Will you work during a Pandemic?

  1. 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


    h5n1 (the bird flu) mutates to become efficient at transmitting human to human causing a pandemic, with a case fatality rate of 60% and with 80% of the cases in the 0-40 year old age range.


    hospitals will be quickly overrun. hospital staff shortages are 50%. the government orders all nurses to work. there is not enough personal protection equipment (n95 masks, gloves, goggles, tamiflu, vax, etc)

    home quarantines become common (in the fed plans).
    your family is also quarantined in your home. you are running out of food and the government promises you will be "taken care of" if you report to work.

    will you go?
    Last edit by Joe V on Apr 29, '09
  2. Poll: Nurses, would you go to work during a Pandemic?

    • No

      21.86% 1,925
    • Yes

      63.51% 5,592
    • undecided

      14.63% 1,288
    8805 Votes
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    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 21; Likes: 18


  4. by   EmmaG
    The government "orders" me to work? No PPE? They'll "take care" of me?

    Nah. Don't think so.
  5. by   ICRN2008
    When I have children, they will be my first priority above any government "mandate" for me to report to work. You cannot expect civillians to jeopardize the safety of their families just because they happen to work in the health care field as a way to earn a living.

    Would we ask the same sacrifices of teachers, lawyers, office workers or store clerks? I sincerely doubt it. Voluntary services such as the military, national guard, Red Cross and other agencies would need to play a role in such a scenario. I suspect that there would be a high rate of casualties seeing as how our hospitals can barely manage to adjust to normal fluctuations in patient census. (I am thinking of all the havoc that was created in the past week when my hospital reached capacity- even with overtime pay people weren't willing to come in for extra shifts).
    Last edit by ICRN2008 on Oct 29, '07
  6. by   canoehead
    "taken care of" with no PPE or meds available? What are they referring to when they say that? Probably a ride to and from and meals on duty, but not much more. Yes, I think I would go in anyway, but I'd be pretty realistic about not expecting any thanks or recognition. I haven't heard of any of the nurses that stayed during Katrina getting anything special, and I often wonder if they were paid for that last week or so. Anyone know?
  7. by   HM2VikingRN
    Definitely a job for the NG and other organizations. I won't work without PPE onboard. I can't fulfill my obligation to care for others if I am dying from the flu.
  8. by   happydays352
    If they treat me like they treated the 9/11 rescue workers I'll sure show up.

    yeah right!
  9. by   Perpetual Student
    Running out of food is NOT a concern for me. I just rec'd another year's worth today, as a matter of fact. My UPS driver didn't even seem too annoyed to be hauling in an 800 lb shipment. I've taken care to prepare myself sufficiently for just about any eventuality (from Alien invasion to Zombie apocalypse, lol) and have encouraged others to do the same.

    I do not need the government for anything--except to stay out of my way and let me live my life. I will never do anything merely because they order me to or promise to do something for me in exchange--governments darn near always lie.

    Depending upon the situation (e.g. roads open, limited risk of random violence), I might continue to work my scheduled (home care) shifts. I would NOT go work in a facility in which I have no experience, no confidence, nor orientation to basically die r/t lack of PPE. If the mortality rate were lower and there were adequate PPE I'd be much more inclined to VOLUNTEER to help people.

    I chose nursing as a career in order to provide care to people, but I have to protect myself first. Going in without adequate PPE and becoming a casualty myself would not accomplish anything. In the above scenario, I most likely would fall back to my retreat and be prepared to live there for a year or two until the pandemic burns itself out. At the very least, I would isolate myself inside my home, not leaving unless absolutely necessary.
  10. by   treysdaddy08
    Eventually I plan on being prepared for such a disaster. Currently I am a student and cannot afford that . Being prepared would include having my own PPE, and if that were the case, I absolutely would go in. However, if my actions put my family in harms way, no doubt I would stay home. Family is #1 priority, with my job being #2
  11. by   Zookeeper3
    Quote from hm2viking
    definitely a job for the ng and other organizations. i won't work without ppe onboard. i can't fulfill my obligation to care for others if i am dying from the flu.
    ditto, no ppe no workie
  12. by   catnip
    Gee, let me think, um NO!!!!!!!!
  13. by   loricatus
    I'm sure the gov't will 'TAKE CARE OF ME', except that statement is open to interpretation. Where I am now, it means a 'hit'...

    Pandemic or not, my family comes first. Sorry, but its not my problem that they have not invested enough money for PPE, staff and research;nor, should I risk my life trying to accomodate their mistakes. I quite sure that you aren't going to see any politicians or high level government officials out there helping if we were to have the scenario that was presented-I'm sure that they will be bunkered down.
  14. by   meownsmile
    I dont think they can order you to work if you are already quarentined in your home. You would be quarentined yourself so you wouldnt be able to leave.
  15. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    I posted an article in the breakroom of the hospital about this very thing. I was trying to light a fire and get people to think about the possibility of a pandemic and exactly what would be expected of us nurses. I wanted them to question our administration and infection control dept. and see what kind of game plan was in the makes.

    My efforts fell flat as a pancake.