Rita's coming-my hospital won't close!!

  1. Need all of your input before possibly my last shift here today:

    My hospital is about 4-5 blocks from the gulf and right in the path of Rita which is currently 170-175 mph winds.
    They keep reporting on TV how the hospitals here are evacuating which they are, our last patient was air lifted out last night.
    But...they are making us stay here and ride it out for the stragglers who didn't follow the mandatory evacuation.
    We have absolutely no patients in this hospital but they refuse to close it and are keeping our ER open which consequently means that we need OR, ICU, etc. beds open as well.
    The storm surge is expected to be quite high.

    I'm thinking of leaving here today after my shift is over and evacuating and will probably get fired.
    Am I crazy?
    What would you all do if you were me?
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  2. Visit RN34TX profile page

    About RN34TX

    Joined: May '04; Posts: 1,427; Likes: 374
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 17 year(s) of experience

    161 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    Wow - are they mandating that you stay? What about your family? I wish you the best and will keep you in my prayers.
  4. by   wetdiaperengineer
    That is a very hard decision to make, and one that only you can make. I guess I would have to know if they are going to ensure YOUR safety? Are they putting you in a place that will be able to handle the winds and storm surge? What about your family? I don't know if you are married, single or what. But, can they go without you?
    If you stay and worse comes to worse and they need to get you out, have they got a plan for staff evacuation AFTER the fact?
    A job is something that can be replaced. A life is not. However, if they have a good plan and feel the true need to stay open, then if you can, stay.
  5. by   papawjohn
    Hey RN34Tx

    I've been all over this line of reasoning since I live on the Gulf too. (TampaBay) My advice: RUN like H***.

    I was talking about this at work last nite. "I'd be in Georgia", I said. (My youngest sister lives in Atlanta.) "Gosh", somebody said, "I'd get fired and how would I pay my rent?"

    "Rent on WHAT?" I asked.

    No reply.

    Get out of there. The Hosp should be doing the same.

    Look: A Cat 4 or 5 hurricane is equivalent to a HIROSHIMA BOMB. What would you do if you had 12hrs warning of an ATOM BOMB going off near your hospital. Let that give you a clue.

    Papaw John
  6. by   JBudd
    Everyone in my ED just read this, and we all say "call in sick!"

    How can they mandate you to stay? Its hardly patient abandonment if there are no patients. Health care people are not immune to natural disasters for Pete' sake! And you can always get a job here.
  7. by   Esme12
    [quote=rn34tx]need all of your input before possibly my last shift here
    [/size]
    hey texas,
    are you directly involved in emergency operations? like the er,or ,icu? the hospitals withstood katrina physically but what made it difficult was that there were patients there ...and no one planned for the darned thing. regardless i can see the need for the er icu and or have just enough staff to function for people or emergency workers who become injured. :redlight: one would hope that they have made provisions for food water and power for those who would volunteer to stay in house for incomming injured... noone can force you place yourself in danger. ...even in the armed forces if there is an especially :bowingpur "dangerous" issue they ask for volunteers. there is a nursing shortgae so even if you do loose your job you will get another. you need to do what is right for you and your family. i used to be one of the ones who would stay...now i have 2 children. :angel2: on my epitath i want loving mother devoted daughter adoring wife not we lost our mommy at work. i did trauma flight and search many many moons ago but now.....i have my babies. :heartbeat do what you heart and family needs even if you don't have children follow your heart. if the hospital is devestated they will need people who evacuated to come back to heal the sick and wounded so take heart look inside and follow you instinct(the little voice inside you ear) :redpinkhe
    my prayers and thoughts are with you all....my sister in law is south of fort worth. the lord will not give you anything you cannot handle, right now he just trusts us a whole bunch xoxoxoxo lost in boston

    [size=6]



    my hospital is about 4-5 blocks from the gulf and right in the path of rita which is currently 170-175 mph winds.
    they keep reporting on tv how the hospitals here are evacuating which they are, our last patient was air lifted out last night.
    but...they are making us stay here and ride it out for the stragglers who didn't follow the mandatory evacuation.
    we have absolutely no patients in this hospital but they refuse to close it and are keeping our er open which consequently means that we need or, icu, etc. beds open as well.
    the storm surge is expected to be quite high.

    i'm thinking of leaving here today after my shift is over and evacuating and will probably get fired.
    am i crazy?
    what would you all do if you were me?
  8. by   Esme12
    Just a reminder Cat 5 huricaine is an F5 tornado that remains on the ground four 10 hours.........Think about it!!!!!!! boston
  9. by   RN34TX
    Quote from papawjohn
    Hey RN34Tx

    I've been all over this line of reasoning since I live on the Gulf too. (TampaBay) My advice: RUN like H***.

