What to do in family emergency situations? - page 3

by treeye 7,556 Views | 39 Comments

Two weeks ago at the beginning of my shift when I was passing meds, my husband called crying because his Dad coded twice in a hospital and was transfered to ICU. He wanted me to come up immidietely because he is afraid his Dad... Read More


  1. 4
    I have to comment on the poster who said that teachers, etc. have similar issues when leaving in an emergent situation...no, they don't. Teachers have no issues with being absent, leaving school during the day, or otherwise being treated like a human being. The attitude this nurse has encountered is the primary reason that I left floor nursing, and have never regretted it. Educators treat their own much better than nurses do.
    DizzyLizzyNurse, SHGR, cbsncmom, and 1 other like this.
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    [QUOTE=JZ_RN;6958545]Although that sucks and I feel for you, that's the reality when your job is to be responsible and care for others. If you were a teacher and had a family emergency, you'd have to wait for a sub to get there or something until you could leave. What if you were a police officer, can you just leave your job? A surgeon?[/QUOTE

    The Principle at a school takes over in any emergency. My husband works at an Elementary school.
    hiddencatRN, DizzyLizzyNurse, SHGR, and 1 other like this.
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    That's awful. My father passed away recently and I had to leave work more than once due to an emergent situation with him. One of my co-workers even let me drive her car and strand her at work so I could rush to the hospital. Coworkers are supposed to stick together and help out when we can.. I am sorry for your families loss.
    DizzyLizzyNurse and Blackcat99 like this.
  4. 3
    I had 2 family emergencies when I was working at LTC. I was told to just give them the keys and to leave immediately. Thank God that I had such wonderful nurses working at that time.
  5. 3
    Yesterday, a staff member had a family emergency (ambulance/daughter involved), was freaking out and needed to leave stat. She saw me first (I was not in charge)- I said, go. leave, go do what you need to do. I told the charge nurse immediately and coverage was found. No big deal. That is how we do, where I work. That is how I've been treated in the past and seen others treated.

    Hugs to you, (((OP))).
  6. 0
    Quote from treeye
    Two weeks ago at the beginning of my shift when I was passing meds, my husband called crying because his Dad coded twice in a hospital and was transfered to ICU. He wanted me to come up immidietely because he is afraid his Dad won't make it. I was emotionally too. I talked to my boss. She said they will try find someone as soon as they can so I can leave. In the mean time, she told me to finish my med pass. With my coworker's help, I finished med pass in about five minutes, then I sat at the nurses station and wait for the charge nurse to tell me what to do. She walked down the hall twice for something else like nothing happened. She eventually came up to the desk and told me that the rest of the nurses will take two extra pts of mine. When I gave reports to the charge nurse, she grilled me about the pt I just got for one hour. For example, I have to check in the computer for her what type of dressing the pt has for his cellulitis. Anyway, I finally left 45 minutes later and by the time I got to the hospital, my father-in-law has already passed away. Now the more I think about it, the more I became angry. There were no other emergency in the unit that day, why the charge nurse has to take so long to take my report? Why she can't look for the dressing information in the computer herself? It is the first time this happened to me. I know I can't just leave because it counted as abandoning pts and my license can be suspended. However, is it common practice to expect you to stay 45 minutes when your family memeber is dying? and I'm not even talking about the grandparents.
    does charge have her own patients? or other duties ? i do when i am in charge and picking up 2 more pts in the middle of my shift would be a nightmare. in 2 years i never saw a nurse leave in the middle of a shift. call offs plenty but not leave. it does suck
  7. 0
    I had a family emergency some years ago and had to wait 10 hours for change of shift to go be with my family, who were very angry with me for not being there earlier during the crisis, and to this day bring it up from time to time. I, too, was unhappy about it then, but it could not be helped. It is not uncommon; is just is what it is.
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    Quote from BlueDevil,DNP
    I had a family emergency some years ago and had to wait 10 hours for change of shift to go be with my family, who were very angry with me for not being there earlier during the crisis, and to this day bring it up from time to time. I, too, was unhappy about it then, but it could not be helped. It is not uncommon; is just is what it is.
    I think it can and should be helped, especially with larger facilities.

    Staff members are going to have true family and personal emergencies from time to time. We aren't exempt from life because of the job we do.

    The specific nature and times of the emergencies are of course not known. "Known unknowns" is the term used. Murphy, who never sleeps, dictates that they will occur at the worst possible times. Still, their existence is known, and should be planned for.

    When emergencies occur, there should be a set of steps to take, laid out in advance in a procedure to follow. For instance, charge nurse takes over patients while supervisor on duty takes over charge duties and looks for replacement for remainder of shift.

    Every facility has emergency procedures for known unknowns of fires, weather, etc. Why not for staff emergencies?
  9. 1
    What is and what should be are rarely the same. One can advocate for policies in advance of such situations, lobby for change, but quitting after the fact serves no useful purpose.
    Meriwhen likes this.
  10. 4
    Quote from Hurleygrly137, RN
    That's awesome that there is amazing teamwork on some units to divide and take over the pts of the nurse in crisis. However, in California, we have staffing ratios and it is absolutely ILLEGAL to have more pt's than ratio allows. I would NEVER do this unless i had empty beds, nor would anyone expect anyone else to do this. We had an RN that had to leave d/t illness and the Charge RN immediately took over until they were able to get someone from the night shift to come in early and take over.
    That's unfortunate and taking the letter of the law to the extreme. What does it hurt to take an extra pt in an emergency situation? Very sad. A few months back, we had a nurse leave after her son was brought into the ER via ambulance. Another nurse was coming, but we divided up her pts so that she didn't have to wait. Humanity should trump legalities anytime.


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