Forced to stay and work under mandatory evacuation? - page 23

by squatmunkie_RN

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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. 4
    Before this thread gets used up, I want a last chance to defend my stance.

    As a poster that states my child is more important than my job, I feel that the few people who have spoken up and agreed to this sentiment are also being taken out of context.

    I invite people to read my original post on page 10.

    I clearly said that I would pack my bags gladly in event of a catastrophic snowstorm and the same applies for tornadoes, ice-storms, staying over shift if my replacement doesn't come etc. (no hurricanes here)

    My example was related to true "end of civilization" examples. I was trying to point out this topic wasn't a one size fits all.

    I actually feel sorry that I brought it up. Discourse without veiled insults seems to becoming very rare around here.

    I would no more fault anyone who left work mid shift because they discovered that their spouse got hit by a car and was airlifted to another hospital. Heck, I know that me and my co-workers would take their patients and ask for a 3 word report on absolute emergent info, the rest can be looked up.

    I would also do the same for a million people in a million scenarios, and it has nothing to do with kids vs no kids. It has to do with human compassion.

    I would never pull a "well you shouldn't have become a nurse if you couldn't anticipate being here no matter what attitude".

    Nursing is not the military..that was a weak example at best, a complete apples and oranges example.

    This thread is very reminiscent of those where people debate whether nursing is a calling or if it is respectable to take the job for money, security and improvment of living. (for what it's worth, I don't have any qualms about either group)

    A more common scenario that I see of people not living up to their duties- are people calling off so they can go up north and camp with their friends, so they can go out to the casino, because they are hungover, because they have their neice's graduation party, because they have no childcare (despite the schedule being posted for 2 months). Leaving the rest of us 4 people short in the ER with census triple of what it normally is, and we each end up with 15 patients.

    Can we address this problem? It affects patients more on a day to day basis than any "emergency disaster". People with and without kids call in equally.

    With that said, we all live in glass houses........

    The only person on this thread that states that they have no interest in fulling their duties they signed up for is the OP, and she doesn't have kids.

    The rest has been purely hypothetical musings.
    Last edit by LaughingRN on Aug 6, '12 : Reason: grammar :(
    Orca, Meriwhen, Hygiene Queen, and 1 other like this.
  2. 0
    Quote from hm-8404
    the op lives in a hurricane area. many forget that hurricanes do not hit in a matter of a few hours or minutes. you are given days notice, sometimes 3+. if someone can foresee it being a problem and can't get their kids or wheelchair bound mom evacuated with 2-3 days notice they have no business taking a job where that can be a requirement.

    i believe this is what most are saying.
    i hope this is what most are saying.

    i live further north than most hurricanes venture, but i was happy to see that almost none of our staff tried to back out of being at work if they were supposed to be there. i was in the midwest visiting my mother (and had just arrived) when dh called me to say that a hurricane was headed toward my home on the east coast. i turned around and flew back home the next day. every airport along the way was full to overflowing with folks headed away from the hurricane or back home to prepare their homes for the storm. flights were backed up for hours and everyone i encountered was quite cheerful about the mess. it seems that an impending natural disaster brings out the best in most of us.

    there are some, though, who probably mean exactly what they're typing. i hope they choose not to take jobs where their presence during a disaster is expected.
  3. 0
    Quote from Orca
    I worked in a hospital in suburban Oklahoma City when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed. I was four months out of nursing school. I heard the explosion while I was outside walking my dog (I wasn't due at the hospital for another six hours), and then the phone rang with the call that you hope you never get: My hospital activating the disaster plan and calling in all off-duty personnel. During the entire time we were caring for the wounded, nobody ever said "I have to leave to take care of my child/parent/pet/whatever." We were all there to do a job, and we were staying for however long it took.

    People showed up who didn't even work for us, just to see what they could do. An off-duty RN from Dallas who was traveling through town and heard the news on her car radio stopped to help. I heard no complaints, just a dedication to duty. When our CEO came through after several hours and said that we were standing down, there was a deflation in the room I cannot describe. That only meant one thing: There was no one left to save.

    I grant you, we were not stranded for days like we might have been during a hurricane. However, we were in the heart of tornado alley, and that possibility was always there. About six months after I moved west, an F5 tornado struck the Oklahoma City area and did an untold amount of damage. It destroyed the last apartment complex I lived in, and it narrowly missed my former hospital. I heard the CEO on CNN talking about the kind of cases that were coming through ER.