    I was talking about this at work last nite. "I'd be in Georgia", I said. (My youngest sister lives in Atlanta.) "Gosh", somebody said, "I'd get fired and how would I pay my rent?"

    "Rent on WHAT?" I asked.

    No reply.

    Get out of there. The Hosp should be doing the same.

    Look: A Cat 4 or 5 hurricane is equivalent to a HIROSHIMA BOMB. What would you do if you had 12hrs warning of an ATOM BOMB going off near your hospital. Let that give you a clue.

    Papaw John
    Yes my home will most likely be severely damaged and probably unlivable as well as it is only 4 blocks in.
    As far as safety goes, the reason that they are keeping us here is because they are afraid that they won't be able to get people in to work after the storm. That tells me that it will be a long time before any relief will come.

    The hospital has never seen a cat. 4 or 5 storm so how safe it is to stay here is unknown.

    My only family down here is my partner who also is an employee but was released yesterday and deemed non-essential.
    He refuses to leave without me.
    I didn't mind staying in the first place because I just thought that it would be common sense that any hospital that sits almost right on the water should get evacuated-employees and all if it got to a cat 4 or 5.

    If this were only a 1 or 2, maybe even 3, I wouldn't mind being here for the community.
    But I just can't believe that they are putting us all in danger to take care of those who refused to evacuate.
    BTW, this isn't like New Orleans. Eveyone was offered free bus transportation to inland shelters so there is no "can't-afford-to-leave" excuse.

    I just don't see what kind of medical care we can offer to anyone after the storm with the type of weather that is predicted here.
  10. by   RN34TX
    I just got informed by the administrator that even the fire dept. has now left and it is only us and the police dept. left here.

    She told me to hang on (she is aware of how disgruntled I am and possibly planning to jump ship) because at 11:00 we too may also be leaving.
    I think I've already made up my mind.
  11. by   grannynurse FNP student
    Quote from RN34TX
    Need all of your input before possibly my last shift here today:

    My hospital is about 4-5 blocks from the gulf and right in the path of Rita which is currently 170-175 mph winds.
    They keep reporting on TV how the hospitals here are evacuating which they are, our last patient was air lifted out last night.
    But...they are making us stay here and ride it out for the stragglers who didn't follow the mandatory evacuation.
    We have absolutely no patients in this hospital but they refuse to close it and are keeping our ER open which consequently means that we need OR, ICU, etc. beds open as well.
    The storm surge is expected to be quite high.

    I'm thinking of leaving here today after my shift is over and evacuating and will probably get fired.
    Am I crazy?
    What would you all do if you were me?
    A couple of questions. Is your facility located on Galveston(?) How old is it? How well is it constructed and to what hurricane strength? It is up to you. I have been thru several manadatory stays. And after Charlie, need ER treatment. The two hospitals, in my county, that did not evacuate, suffered damage and were temporarily shut down but not a single staff or patient was hurt. And we took at direct hit from a Cat 4, Charlie. The ER is needed immediately after the hurricane passes thru, not only for injuries but medical conditions that can flare up. I know, I need treatment for my asthma.

    Good luck

    Grannynurse
  12. by   UM Review RN
    Praying for your facility to authorize a sane decision to evacuate its valued employees. Stay safe!
  13. by   Jessy_RN
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    Praying for your facility to authorize a sane decision to evacuate its valued employees. Stay safe!
    Same here, and that decision better come soon!
  14. by   Jolie
    Has a mandatory evacuation order been issued for your area? If so, I would get the heck out of there, and threaten legal action if your employer fires you since, in order to stay at work, you would have to defy a mandatory evacuation order.

    It's not like there are any patients left to care for. I can understand that someone may need to stay and provide a skeleton staff for the facility. That is administration's job, not yours.

    It is my opinion that anyone who chooses to defy a mandatory evacuation order does so at their own risk. The stragglers, as your hospital calls them, have absolutely no right to expect fire, rescue, or hospital personnel to put themselves in peril to come to their aid.

    Go now, and care for yourself and your family. Be safe!

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