Will you work during a Pandemic? - page 34

admin note: we just added a poll to this thread today, april 25, 2008, please take a second and vote in the poll so we can have a graphical representation of the responses. thanks scenario: ... Read More

  1. by   lamazeteacher
    [quote=MAISY, RN-ER;3603917]"Sorry...the first responder thing is out in left field....many are volunteers and any action on their part is a gift not a requirement. Secondly, anyone who would sacrifice themselves on the alter of martyrdom in MHO should be considered suspect and perhaps needs to be protected because obviously they are in no position to protect themselves from harm. They are not thinking clearly....lack of planning and PPE=illness and death to those who provide care. "

    I stopped when I saw a van upside down at the side of the freeway, and another car stopped too. As I made my way over to the vehicle with its wheels in the air, I noticed a man on the ground in front of it. He was on his back with pools of blood covering his eyes. He was breathing and had a strong pulse, but his head was twisted slightly.

    The other driver came near and I told him I am a nurse. He identified himself as an off duty police officer and asked, in that surreal setting, if I needed a helicopter. He said he'd called 911 on his cellphone, already. I said the helicopter was needed, and then irrationally wondered if I'd have to pay for it, if it turned out it wasn't required. I squatted near the man on the ground and told him soothingly that he'd be taken to a hospital by helicopter and he should keep his eyes closed as the sun was bright, and he needed his face cleaned. I didn't need PPE for anything I did, and I didn't plan to do anything short of CPR until the EMS personnel arrived. However I could be reassuring. I did have a mask with a one-way valve in the pocket of my car door, and gloves in the trunk, in my HH bag.

    "Other times if I know my purpose is to handle bodily fluids or remove an IV, I may wash and glove prior to entering. Just because the nurse was gloved didn't mean they were used or dirty. It isn't uncommon to perform a function and then to touch "dirty" areas prior to ungloving. "

    If the function you provided involved body fluids and then you touched another area before removing your gloves and washing your hands, you weren't following accepted technique. I highlighted the word "may" as that isn't an option. When proper technique is followed unerringly from the day you learn it, it becomes "second nature" and takes next to no time, unless you think about what you're doing, and whether you really need to take the precautions you were taught!

    We're diverging from the thread's topic here, so I'll make the other comments I have, to you privately.
    Last edit by lamazeteacher on May 7, '09 : Reason: typo
  2. by   mama_d
    from tweety pages and pages ago:

    i'd make a mask out of a pillow case or sheet and live dangerously and show up and work. if it's that desparate, i'll show up. i have no kids or family to worry about, am in great health with no pre-existing problems, and i wouldn't be able to sleep at night if i didn't find a way to help.

    this is assuming proper ppe, given the fact that the situation has changed somewhat since the original poll was posted...

    i have kidlets to worry about, but i'd be there. and i think that they'd expect it, too. i do have a son with asthma, so i'd expect that he'd be on the short list for the vaccine...i'd wrangle one out of his pediatrician (she moonlights at the er at my hospital as well as taking care of kiddos, so she'd have a personally vested interest in seeing that we were staffed). my kids (all but the toddler) know that i take care of people who are too sick to be at home and need specialized care...what would i be teaching them about responsibility and duty to others if i shirked mine?

    i recognize that there are those who, for valid reasons, would be neglecting greater responibilties and duties if they did join us in the trenches. i am lucky enough that i have a perfectly competent husband who is at the moment a stay-at-home dad and has had plenty of experience dealing with acutely ill kids without me home, even if i do get numerous phone calls throughout the night when that's the case.

    i don't have a martyr complex or anything like that (okay, my husband thinks i do, but i beg to differ).

    it's just that if we're not there to take care of these folks, who will? the better we're staffed, the more time we'll have to ensure proper infection control procedures, and the faster we'll be able to get those people well and back on their feet.

    and from multicollinerarity:

    yesterday in clinical one of my classmates said that if a big pandemic hits, nurses without children should work 7 days a week to staff the hospitals, and nurses with children should be excused from working.

    this person is a jack!ss. if it does come to the point where i'm taking care of h1n1 patients, though, i'd start changing all my clothes and shoes at work before i come home though.

    i can darn well guarantee you that if the situation continues to develop, and if myself or my family gets symptoms, i will expect to be able to take them to a doctor's office which is staffed. just like the general public should be able to expect to take their loved ones to a staffed hospital if needed, regardless of what brought them there.

    we have confirmed cases of h1n1 at my facility, all staff exposed to those patients are on prophylactic tamiflu. hopefully even if the whole darn staff has to be on it eventually, that will still be the protocol. and our id nurse was really on the ball about e-mailing all staff at work to let us know that we had that first confirmed case and letting us know what the precautions etc. should be.
  3. by   HippyGreenPeaceChick
    Quote from GooeyRN
    For some of us, we would rather not die, b/c we don't want to see our kids grow up in foster care. If not for that, then yes, I would work IF there were proper PPE. If no PPE? Then no way.