    Being a nurse isn't always convenient. Sometimes we have to work in conditions that most people had rather not bother with. I take pride in doing so, however. Our dedication to serving others is one thing that sets our profession apart.
    What a day for a new grad.
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    Quote from tothepointeLVN
    The problem with making a exception for those who have kids is that so many people have kids and making an exception for them implies that their lives/comfort is worth more than those who don't. It's indirect discrimination and that's wrong.
    Well as a person who has no kids by choice I agree, I don't like being treated like I should be at their beck and call to do anything because I don't "have anyone at home." Same thing with weekends and holidays. Fortunately I work somewhere that they don't do that.
    wooh likes this.
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    Quote from redhead_nurse98!
    well as a person who has no kids by choice i agree, i don't like being treated like i should be at their beck and call to do anything because i don't "have anyone at home." same thing with weekends and holidays. fortunately i work somewhere that they don't do that.
    it won't be too long now before people are working on their holiday schedules, and then we'll see the "kids card" played over having christmas off. very young children can't read the calendar and won't know that santa is "supposed" to come on december 25 instead of the 27th, and older kids are old enough to learn that "santa's coming on a special day because mommy and daddy have to take care of sick people on december 25." it's not about the kids. it's about the parents.
    BuckyBadgerRN, AnxiousRNtobe, wooh, and 3 others like this.
  6. 0
    We now have a comprehensive holiday schedule on a three-year rotation. It includes Super Bowl Sunday, Halloween, thanksgiving eve, easter eve, etc. Any "holiday" that is hard to staff. We know three years running which shifts we're going to be on. We're free to trade if we can find someone to do so with.

    Not too many holidays I care about. I do love fireworks, tho. ( I was ever so lucky that I was on call 4th of July and got to see them with fam, and then my phone buzzed that they needed me and I skittered on in. Perfect timing.) The feasting events can be rescheduled. And as you said, little kids don't know and bigger kids can learn there are ways the whole world isn't about them.
  7. 1
    Quote from Piglet08
    And as you said, little kids don't know and bigger kids can learn there are ways the whole world isn't about them.
    Yep, little kids don't know what the date is and older kids are only interested in the toys. They don't give a flip if mom or dad is there. When they get old enough to care if mom or dad is there they have already figured out the Santa thing anyway.
    wooh likes this.
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    Quote from HM-8404
    Yep, little kids don't know what the date is and older kids are only interested in the toys. They don't give a flip if mom or dad is there. When they get old enough to care if mom or dad is there they have already figured out the Santa thing anyway.
    Also I think most little kids would be receptive to Santa coming early JUST for them. When I was a kid for the some reason the tree would be put up on Dec 1st and presents would arrive in shifts because Santas sleigh was too small to bring them all at once. Also when we were good Santa would call and say we could pick out a present to open. It was my parents way of spreading out that magical perfect behavior card that Santa represented.

    Having said that I don't celebrate any of the holidays and prefer to work on them because a)I like the OT and b) Nothing is open so I can't shop or eat out anyways.
    wooh likes this.
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    We work every other "holiday," in other words I have to work Christmas Eve and New Year's Day this season. I'm gonna trade Christmas Eve for New Year's Eve, then I'll have all of New Year's off, and will probably get called off at least one of the Christmas days due to low census...meanwhile this lady that wants off for her kids thinks she getting a deal not having to work Christmas, lmao
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    Quote from tothepointeLVN

    The problem with making a exception for those who have kids is that so many people have kids and making an exception for them implies that their lives/comfort is worth more than those who don't. It's indirect discrimination and that's wrong.

    Bottom line the OP has been given notice of what is expected of her in advance so if she chooses to disagree with the terms of her employment she is free to seek employment elsewhere.
    Are we talking about our own lives? I thought we were talking about the lives of the children we value so highly. Really, are childless people REALLY under the impression that a parent would push them into the eye of a tornado because their life is worth more?
    Is this a reality that anyone has actualy faced, or just a version of taking things to the extreme to make a point?

    Because, and I'm sorry, but life trumps all. My life is not more valuable than anyone else's but my child's life is worth more than your car. Yes, we all have fulfilling lives, but we're talking about dependents. Be they children or impaired adults or beloved pets, I wouldn't equate protecting my house to anyone protecting their dependents.

    Do I think distasteful duty should be decided by who has the most valuables at home? No. But when I'm watching my single parent coworker dodge duty because her kids are alone in a hurricane, that's hardly the time to put a chip on my shoulder.
    Last edit by Stephalump on Aug 6, '12
    LaughingRN and watashi like this.


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