Your employer's policy re: *snow and ice*? - page 3

Hi, I would really appreciate hearing from lots of people about what you do when you have to work but the roads are covered in snow and ice. I get many sarcastic or unrealistic responses from people... Read More

  1. by   fergus51
    I'm from Canada and it was expected you show up unless the roads were actually closed and I can't recall that happening. I can't tell you how annoyed I got if someone showed up late to relieve me and blamed it on the weather. Have good tires, chains if need be, leave early and drive slowly.

    OT, but it drives me INSANE when people blame the weather for showing up late now that I live in California. 2 inches of rain and they act like it's a new ice age or something.
  2. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from fergus51
    OT, but it drives me INSANE when people blame the weather for showing up late now that I live in California. 2 inches of rain and they act like it's a new ice age or something.
    Here in Florida, we have lots of great weather. Then when we do get rain, we can really have a problem with the oil and water slicking the road surfaces. We call it "Florida Black Ice" because you can't see it coming. All of a sudden you're in this freaky uncontrollable skid. Happened to me a couple of years ago coming off an exit ramp into a major intersection. I was doing about 35, which was under the speed limit.

    Happily, the car landed in the median of a very busy intersection and the damage to my car was minimal.

    But I'm sure it happens in CA too, so please be careful even when it's raining.
  3. by   RN34TX
    Quote from fergus51
    OT, but it drives me INSANE when people blame the weather for showing up late now that I live in California. 2 inches of rain and they act like it's a new ice age or something.
    I hear ya on that one. You'd think Dallas sat right in the middle of the desert and hadn't rained in 40 years the way the natives would act whenever it would rain.
    Rain, in warm weather, for crying out loud.
    Now that I live on the gulf the people here are more used to the rain and deal with it.
  4. by   RN34TX
    Quote from Daytonite
    My brother gave me some great advice years ago. . .learn the routes that the city busses take. Why? Because those routes will often be the first streets that will get plowed when the plows get going. Freeways will often get shut down when the state department of transportation can't keep up with a snow shower. So, even if you take a freeway to work all the time, you should also know how to get to work without going by freeway.
    Excellent advice. I never thought of that. I wish someone would have told me the bus route thing back when I lived up north!
    The other advice you gave was also good for people like Texans who get taken off guard by it but pretty much common sense to anyone in the northern states who deal with it on a regular basis.
    Never thought of that.
  5. by   SWRN84
    I work in home health, in a rural part of Missouri. All of the nurses try to come in when weather is bad. If the roads become too icy, or too much snow, we look at the schedule, and see the "absolutely have to's"....those patients who are daily, have dressings they are unable to change, or IV's that need to be done. We always tell patients when we open the case about contingency plans during the winter.....we may not be there if roads are dangerous. We are never forced to put ourselves in a dangerous situation as far as roads go, but each nurse is different. I've been doing home care for so long....I know my limits as far as back country roads.
  6. by   flashpoint
    We are pretty much expected to be at work as is no excuse even for the people who commute from 60 miles away. Our manager's logic is that we all have access to news sources and we should pay attention to weather reports...if it looks like it is going to be bad, we need to leave early, arrange a trade, or somehow make sure we are able to safely show up for our shift.

    I live about 5 miles out of town and have spent more than one night (actually day, since I work nights) either at the hospital or with my parents in town. I don't think that because someone lives closer to the hospital that they should have to cover because of weather.
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    We try to make arrangements to carpool. We have a list of everyone's address and phone number, and we had a big meeting to determine the "chain" of the carpool. The idea is whoever is heading towards the hospital picks up co-workers that are on their way.
  8. by   LPN1974
    I live in a rural state, and about 5-6 miles from my job.
    I've always been able to get there.
    All the other nurses on my shift live at least 35 to 40 miles away.
    One in particular likes to moan and groan about how hard it is for her to get there, but who do nurses think will do the work if they don't come in?
    Just because I live the closest and am always able to get there, does not mean I can work the shift by myself.

    I know it is hard to drive 35, 40, miles on ice, because even just 5 miles in treacherous, but I suppose preparations would be in order. Like reserving a motel room.
    We're nurses.....we have to be there. It goes with the job.
    If we didn't want to work holidays, undesirable shifts, long hours, or have to be there during snow and ice....then I think we should have been a secretary.
    I guess I'll get flamed for my opinion.:zzzzz
  9. by   wooh
    What always aggravates me is the manager that won't drive in (after all, they aren't "critical staff") but expects her staff to come in. (Of course, this was the same manager that said you couldn't take off more than 3 days in December because of the high census but herself took of 3 weeks of the month. She was always a "Do as I say" kind of manager.)
  10. by   WickedRedRN
    Lived in Indiana most of my life, was in Iowa for a short time, in the winter no less. Only one time that I ever recall being called and told not to come to work and that was a non nursing job. The thing about winter driving, it just takes practice. Don't let having a 4WD or FWD vehicle fool you into thinking you drive like normal. You still need to be cautious. My dad took me out when I was 16 in snow and made me drive in a parking lot until I got a feel for it. He even made me do put the car in a spin so I could learn how to recover. Every year beginning around November, he would start putting together emergency kits for the trunk, even did it for me when I got my first car. Check out for winter driving checklists and other info.

    My advise.... keep a bag in the car with emergency supplies, never have less than 1/2 tank gas, and always take it slow.
  11. by   JBudd
    When they shut down I25 either North or South of us, you get excused, there aren't good alternate routes. Other than that, come to work.

    That Dallas thing, I totally agree. A friend and I were going to a trauma conference in the DFW area in March, snow storm, whole bit. We got there, 14 hour drive; some from 40 miles away wouldn't drive in. The instructor said at the beginning, "well, we were supposed to have folks from Santa Fe, but...
    we looked up and said "we're here!". Total surprise on their end.
  12. by   CapeCoralNurse2be
    This is one of the many reasons I chose to live in Florida. I left FL for a couple years and worked in Colorado Springs for a large hospital. We were definitely expected to show up for work no matter what the weather conditions were. I had 2 times were bad snow storms had kept me from going in, but only because for one the snow was waist high and our streets were not plowed and snow drifts had completely covered my car, or I was literally snowed into my home.

    One time driving home from the hospital I got on an off ramp off the interstate that was on a steep section of a mountain and lost control of my car as it slid down the ramp. Lucily the car stopped moving as I got close to the intersection and no harm was done, but it sure was scary, and that was with the best snow tires I could get!!

    We had a couple of people in my department that had 4WD vehicles that would go out and pick people up, but then you had to find a way home on your own unless they worked the same shift. I never had anyone pick me up, but mainly because I lived 50 miles from the hospital.

    Now of course coastal states like here, you have to deal with going into work during hurricanes....but of course this isn't as often as bad snow weather can be in the colder climates.
  13. by   ccusherry
    I have been reading over the replies to the thread and although I understand and basically agree with the main idea, I want to tell you guys about an incident at the hospital where I work. Approx 5 years ago we had a bad ice and snow storm. One of the nurses had called the floor where she worked to see if anyone knew waht the road conditions were. She lived in a very rural area and was contemplating calling in. The nurse manager happened to be in the station when she called and told the nurse that if she called in for weather reasons, she would be reprimanded. The nurse left for her shift an hour early to leave plenty of time. When she arrived at the hospital it was by ambulance because another car had lost control and t boned her. The er staff worked her code for over an hour beofre calling it. Needless to say, administration is now more understanding about weather situations. Unfortunately, that happened too late for that particular nurse. Yes, our patients are why we are in nursing but what good are we to them if we are dead?? By the way, no, I have never called in for weather. Guess I have been lucky.