Forced to stay and work under mandatory evacuation?

  1. 2
    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 gone, and the other can come back when regular citizens come back.

    My question can they legally do this? I was placed on the team that's forced to stay in the hospital with pts. They'll keep ICU, ER and MY floor open only.

    There will be no extra pay, no bonus, just regular pay and time and 1/2 when you're in over time. Expected to sleep in the hospital, in semi-pvt room WITH ANOTHER CO-WORKER!

    If the evacuation is mandatory how can they legally tell me to stay and WORK? Can I be fired for leaving?
    sirI and Joe V like this.
  2. 34,380 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 256 Comments so far...

  4. 15
    When you chose to be a nurse you pretty much signed up for taking care of patients. Every region has its severe weather issues and yes the expectation is that nurses will need to stay to take care of those patients even under dire circumstances. What other choice is there? Abandon the patients and hope for the best when you come back? It's unfortunate and even scary but that's part of the job. As far as the hospital firing you for not complying...plan on it.
    Natkat, Crux1024, RNSC, and 12 others like this.
  5. 5
    You can't "abandon" a patient that you never signed up for caring for in the 1st place. The hospital should close it's doors, or pay me some extra money. I don't see being a nurse as "I put my life on the line for you" type of job. I am not a police officer, fire fighter...etc

    And when a mandatory evac. is issued 911 services are stopped. No one will answer you are told "You're on your own" if you stay.
  6. 1
    It would be hard to have my children at home alone if I was forced to stay at work at the hospital. I am a single parent and there is no family around. They could stay with friends, but if there was a major disaster, I would really rather be with my children than at work.
    MomRN0913 likes this.
  7. 4
    I'm a former teacher and if any type of disaster occured (luckily it only happened once), we had to stay until all of the children in our class were picked up. It was written in our contract.
  8. 39
    I think you sound incredibly entitled and are missing the point of what it means to be a nurse. To think of it as just a job is to slap in the face to every nurse who's sacrificed their time and life to take care of others who need them, and this is a situation where you are desperately needed.

    "There will be no extra pay, no bonus, just regular pay and time and 1/2 when you're in over time. Expected to sleep in hospital, in semi-pvt room WITH ANOTHER CO-WORKER!"

    - So??? You want some sort of reward for what you are required to do? What entitles you to it more than anyone else? If you're unhappy with this requirement, by all means, leave. If you're concerned about safety, then ask those requiring you to stay about safety procedures and reinforcement. I'm sure they've taken care of the things you worry about ahead of time. And good Lord, oh no, You might be required to SHARE A ROOM WITH A COWORKER?!?!??!?!? What did you expect??? The Ritz??? Either get over yourself, or move somewhere else. I haven't worked as a nurse during a natural disaster, but I did work during one at a night audit at a hotel. I was the only person that actually lived in the area apart from the manager, and was required to stay with the guests, who were stranded at our hotel for nearly a week w/out anywhere to go or any way home. My job required me to stay, did I plan for this in advance when I was hired? No. Did I complain about it? No. Was I scared like everyone else? Yes, but I didn't let that have an affect on my ability to take care of a bunch of freaked out guests who couldn't contact their families. Your hospital should have an emergency response plan (sounds like they do since you know what's required of you), that works in direct line with your State Emergency System as well as the National Incident Management System in regards to what is required from the hospital. So, yes, in the even of a natural disaster, they can require you to stay. But remember, you're never forced, you just may need to find work somewhere else.
    Last edit by emmyers on Jul 31, '12
    psu_213, Libitina, babyRN0404, and 36 others like this.
  9. 6
    most hospitals supply food and sleeping quarters here in fl.i spent a weekend at gainesville,fri -mon and now know why i was not a criminal,jail must be hell,lol,also got paid 20/hr while sleeping,it still stunk but a nurse is a nurse is a nurse,deal with it and be glad you have initials after your name!!!
    Natkat, himilayaneyes, xoemmylouox, and 3 others like this.
  10. 0
    agree!!!!!!
  11. 31
    Please keep it civil, everyone. I don't know that the original poster's moral development is in question. Perhaps this just occurred to them. If you cannot remain calm and reasonable, please don't respond to the thread.

    Your employer cannot "force" you to stay or they'd be in trouble for unlawful detainment. However, if you leave, they are free to fire you if your contract of employment states that you comply with the disaster plan (and I assure you, it does). We had this kind of thing happen during "snowmageddon" here in winter 2009-2010, where we had to stay in the hospital. It happens, you handle it. It's not that big of a deal. If you don't agree, don't work there. Freedom of choice is a wonderful thing - you're free to not do it, they're free to not employ you.
    Natkat, DizzyLizzyNurse, Cougar1113, and 28 others like this.
  12. 15
    Quote from squatmunkie_RN
    You can't "abandon" a patient that you never signed up for caring for in the 1st place. The hospital should close it's doors, or pay me some extra money. I don't see being a nurse as "I put my life on the line for you" type of job. I am not a police officer, fire fighter...etc

    And when a mandatory evac. is issued 911 services are stopped. No one will answer you are told "You're on your own" if you stay.
    If you do not like serving the public then well, do not serve the public. Nursing is an essential service, just like firefighting and law enforcement.
    psu_213, RNSC, noreenl, and 12 others like this.


Top