Hurricane Irma: Are per diem nurses USUALLY required to work during a hurricane/disaster?

  1. Hey guys!

    I'm not a nurse, but I am part of the nursing staff as a PCA. I have only been working in a hospital for a year, so I'm not sure what is usual or custom.

    As the title suggests, I am located in South Florida and hurricane Irma may clobber us this weekend. If it is still a category 4 or 5 hurricane by Friday morning I have decided to evacuate my loved ones out of state. However, the hospital I work for is telling ALL per diem workers that we are REQUIRED to come to the hospital to work during the hurricane lock down.

    So my question is, is that usual for a hospital? To require the PER DIEM employees to come in? There was a hurricane list made up in advance saying which full time workers would have to come in and who would be part of the "after" team, but I was never aware that per diem workers needed to as well.

    I just wanted to know if my director/superiors are pulling one over on me by telling my it's required when it actually may not be what usually happens. My hospital has been known to lie to employees when it suits them.

    Sorry for the long post, thank you for any answers in advance.
    Last edit by Brian S. on Sep 7
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  2. 86 Comments

  3. by   CelticGoddess
    Have you read the policy in the policy and procedures manual? That might be the best place to start.
  4. by   gcupid
    Do whats best for your life. I'd just start filling out apps now and that way if you are fired u can have a head start on employment prospects should u return with no job. if not fired, decline opportunities unless you will enter a new area in which u will get treated better, paid more etc.
  5. by   Wuzzie
    Why would per diem employees be exempt from hurricane duty?
  6. by   justSara
    Because I wasn't on the list. Only full time employees were on the list that was posted. And now two or three days before the hurricane they're telling me I'm required to show up because I'm per diem. I decided I'm going to go, but I was upset because I wasn't expecting it.
  7. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from justSara
    Because I wasn't on the list. Only full time employees were on the list that was posted. And now two or three days before the hurricane they're telling me I'm required to show up because I'm per diem. I decided I'm going to go, but I was upset because I wasn't expecting it.
    I suspect because of the potential impact of this huge storm they decided that more help was needed. Good for you for stepping up.
  8. by   justSara
    It's just not ideal because my family is evacuating and we only have one car. So I'm going to have them drop me off before they head to Georgia. But I understand them needing people to work. The way they went about it was rude though. Probably because everyone is trying to get out of working.
  9. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from justSara
    It's just not ideal because my family is evacuating and we only have one car. So I'm going to have them drop me off before they head to Georgia. But I understand them needing people to work. The way they went about it was rude though. Probably because everyone is trying to get out of working.
    Yes, I'm pretty sure they're getting an earful. That would make me a little crispy after the first 10 calls.
  10. by   EllaBella1
    I'm per diem and am still assigned to a hurricane team at my hospital. My hospital requires all employees to be on a team, but I would think it would vary by hospital what the exact protocol is with that.
  11. by   justSara
    So I guess it isn't usual then. On my unit there are only 2 per diem employees coming in, including myself. And unlike the full timers, none of us were assigned to a team. So we weren't expecting it and I assumed I wasn't on duty. And now right before the storm they printed a new list including a couple per diem people.
  12. by   gcupid
    I wouldn't do it unless I wanted to do it because that's one of the benefits of being per diem. More schedule flexibility. What if you have a full time job and a prn? It's stupid.

    So at one place being alpha then the other bravo. Or choose which one you like the most.
  13. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from gcupid
    I wouldn't do it unless I wanted to do it because that's one of the benefits of being per diem. More schedule flexibility. What if you have a full time job and a prn? It's stupid.

    So at one place being alpha then the other bravo. Or choose which one you like the most.
    I'm not sure schedule flexibility plays a part in planning for a catastrophic, natural disaster.
  14. by   NurseSpeedy
    Quote from Wuzzie
    I'm not sure schedule flexibility plays a part in planning for a catastrophic, natural disaster.
    While I agree with you, if one job is PRN and another is FT, we cannot be in two places at once. PRN employees usually give their availability for scheduling prior to the schedule coming out where I work and can always pick up extra if needed and the nurse wishes to do so. If I were scheduled already then I would go in, I agreed to the shift and we work during hurricanes. However, if this was mandated after the fact and I already had a FT commitment elsewhere, I'm going to report to my FT place of employment.

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