Five New Orleans nurses file suit - page 2

Five New Orleans nurses who were fired and reported to the State Board of Nursing for abandoning patients after Hurricane Katrina are filing suit against Touro Infirmary. The nurses claim they were... Read More

  1. by   grandee3
    I was fired for not staying at the hospital when the hurricaine hit. I did go in Sat night before storm and work. I got a call from home that a family member still was not able to evacuate due to lack of help getting all his medical equipment. I gave report and went to Super and asked if I could leave for a little while. At that point I was going to return at 12 noon. All my belongings were left at the facility. When I got home other family members begged me to leave town. Listening to the radio and TV reports about the devistation after the storm and the other predications that came true. I was scared to death. I am 58 years old and feared for my life and the lives of everyone there. I left town in my uniform with tears flowing. My hands were shaking. I made several attempts to call the unit, by this time all lines were jammed. I did get thru to the answer machine in staffing office and left a message.
    I take full responsibility for my actions. I worried sick about my co workers and patients as I watched the horror story unfold 2 days later.
    The very first call I made when phone service returned was to the home office in Dallas. I was told to call in a few days when they have more info.
    I was offered a position in Shreveport which is 8 hours away from home.
    My house was flooded and I felt this was too far because I would have to be close when the water went down and clean up process started.
    The next time I talked to them they told me I was fired. I am crushed. I was there for 5 years and really loved it.
    I don't know what I'm going to do. I feel guilty and should be walking around with a scarlet letter or something.
    I miss it, I miss my co workers and friends. The company was very good to me over those 5 years and I feel I was good to them.
  2. by   rntraveler
    Grandee3-Which hospital did you work at? Did the hospital evacuate any pt? How much staff stayed? I really don't blame anyone for leaving-the pt should all have been evacuated and there should only have been a skeleton staff for emergencies. The main problem is that Gulf Costers are used to hurricanes and did not comprehend that the devastation would be so complete,or that they would lose so much.
  3. by   dawngloves
    Theoretically, if the building was on fire and after trying to save patients the nurses escaped, would that be abadonment?
  4. by   Jessy_RN
    This is terrible. It sure will be interesting to see the outcome of this.

    I wish them all lots of luck.
  5. by   geekgolightly
    Quote from dawngloves
    Theoretically, if the building was on fire and after trying to save patients the nurses escaped, would that be abadonment?
    i would really like to know the answer to this.
  6. by   RNSue
    I watched CNN for three days straight when Katrina hit and the flooding happened. The whole time I was wondering how the nurses were managing in what I knew must have been horrible conditions. Then Krystin Smith, an ICU nurse at Charity, called in and told the world that nurses were starting IVs on each other to keep hydrated. In all subsequent interviews or references to Charity an MD was interviewed or quoted. I've wondered if she was reprimanded or fired. Does anyone know? I hope not. I plan to keep up with this story and see what happens.
  7. by   gizelda196
    I posted a blog about this on MSNBC for those interested. It is MY opinion on the lawsuit thing against the hospital workers.
    Some one made reference to the captain goes down with the ship. Wouldn't that be the Hospital administrators where were they? tucked away safely while they left these patients straight in the path of the hurricane. I think would have left too I have my own family to care for and we aren't martyrs for goodness sake. These nurse were left in HORRILBE circumstances. I stand behind every decision they made in the middle of a war zone. They need our surport for the descions they had to make. I dont think any of us could of did it diffrently. And someone will always say I would have did this or I would have did that ,but you know what YOU WERE NOT THERE. I am sure it was hell.I wish them luck.
  8. by   kinneyzip
    I moved to New Orleans one year ago. Wanted something new in my life. Well, I got it! Was stuck at one of the hospitals during the hurricane. From the time I started my friend told me to find out what the Hurricane Disaster Plan was...the only response I got was.."if you are scheduled to work the day the hurricane is supposed to hit and you don't show're fired." I worked my 3 days prior and not from the area, figured I would get out of town that Sun. after my shift, since I wasn't scheduled to work Aug 29. The hospital put us all in lock down Sun. afternoon. The bridges were shut down anyway so I couldn't have left if I had wanted to. The days that followed were a look into what hell must be like. The response by state and federal government was as usual..a tied up mess! As a nurse for over 30 yrs. I have never felt so burnt up as did patients. (axillary temps 108 when they died). Yes, had to "Procure" food and water from stores. Was "allowed" to leave that Thurs. Took over a month to recup. Returned to my old ED job, but everyday is a struggle. Why would any hospital have left staff and patients there if most of the hospitals were only Cat. 3 built. But the saddest part is my friend is trying to find articles for her masters that relate to PTSD txment for RNs that were on the front line during the storm........nothing....absolutely nothing. My organization ENA has a request for sending workers to the Gulf area to help people with PTSD......but not their own...their nurses. As usual the last people we care for are ourselves. Does it affect my nursing ability..sometimes...has taken a while to develop any compassion for my patients. I know there was a reason for this event in my life..maybe someday I'll figure it out.
  9. by   Indy
    I don't know how any of you who went through this, had the strength to do it and stay sane. It's heartwrenching to think of. I felt guilty every day I went to work in my nice, clean, dry hospital while this was going on. Florence herself would be proud of all of you. You've lived through a war zone and done what most people never have to do.

    The whole country, all of us, need not to forget the multiple failings that led to that disaster, and the things that made the aftermath so much worse than it needed to be. People wanted to help, licensure wasn't automatic; people wanted to go and transportation wasn't available or possible, etc. Anyway none of this is news, we all know it, but you folks had to live with it and we are all lucky, and should be more grateful that we didn't. I really hope there's a special place in hell for whomever reported those nurses to the board.
  10. by   soliant12
    Where did you get these facts from? Alot of misinformation came out of New Orleans and most of it was false like all those rapes in the superdome, to name but a few.

    Quote from lizz
    If medical workers are being held up at gunpoint and god knows what else ... which is what happened in many cases ... what are you expected to do? Are you supposed to be shot so you won't be charged with patient abandonment?

    What about the rescue workers who refused to go in because it was a war zone. Will they be charged? Even the cops left. And those cops who did stay ran out of ammo and couldn't defend themselves.