Forced to stay and work under mandatory evacuation? - page 19

by squatmunkie_RN

32,974 Views | 256 Comments

I live near the gulf where evacuating for hurricanes is a possibility around this time. The hospital where I work places nurses on teams. One team is forced to say, the other forced to come back 24 hrs after the hurricane is... Read More


  1. 2
    Quote from dirtyhippiegirl
    Has this been bumped?
    IMHO as with many other situations blame had to be fixed on someone or something for the tragic situations that occured during and after Katrina, and as per usual women (nurses) caught heat that should have been directed elsewhere.
    wooh and Piglet08 like this.
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    Hmmm... I came back to the post. I read most of the responses. I still feel that if the hospital is placing me on a team that I have no choice in...and I'm on the team that is required to stay I should be paid more. (Not that I think it's fair that they tell me to stay anyway). This isn't staying with a fully functioning hospital...its no running water, no water safe to bathe with, soon the plumbing stops working because of the flooding, patients end up defecating in plastic bags (really happened), I can go on and on. Until you've been through a major storm you can't picture the little things that are missed. AND if the hospital gives me no choice in the matter I should be given hazard pay. (Someone posted that you're paid the entire time HA!, you're not paid when you change the 16 hour long shift).

    I'm not at a point that I can quit my job at the drop of a hat...wonderful to you lucky people that can do so every time your employer does something you don't like.

    Another thing that bothered me...there is no patient too sick to move to another hospital.
    Cranberrygirl and anotherone like this.
  3. 2
    Quote from That Guy
    LOL love it.

    And I was referring to the nursing skills that we all poses here. Not just myself in general.
    So that would make you different from your coworkers who would have to stay how?
    wooh and Tragically Hip like this.
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    Quote from squatmunkie_RN
    Hmmm... I came back to the post. I read most of the responses. I still feel that if the hospital is placing me on a team that I have no choice in...and I'm on the team that is required to stay I should be paid more. (Not that I think it's fair that they tell me to stay anyway). This isn't staying with a fully functioning hospital...its no running water, no water safe to bathe with, soon the plumbing stops working because of the flooding, patients end up defecating in plastic bags (really happened), I can go on and on. Until you've been through a major storm you can't picture the little things that are missed. AND if the hospital gives me no choice in the matter I should be given hazard pay. (Someone posted that you're paid the entire time HA!, you're not paid when you change the 16 hour long shift).

    I'm not at a point that I can quit my job at the drop of a hat...wonderful to you lucky people that can do so every time your employer does something you don't like.

    Another thing that bothered me...there is no patient too sick to move to another hospital.
    It can be a huge effort in both time and resources to move patients, not to mention the liability of what happens if said patient goes south during transport and or at the new facility. Transfers can also be very stressful on patients, especially the elderly and or confused.

    Last year in advance of a predicted *huge* hurricane hitting NYC low lying areas of the City were evacuated. This included several hospitals on Staten Island who moved patients ranging from newborns in NICU to elderly to facilities in Long Island, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Please look on a map and see where Staten Island is and then the other areas mentioned. This all had to be done with normal traffic patterns and while other hospitals such as those in lower Manhattan were moving patients as well.

    There is more than just loading patients into an ambulance. RNs have to go with their patients to report off to whomever is taking charge of them, and possibly help see to their comfort in the new location. Some times both medical and nursing staff is transferred to these other hospitals with their patients to ease staffing shortages and provide some continuity. In the case of the SI hospitals both were owned by NS-LIJ so IIRC all transfers were made to other facilities within that system.

    As for the balance of your post, yes am sure the *ick* factor rises during an event, but honey have you ever looked at it from the patient's point of view? Am sure they aren't trilled with the conditions on the ground either up to and including using plastic bags as toilet. But sometimes things happen.

    In such situations patients and whatever family might be there during a disaster take their cues from the staff. If the latter can suck it up and get on with things why should anyone else complain?

    As a child Big Momma gave me this advice (ok rather she *told me* *LOL*) whenever one had to endure doing something that one didn't like or would rather have none of; "stop your whining, it won't kill you and will be over with before you know it". Of course don't think administration is going to come after you with a strap for refusing to vacuum the living room and front hall, but hopefully you get the point.*LOL*
    emmyers, wooh, and Tragically Hip like this.
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    "another thing that bothered me...there is no patient too sick to move to another hospital."

    not at all true. some people are t.o.o. s.i.c.k. t.o. m.o.v.e. i mean, too sick to turn them in the bed, let alone too sick to move them to another hospital. really. truly. there are patients who are too sick to go down to radiology for a ct, or even for a bedside procedure in the room. there are patients who are too sick to turn. i have had patients who i thought would die as a result of being unable to compensate for a quick turn side to side to change the sheets. i mean, o2 sats going from mid-90's on maximum ventilator support, down to the 50's, and staying there, and starting to have realllly ugly heart rhythms, and we're bringing the code cart to the door. from not even a bath. a turn.

    okay, yeah, we know, your hospital will have none of the stuff we take for granted most of the time, like water. and i suspect if it has to operate under those conditions, they will be working to close as soon as they can. it won't be a matter of "hey, yeah, we're open, bring 'em!" they will take who they must, and direct others elsewhere. they're just not going to carry on like that as if all is hunky-dory because they have x number of staff members hostage. i think you're feeling abused by a situation that may never happen, and if it does will be as brief as the hospital can make it. you're looking at the full on, major disaster plan, and while that does sometimes happen, it usually doesn't.
    wooh and Tragically Hip like this.
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    But I do understand how it could be uncomfortable and stinky and miserable to do it, and yes, it would be nice to get extra pay.

