Jump to content

Snow- at what point do you call out?

Nurses   (44,859 Views 139 Comments)
by EMSnut45 EMSnut45 (Member)

EMSnut45 specializes in ICU and EMS.

2 Articles; 12,033 Profile Views; 178 Posts

advertisement

You are reading page 11 of Snow- at what point do you call out?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

BabyLady is a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU, Post-partum.

2,300 Posts; 14,688 Profile Views

I am a new grad, and my first day off of orientation is tomorrow... and we are set to get 2+ feet of snow in an area that only sees that much snow once every 15 or so years. While I've been in the healthcare setting for quite some time, I've never experienced a snow quite like this during my career. I understand my responsibility to work, but I also want to keep in mind my safety out on the roads (I have a 35 mile drive to the hospital). At what point do you decide that you just can't make it into work? Do you always attempt to make it in, or do you look out the window and make that decision?

Disclaimer: I am a team player, and understand that if I call out, that means our unit runs short. I'm interested in hearing when to draw the line.

I purposely bought a 4-wheel drive because nursing is an all-weather profession. I live 3 miles from my facility and so far, I have always been able to make it...but I drive very slow. I go to work regardless because I know some nurses live much further away that cannot make it.

However, if I lived 35 miles away, I would allow 90 minutes to arrive...if you pace yourself and go slow, I have never seen a snow where I could not make it. If you are late, you are late...trust me, they will be greatful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RNdynamic has 5 years experience and specializes in Critical Care, Float Pool Nursing.

528 Posts; 18,927 Profile Views

So, if it's you lying in the hospital bed, sick, which hospital services would you like to not be available to you because the weather's bad? Can you get along okay without nurses? Without food? Without pharmacy services?

My opinion is that, if one chooses to work in a 24/7/365 facility (hospital), unless it's in an "optional" administrative-type position where you're not really needed to operate, it's one's professional obligation and responsibility to take reasonable precautions (like having a 4WD vehicle) and make plans to ensure one can get to work, even in bad weather and road conditions. I don't do it for the hospital -- I do it for the clients who depend on me.

I balk at the idea that it's your responsibility to own a 4WD vehicle because you work for a hospital. Ridiculous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RNdynamic has 5 years experience and specializes in Critical Care, Float Pool Nursing.

528 Posts; 18,927 Profile Views

We expect our staff to plan ahead -- and come into work early if necessary -- before the roads get too bad.

That way, the staff does not have to take big risks to get into work and fulfill thier obligations.

If they come into work early before the roads get bad, then those employees should be compensated for their time and inconvenience. Maybe these facilities wouldn't have issues with callouts if they provided more incentive for people to come to work in scenarios where other workers would be excused.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

uRNmyway is a ASN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg.

1 Article; 1,080 Posts; 24,439 Profile Views

Ugh, looking at the forecasts for my colleagues to the north, I'm thinking that all of you who venture out are pretty darn brave. From what I hear, those people might end up stuck at their jobs due to unsafe driving conditions...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RNdynamic has 5 years experience and specializes in Critical Care, Float Pool Nursing.

528 Posts; 18,927 Profile Views

I live in CT and have to work tonight. I actually have 4WD and I think I can handle it, but I don't begrudge anybody who calls out due to the weather. It's a near white-out here. It isn't the employees who should be responsible to plan ahead. Rather, staffing is the hospital's responsibility and it is on them to find ways to incentivize workers to attend in unfavorable conditions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

89 Posts; 3,228 Profile Views

If they come into work early before the roads get bad, then those employees should be compensated for their time and inconvenience. Maybe these facilities wouldn't have issues with callouts if they provided more incentive for people to come to work in scenarios where other workers would be excused.

My work would let people who either came early or stayed to do another shift stay in one of the apartments in the assisted living building on campus ( 3 buildings total) and pay them too (and feed them).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

652 Posts; 13,679 Profile Views

During a particularly bad blizzard, we had to stay in hotels and work for consecutive days but.... we had to PAY for the hotels ourselves! Yes, it was discounted but hey bite me, my own bed is free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cbreuklander has 5 years experience.

