PDN and snow: how do they treat you?

  1. The US Northeast in having an old fashioned Nor'easter snowstorm tonight. I kind of enjoy the challenge of driving in to work when there's big snows, hurricanes, etc. and I find it interesting how families react to the extra effort. For example, the house I am at tonight, I'm only here because I know I can count on the dad to voluntarily put on some boots and help me shovel my car out in the morning. Last time he wouldn't even let me touch the snow! They thank me every time I leave, whatever the weather, and I get very enthusiastic "thank you's" for coming when there's bad weather.

    Then there's the family who didn't ice their sidewalks, left new snow on top of it all, and didn't turn on the porch light for me. Practically pitch black. I nearly fell several times. And forget about a "how are the roads?" or "Thank you for coming".

    Then there's the mom who yelled at me when I came through the door after driving through Hurricane Sandy, telling her I should have stayed home and it wasn't safe. No thank you at all. (It was only the third time I worked w that client, so I didn't know her well.) I must also add that she did not call the office to call off my shift, either, if she was so concerned for my safety. Feeling quite indignant, I did not go back to her.

    My Thursday client's dad already told me (in anticipation of this Nor'easter) not to try too hard to get in if the snow is still bad. He said safety is the first concern, and he was really nice about it. This makes me just want to help out this family more! ;D To me, genuine concern and thank-you's are the key to making me bend over backwards for people.
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    About CloudySue, LPN

    Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 741; Likes: 1,171


  3. by   caliotter3
    I have the opportunity to move to an area with ice and snow in the winter but would never do so because I won't drive in those conditions.
  4. by   cazach0122
    I'm near Philly and just drove home in about 10 inches of snow. I'm fortunate that both of my patients are within a 10 minute drive of my house. Even still, the families are very concerned about me - offering their guest bedroom if I don't want to drive home and asking me to text them to let them know I made it home safely. I cleared off the patient's family car this morning as well as my own since they are an older couple.
  5. by   eeffoc_emmig
    The family I'm currently assigned to...well...Dad doesn't care about the nurse's safety, Mom just keeps her mouth shut. Dad will call the agency repeatedly until a nurse finally breaks down and agrees to go. I flat out refuse to risk my safety. Both parents are competent caregivers per the 485. Dad doesn't work so he can stay up at night to take care of his child.
  6. by   SDALPN
    I'm currently snowed in with 7 inches of snow and ice. And a predicted 4 inches coming down now. I called out for today even though I was pressured to drive an hr away (in good driving conditions). When I tried calling out, the lines were busy. Turned out that everyone decided to call out at the same time. Just called out for tomorrow and told them I'd be ok if they sent me a cab as they have done in the past. They told me they have been calling cab companies and none are open. It just sucks because I'm scraping for hours and I'm losing work. But its not worth risking my car and not getting able to get to work at all.

    It seems that agencies tend to make nurses feel like they are the only one calling out to pressure them to work. These agencies should hire or find volunteers to get us to work. No guarantee of safety getting there, but no risk of our cars. Weigh your risks vs benefits, as everyone is in a unique situation. Parents will flip out because they actually have to take care of their child while they are home and can't get to work...meanwhile expecting us to risk everything. We can't take care of others if we don't care for ourselves first...that goes for making sure we are safe. No job is worth it.

    Please be careful out there! :-)
  7. by   KATRN78
    One of my agencies acts annoyed when you cancel due to weather. the other one of my agencies sends repeated emails, texts and calls begging nurses to work.

    Once before a storm I was dropping off notes (it was my day off) and the receptionist said "Please wait a moment, the coordination manager wants to speak to you." very seriously, like I was in trouble. So I said "Sure, what about, do you know?" he said "yes they are trying to get nurses to work tonight for the storm". I said "nooooooo, I am trying to get home before the storm", by the time I got home, they had already emailed me twice and texted me once.
  8. by   meanmaryjean
    I've had familiies shocked with gratitude when I showed up in bad weather. Another one refused to clear the sidewalk and I fell and was bruised up and down one side without so much as a 'sorry'. Guess which case I dropped?
  9. by   CloudySue
    I made it in tonight, it was slow going but I made it safely, only to get stuck in a snowbank in front of their house! Dad was fantastic, he asked for my keys and went out and freed my car! I have gotten really good at driving in snow this year, also this the first winter w my new Mazda 5 and I was glad to find that it handles GREAT in the snow! I have to admit that my effort is not strictly altruistic, I would have lost 8 overtime hours if I would have called off at all this week.
  10. by   caliotter3
    The two times my car got wrecked (totalled in one case) going to and from work, I didn't get so much as a mention of concern. Instead the focus was on when I would next go to work. Same thing happened two days ago when I had car trouble. Now I watch out for me and my car. I know they won't, and neither will the clients.
  11. by   SDALPN
    Quote from caliotter3
    The two times my car got wrecked (totalled in one case) going to and from work, I didn't get so much as a mention of concern. Instead the focus was on when I would next go to work. Same thing happened two days ago when I had car trouble. Now I watch out for me and my car. I know they won't, and neither will the clients.
    I had a wreck going to work a couple of years ago. No snow, just dumb driver turned in front of me. I had the same experience with the office...how soon would I be back. I take care of me first! They will call another nurse when they are told no. Everything will be fine and life will go on if they are told no.
  12. by   CloudySue
    That is something I keep in the back of my mind... if I call off, I lose a shift's worth of money. But if I have an accident, my deductible is about three nights' net. So... there's that. If it were the other way around and I had nurses come in the snow for one of my kids, I'd feel terrible if a nurse had an accident trying to get to me so I could have respite.
  13. by   systoly
    i got several big thank you(s) this year for coming in during
    the snow
    i think because a couple of nurses who lived much closer than
    me called off
    i live in the sticks with a looong driveway which is my gauge
    if i can make it out of my drive, i can make it to work
  14. by   ceebeejay
    My agency is so far fine. I had a minor wreck in the snow, tire blow out, and their first question was if I was okay. The patient I was going to, the family, is very - I can't put my finger on it - but "off". They don't clear a path, there is snow on ice on snow on ice, the stairs down to the apartment are steep and snow and ice covered and a giant bush attacks you as you walk there. Not safe at all. But, I am pretty sure it's going to end eventually because they are pushing for some special charity to help them so the parent can stay home from work. The only reason I push to go to work is because I loose the entire day's pay, which hurts. One storm or two, no big deal. But, I've been hit twice a week every week for the last three weeks. I just can't afford it. The other family is a dream. Hubby cleared my car off, they make sure there is a spot cleared to put my car off the street (the other place I am in the street and I fear the plows will crush my car), and they always are grateful. This past storm, I knew the dad was stuck away on business, so I really wanted to be there for the mom.