Can nurses be forced to work during pandemic - page 4

I'm wondering-can the government force nurses to work during an emergency outbreak such as a pandemic?... Read More

  1. by   talaxandra
    I think few of us relish the idea of being thrust into making this kind of decision, or of being faced with this scenario outside Hypothetica (the land of hypotheticals). However, we all have reasons why we ought to be exempt. Please note I didn't specified young children - I'm the sole resident child of older parents, one of whom has a nasty autoimmune disease with a low 5-year survival rate. A colleague has an adolescent with autism. Another is emotionally supporting teens after a nasty divorce. A friend has a sister recently diagnosed with major depression and is her sole emotional resource.

    When I said "hits home" (post 32) I meant: health care providers and their families are going to be personally affected by a pandemic. While some may be quarantined, others will be hospitalised. So perhaps what I should have said was: if you or a loved one needs in-hospital care, who do you think will be providing it? If we all prioritise ourselves and our needs over the needs of our community there won't be any nurses, doctors, aides, cleaners, orderlies, pharmacists, cooks, pathologists, delivery people, rubbish collectors...
  2. by   Equinox_93
    I guess the bottom line is that there are alot of people who hold both perspectives and neither is going to change the others mind. This doesn't make anyone "less of a (insert healthcare professional here)" it just means that different people have different priorities and that's just the way it is.



    Quote from talaxandra
    I think few of us relish the idea of being thrust into making this kind of decision, or of being faced with this scenario outside Hypothetica (the land of hypotheticals). However, we all have reasons why we ought to be exempt. Please note I didn't specified young children - I'm the sole resident child of older parents, one of whom has a nasty autoimmune disease with a low 5-year survival rate. A colleague has an adolescent with autism. Another is emotionally supporting teens after a nasty divorce. A friend has a sister recently diagnosed with major depression and is her sole emotional resource.

    When I said "hits home" (post 32) I meant: health care providers and their families are going to be personally affected by a pandemic. While some may be quarantined, others will be hospitalised. So perhaps what I should have said was: if you or a loved one needs in-hospital care, who do you think will be providing it? If we all prioritise ourselves and our needs over the needs of our community there won't be any nurses, doctors, aides, cleaners, orderlies, pharmacists, cooks, pathologists, delivery people, rubbish collectors...
  3. by   Equinox_93
    Quote from lamazeteacher
    The uncertainty of reliable long term childcare if you were needed by your facility, or wherever your work might be in an emergency, would mean that you couldn't be relied upon to be there in an emergency.
    Just another thought... In a widespread disaster scenario- NO ONE can be relied upon to be there in an emergency because no one knows who will be affected by the disaster/emergency. If a bomb goes off downtown, you can't count on employees not having been downtown and not having been affected. I'd rather know someone clearly won't be able to be there than to wonder. Most facilities would almost certainly rather have great staff who are there 100% day to day but are known to have childcare issues and have to be strict on their schedulling (but 100% within that schedulling) than to only hire the ones who can definately make it to work during the apocalypse.
  4. by   azhiker96
    I would suggest checking your individual state plan. Massachusetts has a plan that would hold healthcare licenses at ransom if people refused to help. I could not find any wording like that in Arizona. My states plan includes a number of supportive measures for healthcare providers including childcare, rest and recooperation rooms, vaccine and meds for family members to name a few. They plan to make it easy for people to answer the call. If I had young children at home I would want to work here since childcare would be provided and I would still have health insurance and a paycheck. If I had to stay home because daycares are shut down I would get a double whammy of losing my pay and insurance as well. Kids need watching but they also need to eat and a roof over their heads.
    It is good to have these discussions early so folks can plan and think of all of the rammifications of their decisions.
  5. by   HippyGreenPeaceChick
    I have not had any children yet. But for me I would not be kept locked up in a facility, because no one else is there. Sorry I do need some parting time.Some relaxation time. I will give and give when I need to. But when I need my time I need my time. Has nothing to do with children.
  6. by   Equinox_93
    Quote from HippyGreenPeaceChick
    I have not had any children yet. But for me I would not be kept locked up in a facility, because no one else is there. Sorry I do need some parting time.Some relaxation time. I will give and give when I need to. But when I need my time I need my time. Has nothing to do with children.

