigan.

    I've been surprised at how many people are astonished that they might be needed at the hospital. How many of you work day shift? Ever worked a 15 hour night with no end in sight because day shift couldn't make it in? What about working hours on end because some people on days, knowing that there was a massive storm coming in, knowing that the roads were totally clear when they went to bed, chose to stay home and drink cocoa? When we had our 16 inch snowfall, the snow didn't even start until 11pm. The highways closed at around 2am, and were opened around 9am. There were a few people who called in later than they would have left on a normal day, leaving us high and dry.

    So just remember, the next time that you don't even try to make arrangements, that you are leaving the previous shift in a precarious position. And we have kids, too.

    You're right I know nothing about the OP, and my questions to her went unanswered. She never said if she had anyone else to help with kids (outside of the babysitter), or if she ever talked to her manager or HR or anything. I know that if I had a problem getting to work, I'd want to make sure that I wasn't jeopardizing my career that I've worked so hard for. But that's just me.

    So I apologize if I've offended anyone for advocating that we take a little personal responsibility. We all knew what we signed up for, and it should be no surprise that hospitals don't close for the weather. I know that I'd hate to know that my loved one was in a hospital being cared for by a skeleton crew or by an entire shift of people who were exhausted with no relief in sight.

    And for the record, my concern is NOT for the employer, but for the many nurses who had to pull together to work her precious shift, and for the patients who were left in the lurch. Obviously, they don't matter in this "it's all about me" atmosphere.

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