    Interesting statement. In all truth you do not get exposed anymore at work than you do at the grocery store or mall. Are you going to stop shopping all together. Maybe stay in safety in your sanitized home and order all your needs to be shipped in to you. I will stick to rest , fluids and good eating habits and vitamins. Much easier. You can say I told you so if I get sick. Peace.
  4. by   nghtfltguy
    would i work during a pandemic?

    you bet your ass i would!!!
    it is my job....

    my advice....if there were a real pandemic. or epidemic....and you would not work it... then get another job!!!!
    you don't need to be in this profession!!

    it is what we are PAID to do!!!!

    Last edit by sirI on May 13, '09
  5. by   End Game RN
    Great responses!!! I especially like Perpetual Student's reply. My family, some of my friends also have something similar in mind. Government can't control everything, it will fall apart in favor of family, community, regional, cultural, linguistic and religious influences. Perhaps something like this would forever alter the landscape of America. For example the States on our Southern border falling to countries to our South. Who or what could stop this if we are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and the peoples to our South come North believing that we could help them. Frankly I wouldn't blame them for believing this. Just thinking of the larger picture.
    No one, nor no one government can offer safety and security in the face of a pandemic. A massive bureaucracy is what it is, fat, lazy and self important. It's toothless if we don't support it.
    Would I work?? Sure, but for my own reasons. What?? are they going to arrest every health care worker who for some reason or another cannot or will not show up to work a pandemic??
    In the end, it must be the individual who chooses what they will do if this does come to pass. People will die, some will survive, society will experience enormous challenges, loyalties will change and all of these things we take for granted will in all likelyhood be changed forever.
    By the way..what about all of the thousands of other flu related deaths that occur every year, world wide???It seems that H1N1 has killed immunosuppressed individuals/medically ill individuals. Sounds like a normal flu season, but out of season. This is promoted as scarier since it is a variant we have not experienced until now?? or just not identified.
    Just be careful, be reasonable, be professional and plan your strategy when balancing family responsiblities with your health care facility's and community needs. Be yourself. Most of all, be safe.
    We'll be o.k.
  6. by   P_RN
    During hurricanes here my SB has offered to reactivate my license without any restrictions, and leave it active afterwards ( I guess so if I die it would be as an RN instead of RN-i, hmmm how tempting to an almost 65 y/o.) Might look nice on the gravestone.
  7. by   indigo girl
    Quote from P_RN
    During hurricanes here my SB has offered to reactivate my license without any restrictions, and leave it active afterwards ( I guess so if I die it would be as an RN instead of RN-i, hmmm how tempting to an almost 65 y/o.) Might look nice on the gravestone.
    Your board offered to reactivate your license during hurricanes and leave it active? What state is that? Just curious as it would mean that there is precedent in emergency situations.
  8. by   achot chavi
    With the proper infection control supplies (masks etc) and my husband home to watch the kiddies, I would join my coworkers at work, and stay in contact by cellphone with my husband,
    Please understand, i live in Israel where this has happened many times- scud missiles from Iraq, all sorts of rockets and missiles from our neighbors and Palestinians in Gaza, Syria, Lebanon etc. make it impossible not to.
    Last war, my friend brought her elderly mother to work with her, found her a bed,and worked while caring for her sick mother!!!
    Life has to go on, may G-d protect us all!!!
  9. by   PostOpPrincess
    Those are extreme conditions and I don't think any pragmatic individual would 'nightingale' it and huff on to work.....
  10. by   achot chavi
    Quote from JoPACURN
    Those are extreme conditions and I don't think any pragmatic individual would 'nightingale' it and huff on to work.....
    I respect your opinion, and would have said the same when I lived in the states, but living here, you do what you gotta do and pray for the best,
    I hope you never have to work during a Pandemic period
    Back in the 70's most nurses said the same- pragmatic nurses wouldn't work on an AIDs unit, but in the 80's we learnt to do just that.
    In the 60's my dentist wouldn't have considered working with gloves, by the 80's they were double gloving.
    As I said, when things happen, you do what you gotta do!!!!
  11. by   vlk70lpn2RN
    My immediate response was to yes I would go to work. Unfortunately, I took the survey before reading that no PPE would be available. With proper PPE, yes I would go to work. I do not judge those who would chose not to go. No, I do not believe the government would "take care of me" but with infection control compliance would provide some protection and someone has to go. I do not have young children or elderly family at home. I would feel responsible to go. My workplace notified us, we would be on list for tamiflu and our families. Healthcare workers would need to be on the first list of folks to receive both tamilflu and vaccine as would their families.
    If you expect us to work and come in contact with something this deadly, you better expect us to demand/expect proper PPE. One of the first things we learn in nursing school is proper handwashing and use of PPE.:angel2:
  12. by   cenote
    First of all, I am not in the military and the government cannot order me, or you for that matter, to go to work. Secondly, while I promised to care for my patients and have given way too much of myself to this profession, I did not swear to give my life. So, NO, I would not go.
  13. by   nurserowina
    No, same thing if the place was burning. bye bye. I cannot burn for anyone and after 15 years of doing this, I know this to be true- your facility does not care about you, you are a number. Your facility will never stick up for you, you are a body to fill a position. So no, I would not go to work during a pandemic.