20 Posts; 1,651 Profile Views

I have worked for a hospital that took into consideration the safety of their nurses during winter weather. They would call me at home to let me know that if I felt the roads were not safe for my car, they would put me home "on call." If they didn't have enough volunteers who lived in town coming in (with incentive pay for working an unscheduled shift), they would come out in 4WD vehicles to pick us up. I thoroughly appreciated this as I have never before nor have I since worked for an administrative team that gave so much consideration for the safety of their nurses. I would go back to work there in a heartbeat if circumstances allowed it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AngelfireRN has 15 years experience as a MSN, RN, APRN and specializes in med-surg, psych, ER, school nurse-CRNP.

2 Articles; 1,285 Posts; 23,160 Profile Views

Well my life matters also. On a very small number of occasions, I think it was two, in the 25 years plus I worked as an RN I called off due to weather. I refuse to let anyone with that judgemental of an attitude send me on a guilt trip. If you want them to find you frozen to death in your car go right ahead but I ain't going to put myself in that kind of danger. I am no use to anyone dead especially my patients. By the way the kind of snow storm we are having today, about 8 to 12 inches is nothing and I never let one of those stop me. However, we did have one 2 1/2 feet in 8 hour storm back in the '80 and nobody went anywhere not even me. A house on my street burned down because the fire department couldn't get there.

Right after I started work in my clinic, we got hit with the worst winter storm we had had in years. Over 2 feet fell in one night. Pish-posh, I know, but I live in Alabama. A half inch even gets PREDICTED, and they shut down the whole state.

So, the day before, this yahoo comes in, asking if we would be open the next day. We told her we weren't sure.

She responded with, "Well, you BETTER BE. I'm gonna run out of my meds."

To which I (pregnant and having hormone surges and not too inclined to deal with lip) replied,

"None of us will nor should we be expected to risk our lives just so you can get your meds. I'm not risking my life or my baby's life. And if you risk yours over a stupid script, well, you're crazy."

My boss had to go in back so she could laugh without the patient seeing her.

Now, see, normally, had she been nice, we might have tried to work her in that day...but if you cop an attitude here, you don't get favors.

I have to cross 2 bridges to get to work, and if I can't make it, I just can't make it. Period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 Articles; 10,428 Posts; 89,091 Profile Views

So, the day before, this yahoo comes in, asking if we would be open the next day. We told her we weren't sure.

She responded with, "Well, you BETTER BE. I'm gonna run out of my meds."

....and she couldn't get a new script then, while she was standing there? She WANTED to come back in a snowstorm?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

monkeybug has 15 years experience and specializes in Public Health, L&D, NICU.

716 Posts; 12,846 Profile Views

If they come into work early before the roads get bad, then those employees should be compensated for their time and inconvenience. Maybe these facilities wouldn't have issues with callouts if they provided more incentive for people to come to work in scenarios where other workers would be excused.

So true! At my last hospital job they had a no tolerance policy for calling in during weather events. BUT, we were not allowed to sleep in empty patient rooms and we had to pay for our own food. Umm, no thanks. I'm not paying to stay in a hotel. If you want me there a day ahead of time, let me sleep somewhere and give me a dang meal. My first hospital would pay a couple of nurses to stay round the clock and provide them with an empty room, and we would fight over who got to do that. It was a lot of money, and it was like a big slumber party. Last hospital, I honestly thought that if I dropped dead in the nursing station that administration's ONLY thought would be "oh crap, now we have to cover a shift." If they treated nurses appropriately, they wouldn't have a problem finding a few nurses willing to come in and stay for the duration. But I'm not spending my money and/or risking my vehicle for a facility that really couldn't be bothered to care if I lived or died.

Now I work as a home visiting nurse. During our last snow (and around here snow is a rarity) we were told we should decide whether or not to go out.

Edited by monkeybug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AngelfireRN has 15 years experience as a MSN, RN, APRN and specializes in med-surg, psych, ER, school nurse-CRNP.

2 Articles; 1,285 Posts; 23,160 Profile Views

....and she couldn't get a new script then, while she was standing there? She WANTED to come back in a snowstorm?

Nope. Controlled substance, which requires an office visit. That was not a possibility, not at the time. She just showed up in the middle of a busy afternoon to tell us we BETTER BE THERE the next day, because she would be. We don't do early refills, due to the nature of what we prescribe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing 0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×