    ... Well... In the event of a major pandemic where everyone around is dying or a terrorist threat where everyone is afraid another bomb is going to kill everyone- "me time" kinda goes out the window in favor of self preservation.... In situations such as we are talking, there IS no relaxation time or "me time" whether you're at work or not....
  7. by   Maine17
    Hippy.... If you left patients during a crises-it would be called "abandoning" and I believe you would lose your license.
  8. by   Equinox_93
    Quote from Maine17
    Hippy.... If you left patients during a crises-it would be called "abandoning" and I believe you would lose your license.

    .... If I left my kids during a crisis, it would also be called abandoning- and I'd lose my kids.... I'll take losing my license over losing my kids....
  9. by   Maine17
    Nurses just by their training/experience know how to prioritize. If a nurse has dependents (young children, elderly) at home who need care (and spouse cannot provide), then the nurse will most likely stay with his/her family, otherwise I believe most nurses will try to provide nursing care where it is needed.
    Nursing is not a vocation (although there obviously are still who think it is), but a profession-people go into this field for many different reasons, come from various different walks of life and have a variety of home situations.
    In a pandemic, hospitals will do whatever they can to have adequate nursing staff-Unfortunately, possibly even with job/license threats. Before there is a pandemic, is the time that the hospitals should be planning how to meet high patient numbers/limited nurses-this should be part of their Pandemic Planning. They can predict that a certain percentage of their staff will not show up or will have family needs-they already should have plans in place to work with nurses in other fields.(Most do not). Hospital nurses should be demanding that these plans be in place-They are the ones who will bear the brunt of poor planning by the hospitals.
  10. by   HippyGreenPeaceChick
    I just love drama. I am addicted to Days of Our Lives.


    Peace and Love
  11. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from Equinox_93
    Most contagious illnesses, yes. And with this current round of H1N1 I'd agree totally. It may be pandemic, but it's not very lethal or problematic. However- would you feel the same if this mutated into a form as lethal as H5N1 with a greater than 50% mortality rate?
    I have worked in Africa as a volunteer, where PPE is limited, and where bluntly there are many diseases as well as physical risks that have an elevated or higher mortality rate. When you worry about making it to get supplies, because you have a very real risk of being shot at, kidnapped, raped (in area where HIV+ is rampant), or contracting one of the many filoviral/hemmorhagic/parasitic illnesses, flu is less frightening, especially in the USA where we have a reasonably safe blood supply, sterile supplies, and ability to access a higher level of care.

    And, at the time that I worked with AIDs patients, pts generally died within several monthes to 1-2 years of diagnosis. There were few antivirals, whatsoever, PCP pneumonia had a 50% fatality rate. Not that much was known about HIV at the time.
  12. by   Equinox_93
    During your time in Africa did you have small children waiting at home for you?


    Quote from caroladybelle
    I have worked in Africa as a volunteer, where PPE is limited, and where bluntly there are many diseases as well as physical risks that have an elevated or higher mortality rate. When you worry about making it to get supplies, because you have a very real risk of being shot at, kidnapped, raped (in area where HIV+ is rampant), or contracting one of the many filoviral/hemmorhagic/parasitic illnesses, flu is less frightening, especially in the USA where we have a reasonably safe blood supply, sterile supplies, and ability to access a higher level of care.

    And, at the time that I worked with AIDs patients, pts generally died within several monthes to 1-2 years of diagnosis. There were few antivirals, whatsoever, PCP pneumonia had a 50% fatality rate. Not that much was known about HIV at the time.
  13. by   caroladybelle
    My child was older at that time, but I have a mother who is ill and depends on me.

    It is really dismissive to those of us that do this work, to assume that we have no one that depends on us....therefore we do that work. I like to teach my child and now her children that we have a responsibility to others. She as well as her husband have worked in law enforcement.

    I will also add that the vast majority of those that I did that work with, were married, had children and other dependants.

    There are risks everywhere when you enter a helping profession. Did the healthcare workers/EMTs/paramedics/police/firemen of 9-11 expect what faced them? Were they neglectful of their families when they went to do their jobs? And did they back off saying, "Well, I know that I took this job, knowing the risks....but I just can't do it now....I have a family."

    There are also plenty of military parents out there, also, that face much greater risks.

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