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Forced Quarantine

Disasters   (448 Views | 7 Replies)
by Chris11 Chris11 (New) New Nurse

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Hi everyone, LPN in Texas Currently working in a LCF. My current county has recently started having COVID cases pop up. As a result my employer has begun notifying staff to bring extra clothes to work as they will be forcing all nursing staff to quarantine in facility for 15 days. This is being listed as a precaution as we have had no positive cases in facility. I have no family in the area and no one available to watch my children. Quarantine in facility would not be a possibility for me. Is this even legal? Can my employer force staff to stay in building? I have brought up my concerns to my HR department unfortunately was told that if I choose leave, my position will be terminated and license reported to BON. Any advice?

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Here.I.Stand has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

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Yeah no you can’t abandon your children.. even if your license could be disciplined in that situation I’d rather deal with the BON than child protection.

But really if you require quarantine, is your employer actually suggesting that those nurses are appropriate to care for residents? For 15 days straight?

I smell bovine feces... but not being a legal expert would confirm with your BON +/- an employment attorney. If your employer is right honestly I would opt to self-quarantine at home. You might be terminated but not abandoning patients

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KatieMI has 6 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine.

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For all honesty, if I were you, the next thing your DON would see from me on such condition would be good-bye note. With another note from the nearest urgent care with doctor's order to stay away from job which is reeking toxic to high heavens, effective immediately.

And no, you cannot be disciplined by BON if you did not abandon patients.

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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The states where this has been issue so far have similar laws that require healthcare facilities to ensure anyone they are mandating to work has childcare, elder care, etc covered otherwise they cannot be mandated. My facility turned our geriatric day center into a giant childcare facility, not because they wanted to.

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StrwbryblndRN has 9 years experience and specializes in CMSRN.

637 Posts; 8,582 Profile Views

If I was asked, I would do it. My kids are older and I understand the need. But my personality tends to push back if it is forced. My life is my own. I accept ramifications of my choices. If it means I will loose my job, so be it. I will not be forced.

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

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12 hours ago, Chris11 said:

As a result my employer has begun notifying staff to bring extra clothes to work as they will be forcing all nursing staff to quarantine in facility for 15 days.

My hospital has discussed possibly doing that, too, if things get really bad. I think the idea is that they would only actually do it if we reach a point where there are enough call outs that there's nobody left to cover the following shift (but if people are staying at the facility, then they can't call out). It's something they've historically done for weather-related emergencies where they believed people wouldn't be able to physically get to work. If you're on-site, it's also easier for them to force/pressure you to work 16 hour shifts.

My biggest concern is that we're supposed to practice social distancing to prevent the spread, but on lock-down, you'd have 100s of healthcare workers sleeping in close quarters (in our case, on cots in the med school library). That sounds like a recipe for 1/3 of your entire workforce getting sick all at once.

Plus, in weather-related emergencies, the road conditions are the limiting factor so it makes sense to stay on-site. Conversely, if you live next to the hospital, there's nothing about COVID stopping you from coming in.

All of that to say, I've heard of the practice you're describing, even though I think it's especially dumb in this situation. Our plan is to open it up to volunteers before forcing it. If the hospital/facility does require you to stay on-site, they will likely have to pay you 24/7 the whole time you're there (even if you're only working 12 or 16 and sleeping the rest), which means that you'll quickly go into overtime and make a boatload of money. Some people without kids or pets might be willing to volunteer.

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KatieMI has 6 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine.

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25 minutes ago, adventure_rn said:

My biggest concern is that we're supposed to practice social distancing to prevent the spread, but on lock-down, you'd have 100s of healthcare workers sleeping in close quarters (in our case, on cots in the med school library). That sounds like a recipe for 1/3 of your entire workforce getting sick all at once.

And 90% of them infected at once... but, oh, when a SNF administration ever let an idea to slip through about such minor thing?

"It is your job to care about client's condition. It is my job to care about policies being followed appropriately" (said to me by a DON of one SNF).

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18 hours ago, Chris11 said:

Hi everyone, LPN in Texas Currently working in a LCF. My current county has recently started having COVID cases pop up. As a result my employer has begun notifying staff to bring extra clothes to work as they will be forcing all nursing staff to quarantine in facility for 15 days. This is being listed as a precaution as we have had no positive cases in facility. I have no family in the area and no one available to watch my children. Quarantine in facility would not be a possibility for me. Is this even legal? Can my employer force staff to stay in building? I have brought up my concerns to my HR department unfortunately was told that if I choose leave, my position will be terminated and license reported to BON. Any advice?

WOW!. That's horrible! That dies not sound legal to me. I would call an attorney to see what he says.

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