Snow Days....

  1. Well I'm in the South and I'm a floor nurse. We had a little winter storm in and I had to call in today because of the weather (all the roads are closed) and got officially reamed by my boss. Apparently, I was supposed to go in yesterday (I was not called until 8 am today) and to have planned ahead. But Saturday I had an outing with my daughter that I knew would take a day to recover just because I knew I had that extra day off so I really couldn't have worked safely anyway! I'm so frustrated and upset.

    What was my responsibility here? How much of this is my fault what was I supposed to do about it if anything? I live 40 miles away and there's bridges and mountains and I can't leave my kids without a mom for ANY job! I made it in the last 3 bad weather days. One day I drove an area 5 minutes before a tornado and 15 minutes behind another (I got caught between storms).

    I really really hate feeling guilty and inconviencing anyone but how much can my job ask of me?

    Am I going to get fired because of this? I'm not even sure if the roads will be open tomorrow!

    Has someone been in a similar circumstances and have some suggestions I would really appreciate it.
  2. 76 Comments

  3. by   NaKcl
    Weather is something you cannot control, and no such job is worth more than your life and your family. Be confident! let them know your situation. I don't think they will fire you because of this weather condition. If weather is bad again tomorrow, then let them know as early as possible that you will miss work . that way they have enough time to look for other available workers.
  4. by   roser13
    I'm a little confused by your post....were you supposed to be there today or yesterda? If today, why are they saying that you were supposed to be there yesterday?
  5. by   klone
    Quote from roser13
    I'm a little confused by your post....were you supposed to be there today or yesterda? If today, why are they saying that you were supposed to be there yesterday?
    I think she was saying that her NM said she should have gotten there ahead of the snowstorm they knew they'd be having.
  6. by   Pepper The Cat
    If they needed you that badly they should have sent some in an SUV or snowmobile to pick you up.
  7. by   caroladybelle
    There are several extensive threads about this issue from 2/10 and the massive storm that hit midAtlantic states. For some us we got over 50 inches of snow in less than a week, in an area that generally doesn't get 20 in a year.

    The answer is as a nurse, you should be reasonably prepared for most expected weather contingencies. Given that many of my friends from GA have been prepping for the last 2 to4 days, I would say this was reasonably expected. It IS expected that as a nurse and a parent that you check the weather and plan accordingly.

    In the case last year, the initial reports were for maybe 4-5 inches of snow, which became more than 10 the night before, and the final tally for that one storm was over 25. Despite the late data, several were fired in a DC hospital for calling in for snow. And routinely in FL nurses get fired for not reporting early/staying over for hurricanes.

    I do not always agree with this policy, but in Right to Work states, you can be fired for ANY reason. And pts require care 24/7 without regard to the weather. And I gave had to sleep over at work numerous times.

    Perhaps someone more talented than I can post links to the 2 lengthy threads about snow, and the ones on the DC firings.
  8. by   Kareylea
    I was called in this morning and told to come. Roads were all closed. Yesterday I got no call but the weather man said the storm was coming. Well I responded the last 2 times and came in when I was called (all false alarms) and the last time the roads were so bad it took me twice as long to make it.

    What I'm confused about is how long in advance is it my responsibility to plan? 24 hours? 48? When does the hospital take some responsibilty for long term planning and when is it totally and completely my fault for not making it in?

    I just need to know where the line lies so that I can learn and keep it from happening again.

    And this is Alabama. There are no snowplows. I have told my NM prior that I have to go through 3 weather patterns to get to work so I usually try to plan ahead as best I can. The roads are now clear where I work but closed where I live so I look especially bad. But during bad weather I NEVER know what the roads will be like and have on more than one occasion been the only nurse to make it in 1-2 hours early because of the road conditions.
    Last edit by Kareylea on Jan 10, '11 : Reason: add on
  9. by   klone
    OP - were you scheduled to work, or were you "on call" and called in that morning? If you're scheduled to work, then yes, I do think you have a responsibility to plan ahead to get there on time, even if it means allowing several hours to get there. If you were on call and didn't know for sure if you'd need to work, then I think it's unreasonable for the NM to expect you to go to the hospital the night before "just in case" you have to work the following morning.
  10. by   Kareylea
    I'm supposed to work tonight. The storm hit last night.
  11. by   klone
    Okay, that changes my opinion. You are scheduled to work tonight and you will have had almost 24 hours to figure out how to get into work, and you haven't. How much snow exactly?

    I'm leaning towards - if you've had this much time, you should be able to figure out a way to get into work.
  12. by   Forever Sunshine
    We are getting your snowstorm tomorrow night/wednesday morning. Thanks for sharing by the way. Not like we haven't had enough from the 12-30inch snowstorm after christmas lol.

    If the storm hit last night, you really should make every attempt to get into work.

    But my view on the snowstorms is if I go in if I am scheduled to work. I am fortunate enough to have a car that kicks snow, slush, ice etc in the ass. I will only stay if there's no coverage for the next shift. If there's coverage for the next shift, I'm out the door and on my merry, snowy way home. I'd rather go outside and build a snow hut and sleep in that than sleep at work.
  13. by   nurse0520
    There should be more than one way to work. Where I live a couple of weeks ago there was a blizzard and it took me longer to get to work but I got there. Where I live you can be fired if not reporting during a blizzard or tornado or any weather situation. At every place I have worked in healthcare including when I worked at a health insurance place they made it clear as can be this is the job you took or the career you got in you better be in on a day like this ( they are open 365 days a year 24/7)
  14. by   retiredlady
    It seemed when i worked, the people who always made it were the ones who lived several miles away and the ones who lived a mile away could never make it out of their driveways, lol. They never seemed to get in trouble either. Then they made it where they would come to get you with a 4 wheel drive and then the employee didn't have an excuse. Your boss was probably mad because she had to come in to cover and they didn't want to work either, lol. Take pictures where you live to show her how bad your situation is, that's what I would do. We always knew that sometimes the people who lived 45-60 minutes might not make it, they sometimes traded days with someone who had worked.