Who is "essential personnel" in a state of emergency at a skilled nursing facility?

  1. The governor issued a state of emergency in my state due to the blizzard saying only essential personnel in healthcare should report to work. I work at a skilled nursing facilty as a nursing assistant, am I essential personnel? What about the therapists, housekeepers, administrative staff? The facility I work for does not have a clear policy as to who is "essential" in the case of a disaster. There have been several weather related disasters in the past two years (some of which had advance warning) and each time staffing has been extremely disorganized and it is quite frustrating.
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    About rmp17

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 2


  3. by   evolvingrn
    you would be considered essential where i work. Your important. but i would call you facility to see how the staffing is.
  4. by   nurseprnRN
    If they can't tell you that you're essential, go home. The roads are closed in MA right now, though (3:30pm)
  5. by   rmp17
    My facilty expects everyone to come in, I should have been more specific. I was just wondering how other more organized places do things.
  6. by   classicdame
    I work in a medium sized hospital and we do define "essential" by job title. However, we PREFER that everyone who can show will do so.
  7. by   Esme12
    Everyone who can make it in is essential. Especially people who care for patients. But if housekeeping or dietary isn't there then nurses will be washing floors and making breakfast. Non-essential.....the administrators secretary is non essential.....technically the administrator himself is non essential. But all hands need to be on deck to cover for those who can't make it in......your ID badge is your "essential personnel" identification. If you don't go in......someone else can't go home.

    Trust me they won't be stopping you to see if you are "essential"......they say those things to get the general public and thrill seekers off the roads. In 2003 when there was another 3 foot of snow storm it took me almost 4 hours to get to work (outside 495 to the north shore) that was usually an hour commute. All roads.....route 3 and128 was "closed to all traffic"......and no there was no one else on the road...not even the state police. It took a while but I got there....it wasn't really that bad because you didn't have to contend with the idiots.

    Make sure you have a fully charged phone.......A flashlight, snacks, water, a blanket/sleeping bag, a shovel, rock salt, a FULL TANK OF GAS. I also carried 2 cans of fix a flat, a couple of flairs, 2 cans of windshield de-icer, I have tire chains....yes they are illegal in MA but I would gladly pay the fine than get stuck.
  8. by   Laboratorian
    In my lab we have a voluntary weather team for each department. That person has to be qualified to do everything. If you are on the weather team you need to pack a bag and be prepared to stay.

    I know in hospitals in my area if you are on-call you will be required to come in before the snow falls and be prepared to stay.

    If you are scheduled to work you are expected to come in before the snow falls and be prepared to stay.

    FYI: A CNA is essential.
  9. by   sMoLsNurse
    I'm a bit ticked.. So many nurses have called in today as well as cnas... I got up at 430 shoveled, and drove 1hr45m (usually 40min) to work at 5am this morning. Now Ill probably be stuck here all night because the next nurse has called and hinted she's having issues getting her kid to a babysitter. Ugh, sorry just venting...
  10. by   Altra
    Note -- the licensing and accreditation requirements for healthcare facilities generally include formal disaster plans. I'd bet that there is indeed a disaster manual at your facility.