    On the other hand: what if some disaster strikes, it's as bad as you think, and those last miserable no-extra-pay hours are your last hours working there because the facility has to close? That would be worse than not having hazard pay, right? I mean, if you're going to look for all the bad stuff in this, you could go on and on.

    You could also take a deep breath, hope it doesn't happen, and cultivate some measure of confidence that if it does, you and everyone around you will do the best they can, and perhaps you'll come out of it amazed at yourself. That could happen, too.
    wooh and Tragically Hip like this.
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    Quote from piglet08
    "another thing that bothered me...there is no patient too sick to move to another hospital."

    not at all true. some people are t.o.o. s.i.c.k. t.o. m.o.v.e. i mean, too sick to turn them in the bed, let alone too sick to move them to another hospital. really. truly. there are patients who are too sick to go down to radiology for a ct, or even for a bedside procedure in the room. there are patients who are too sick to turn. i have had patients who i thought would die as a result of being unable to compensate for a quick turn side to side to change the sheets. i mean, o2 sats going from mid-90's on maximum ventilator support, down to the 50's, and staying there, and starting to have realllly ugly heart rhythms, and we're bringing the code cart to the door. from not even a bath. a turn.

    okay, yeah, we know, your hospital will have none of the stuff we take for granted most of the time, like water. and i suspect if it has to operate under those conditions, they will be working to close as soon as they can. it won't be a matter of "hey, yeah, we're open, bring 'em!" they will take who they must, and direct others elsewhere. they're just not going to carry on like that as if all is hunky-dory because they have x number of staff members hostage. i think you're feeling abused by a situation that may never happen, and if it does will be as brief as the hospital can make it. you're looking at the full on, major disaster plan, and while that does sometimes happen, it usually doesn't.
    given enough lead time most hospitals will begin drawing down patient census where possible before an event arrives. of course with sudden weather or things such as earthquakes this is not going to happen.

    elective proceedures are cancelled, patients well enough for discharge are sent home. patients who are stable but shouldn't be left on their own can be sent to ltc or elsewhere out of harm's way. in short well before a something like a hurricane or blizzard hits the place maybe pretty much empty.

    during the days before the aformentioned hurricane that never arrived in nyc last year moms to be that were due around the predicted storm's arrival were checked into hospitals elsehwere in manhattan/not in low lying areas. this was done as precaution so if a bad storm did hit they wouldn't be at home or trying to travel if the mom to be went into labour.
    wooh likes this.
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    Quote from squatmunkie_RN
    Hmmm... I came back to the post. I read most of the responses. I still feel that if the hospital is placing me on a team that I have no choice in...and I'm on the team that is required to stay I should be paid more.
    That sounds reasonable. I hope your employer didn't hide that from you when you agreed to work at their facility.

    Quote from squatmunkie_RN
    (Not that I think it's fair that they tell me to stay anyway).
    Should the hospital then pay you, let's say, 1/3 less for being off the hook, or should they pay your more civic-minded colleagues 1/3 more?

    Quote from squatmunkie_RN
    This isn't staying with a fully functioning hospital...its no running water, no water safe to bathe with, soon the plumbing stops working because of the flooding, patients end up defecating in plastic bags (really happened), I can go on and on.
    Defecating in bags you say? As a long-term IBD sufferer who experienced some interesting sequelae, I have lived with a colostomy (preceded by a loop ileostomy for several months) for nine years. Yes, my colostomite support buddy and I were way too young. :uhoh21: I'll be sure to decorate my pouch festively should you someday become my nurse.

    Really, each time you make a point that converges on plausibility, you veer off into the weeds of whining.

    Quote from squatmunkie_RN
    Until you've been through a major storm you can't picture the little things that are missed. AND if the hospital gives me no choice in the matter I should be given hazard pay. (Someone posted that you're paid the entire time HA!, you're not paid when you change the 16 hour long shift).
    No argument. Probably they should. Things should be changed, perhaps legislatively. Have you been lobbying your representatives?

    Quote from squatmunkie_RN
    I'm not at a point that I can quit my job at the drop of a hat...wonderful to you lucky people that can do so every time your employer does something you don't like.
    There are a lot of careers that don't require your presence in an emergency, including many areas of nursing (doctor's office, outpatient clinic, home care (although I'd feel an obligation to make sure my clients were taken care of in an emergency), research, school, etc. There's just no way around the fact that key personnel will be on the hook in an emergency. Who will fill in for the nurses, doctors, and fire fighters?

    Quote from squatmunkie_RN
    Another thing that bothered me...there is no patient too sick to move to another hospital.
    That statement is ludicrous. It's already been addressed.
    Last edit by Tragically Hip on Aug 3, '12
    caroladybelle, emmyers, Altra, and 2 others like this.
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    Quote from tothepointeLVN
    from That Guy
    LOL love it.

    And I was referring to the nursing skills that we all poses here. Not just myself in general.

    So that would make you different from your coworkers who would have to stay how?
    The implication is that, during the course of an emergency, a nurse's skills are not critical. Or, in Eric Cartman's voice, with two thumbs pointing stage left, "You can deal with it...I'm going home." Or, "I'm simply too pretty to die!"
    Last edit by Tragically Hip on Aug 3, '12
    caroladybelle, Orca, emmyers, and 2 others like this.
  10. 4
    Quote from Tragically Hip
    The implication is that, during the course of an emergency, a nurse's skills are not critical. Or, in Eric Cartman's voice, with two thumbs pointing stage left, "You can deal with it...I'm going home." Or, "I'm simply too pretty to die!"
    Oh I thought he was implying that he was "better" thus you'd need him to come in and save the day. It's a guy thing I guess.
    diva rn, emmyers, Tragically Hip, and 1 other like this.


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