Nursing in a Blizzard---what does your hospital do?

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by Riseupandnurse Riseupandnurse Member Nurse

Specializes in Medical Surgical. Has 15 years experience.

Like other places, we have had terrible weather this past week. Ice, sleet, snow, the roads almost impassable. The hospital goes out with a 4 wheel drive vehicle and gets people who live 30 miles away or less, in most cases, but then can't get them home. We have nurses who have been at the hospital for days, working the P shifts. They are given a cot and can try to sleep during the day, but they don't get off the shift in time because the day people can't get in on time. These nurses look absolutely awful; I can't understand why they're not all sick themselves. What does your hospital do about staffing in crippling weather?

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience. 67 Articles; 14,008 Posts

most areas have some form of bad weather, whether it be blizzards, ice storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, torrential rains with mudslides and sink holes, volcanic eruptions or earthquakes. (ok, the last two aren't actually weather, but you catch my drift.) hospital policies vary, but it's usually some form of "you need to make arrangements to be at work for your shift, and we'll haul you in if we need to." and if you can get yourself in and are allowed to leave, that's great. if the hospital hauls you in, you're generally stuck there for the duration.

i've cross country skiied to work on more than one occaision -- and i was the only nurse allowed to go home to sleep because they figured if i skiied in today, i'll ski in again tomorrow. i've also gone to work on a snowmobile, a snowplow and once seriously considered ice skates. (i ended up walking, and once again was the only nurse allowed to leave.)

what i fail to understand about your situation is why it's only the pm nurses forced to stay while the day nurse, who cannot seem to get to work on time to relieve them are allowed to leave.

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most areas have some form of bad weather, whether it be blizzards, ice storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, torrential rains with mudslides and sink holes, volcanic eruptions or earthquakes. (ok, the last two aren't actually weather, but you catch my drift.) hospital policies vary, but it's usually some form of "you need to make arrangements to be at work for your shift, and we'll haul you in if we need to." and if you can get yourself in and are allowed to leave, that's great. if the hospital hauls you in, you're generally stuck there for the duration.

i've cross country skiied to work on more than one occaision -- and i was the only nurse allowed to go home to sleep because they figured if i skiied in today, i'll ski in again tomorrow. i've also gone to work on a snowmobile, a snowplow and once seriously considered ice skates. (i ended up walking, and once again was the only nurse allowed to leave.)

what i fail to understand about your situation is why it's only the pm nurses forced to stay while the day nurse, who cannot seem to get to work on time to relieve them are allowed to leave.

this kind of stuff is why i'm glad i got out of hospital/nursing home care. it's nice to go back to work in a job that closes during ugly weather.

kayleeray

kayleeray

Specializes in (Hopefully one day..) neuro/urology ^.^. 83 Posts

i've cross country skiied to work on more than one occaision -- and i was the only nurse allowed to go home to sleep because they figured if i skiied in today, i'll ski in again tomorrow. i've also gone to work on a snowmobile, a snowplow and once seriously considered ice skates.

craziness. that's dedication. sounds like fun, too. :D

where do you live?

Sonjailana

Sonjailana

1 Article; 172 Posts

Just be careful driving in the snow nurses!!! I rolled over a car on the highway trying to get home this week and now am stuck at home off work nursing my own injuries!

wonderbee

wonderbee, BSN, RN

Specializes in critical care; community health; psych. 1 Article; 2,212 Posts

Skis? Ice skates? Heck, I might trade my car in for a team of sled dogs the way things are going.

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My own contribution to this is: I live in the lower Midwest. We don't have blizzards here, very rarely does snow get more than an inch when it does fall, because the climate is too warm for blizzards. Our climate is too warm for full blizzards, but instead it causes ice storms consisting of freezing rain, which forms a casing of ice on anything it hits - the roads, trees, power lines, etc, and turns the roads into black ice, making any expedition dangerous. Cross-country skiing is not an option here. Nurses are expected to literally risk getting themselves killed on the roads or getting their cars totalled to get to work.

When I work far away I bring an overnight bag and some clean scrubs on hangers and plan to stay. When I live nearby, as I do now, I walk or snowshoe.

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