Drive to work pregnant in state of emergency?

  1. 0
    So I live in NJ, where we are expecting a major storm to hit Monday into Tuesday. I am an ER tech in a large level 2.

    Normally I would be the one willing to work during a major storm, willing to stay over and travel in bad weather if need be, but I am currently 5 months pregnant so It's not only me I have to worry about anymore.

    I am scheduled to work tonight into tomorrow morning (11pm-7am Monday), off Monday because of an ultrasound appt. Then I am scheduled to be in again Tuesday at 3pm. It's still too early to judge but if the weather is going to be as bad as predicted I really do not feel comfortable driving to work. Of course this is wait and see but I want to know what others would do in this situation.

    Very high winds and rain are expected, and like I said normally I would be all for it. (love a good storm) but like I said it's not only my safety I have to worry about right now.

    Would you drive to work pregnant in extremely hazardous weather?
  2. 47 Comments so far...

  3. 5
    Are they providing space for employees to sleep over? You could pack a bag and food and weather it out at work. If the weather is that bad your U/S appointment will probably be rescheduled.
  4. 17
    Tough call.

    On one hand, you do have your safety and that of your unborn child to worry about. Driving on hazardous roads is no joke, and if you were in an accident there's a significant risk to your child.

    On the other hand, do you think it's OK for the non-pregnant woman to drive in? The male coworker? The one with kids at home? The one who doesn't have children but perhaps has an elderly parent who relies on them? IMO, if you think it's OK for any of these people to drive in to work for you, then guess what: it's OK for YOU to drive in. They have to worry about other people too--those people may not be in the same car driving to work, but that doesn't make those people any less important.

    And lest you think I'm not understanding or sympathetic, I'm six months pregnant as I type this.

    You need to decide what is best for you, and only you can make that choice. But be aware that should you decide to call off, you may not receive a lot of sympathy from the coworkers who will have to cover for you. Also, depending on your facility's staffing policy for emergency situations, you may risk disciplinary action if you call out on such a day.

    So if you feel it's best, call out, but be prepared to deal with any consequences that may arise from it.

    Other options: providing that all is OK with the ultrasound results, what about going in early before the storm strikes? Work the extra hours, and in exchange request time off later in the week or get paid the OT. Or offer a compromise: if you decide to call out, offer to pick up an extra shift or two on the upcoming weekend or whenever they need it.

    If it were me, I'd probably call off and offer myself up on a weekend/holiday shift to try and make up for it. I would not risk driving on unsafe roads: I'd rather risk dealing with the unhappy management. But I wouldn't expect any concessions or understanding from them...and that's the chance I am willing to take. And I'd accept whatever came of it.

    Whatever you decide to do, best of luck and stay safe.
    Last edit by Meriwhen on Oct 28, '12 : Reason: grammar
  5. 0
    Safety first! If I were pregnant then absolutely not. I am close to the outer banks in NC and it is already getting ugly. Don't do it
  6. 10
    Hmm, I wrote a response and it seems to have disappeared. Feh.

    I also work in an ED in NJ and will be working through the storm. Are you planning to call out tonight and Tuesday as well? If so, I do think refusing to drive to work before and after the storm hits but going out to a doctor's appointment in the interim hints that this isn't about safety.

    I will be packing a bag and planning to stay if no relief arrives. I have already mapped out the hotels near the facility and my family has a plan to stay safe without me home. I live 45 minutes from my job and may not be able to get home at all if the roads are anything like the last time. We are all stocked up, hatches battened down and are ready for whatever may come. If you know the storm is coming, as we all do, why not make a plan? Switch days with others, ride with or stay with coworkers who live closer, stay the day in between where it's safe? Why is the only decision to call out and leave others to drive the (unsafe) roads? You are pregnant, yes, but we ALL have families. We ALL are important, no one person more than another. Leaving the poor schmoes who did drive to work with no relief just because you don't want to make arrangements isn't right or fair, IMO.

    Further, though you may not want to hear it, calling out when you're needed does reflect poorly and is often remembered by others, particularly at evaluation time. Those who called out of last year's hurricane at my hospital were fired - we had plenty of notice and the rest of us made plans as needed. It's just part of the job, unfortunately.
    angieb4gfa, nursel56, Orange Tree, and 7 others like this.
  7. 0
    Thank you all for your replies.... I am in no way saying that my safety is more important then anyone elses. Like I said, if I wasn't pregnant I would not even be questioning this. Last year during Irene I volunteered and stayed at the job during the storm.

    My concern is for my unborn child. This is my first pregnancy, so I'm nervous about everything. The difference between me driving and someone else is I have my child with me. If something were to happen to be... I risk hurting my child.

    I guess I am just going to wait and see how it is. I do not want to call out at all, I actually really WANT to go in because I know I will have co workers there to relieve.

    As for my ultrasound appt...It might be cancelled, and if the weather is bad I will not be going. This appt was made and I switched shifts before I we knew about this storm...

    My job will not be offering any accommodations until Monday night... like i said I'm working Sunday into Monday morning....off Monday, then back tuesday at 3pm. Hopefully by then the storm will have calmed down a bit and I will drive.... I guess we will see....
  8. 3
    If it isn't safe to drive to work it isn't safe to drive to your ultrasound. However might you be safer in a medical facility than at home?

    I do agree that safety is a concern for all workers that have to serve the public during disasters not just pregnant women.
  9. 0
    Quote from batmik
    If it isn't safe to drive to work it isn't safe to drive to your ultrasound. However might you be safer in a medical facility than at home?

    I do agree that safety is a concern for all workers that have to serve the public during disasters not just pregnant women.
    I agree. It would be safer to be in a hospital and that thought has crossed my mind.

    And again...yes safety is a concern for all workers not just pregnant women...But as another poster said, it is a part of the job. As healthcare workers it is our obligation to be there especially when disaster strikes. But I do believe extra caution should be taken as far as traveling is concerned when that worker is pregnant.
  10. 1
    I think you should go in for your scheduled shifts.
    Elladora likes this.
  11. 0
    Quote from amarilla
    Hmm, I wrote a response and it seems to have disappeared. Feh.

    I also work in an ED in NJ and will be working through the storm. Are you planning to call out tonight and Tuesday as well? If so, I do think refusing to drive to work before and after the storm hits but going out to a doctor's appointment in the interim hints that this isn't about safety.
    I am not planning on calling out tonight.... why would I the weather is still fair? My concern is going into work on Tuesday.( I should have pointed that out in my post) If the weather is bad when it's time for my appt... I will not be going... and it might be cancelled anyway.


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