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Weather Policy

Nurses   (31,654 Views 278 Comments)
by nynursey_ nynursey_ (New Member) New Member

nynursey_ has 3 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN.

902 Likes; 11 Followers; 64 Articles; 168,794 Visitors; 13,721 Posts

frankly, I'm a little off put the hospital doesn't care enough to consider that given the circumstance.

QUOTE]

I have never worked in any facility that did not have an inclement weather policy. If you call off you don't get paid, and if you call in sick you better have a doctor's note and even then it is up the the discretion of the dept head to allow you to use your sick time or not. Every weather event it's the same story-the same group makes arrangements to get there ahead of the storm and stays and works until they drop because another sorry group of our peers feels they are too special and precious to make the effort to show up.

In big events our admin provides a place for us to sleep and they feed us, too. If it's a true emergency they even pay us for our hours off the clock.

I don't care to hear any excuses because we did choose to work in health care.I don't care where you live, how many kids, pets you have, what kind of car you drive.You are responsible for making arrangements. We should make arrangements to get there even if we have to arrive 12 hours ahead of our scheduled shift. And because of the people who don't make an effort you had better be prepared to stay and keep working.

We have a duty ,a morale obligation to show up and care for people who can't care for themselves.

What if you are a patient yourself- maybe in L/D delivering your first baby and no-one showed up? Or your husband is in a med/surg bed or an elderly parent is in a nursing home. YOU WOULD EXPECT NOTHING LESS FROM THEIR CAREGIVERS. (and don't worry about that class,it's sure to be cancelled)

I have a big problem with this post. The site only lets me "Like" it once. Can't we have a "multiple like" button?

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN.

902 Likes; 11 Followers; 64 Articles; 168,794 Visitors; 13,721 Posts

I'm disgusted by the number of "I'm up here on my golden pedestal" posts. As if those that express concern or frustration (and even fear) are inherently worthy of shaming, and should self-flagellate as penance.

All it does is contribute to the punitive, fear-based culture of nursing.

That said, I'm in the camp that says "get to work," especially in this day and age of long range weather forecasting. However, I'm also very sympathetic for those that are faced with the hassle and stress. We as nurses are in a unique position requiring that we "put aside our own needs and comfort" for the needs of others. It is what it is, but it doesn't mean we have to beat each other over the head with it.

The better approaches are the respectful, helpful posts I've seen here.

Those who express concern or frustration and fear but are determined to do the right thing and go to work anyway are not worthy of shaming, nor are they being shamed. It's those who proclaim that "It's not worth my life," accept no advice on planning ahead and won't even try to go to work who are inherently worth of shaming. Unfortunately, those special few are also too self absorbed and self involved to self-flagellate.

As for contributing to the punitive, fear based culture of nursing -- I don't believe there is such a thing.

Edited by Ruby Vee
two/to/too quandary

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zahryia works as a Staff Nurse.

9,050 Visitors; 537 Posts

For those live on the Midwest out other snowy areas, don't compare your situation with the rest of the country.

There are states that may experience snow ocasionally or no more than a few inches at a time. These areas are not equipped for snow removal like other states (i.e. Carolinas, Georgia, even DC at times).

So it's nice to exchange war stories about how you drove through a 6 foot snow block in your Toyota Camry, but that's what you're used to! I'd be giving you the side eye if you didn't know how to drive in snow.

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ThePrincessBride has 3 years experience.

35 Likes; 55,294 Visitors; 2,212 Posts

I'm disgusted by the number of "I'm up here on my golden pedestal" posts. As if those that express concern or frustration (and even fear) are inherently worthy of shaming, and should self-flagellate as penance.

All it does is contribute to the punitive, fear-based culture of nursing.

That said, I'm in the camp that says "get to work," especially in this day and age of long range weather forecasting. However, I'm also very sympathetic for those that are faced with the hassle and stress. We as nurses are in a unique position requiring that we "put aside our own needs and comfort" for the needs of others. It is what it is, but it doesn't mean we have to beat each other over the head with it.

The better approaches are the respectful, helpful posts I've seen here.

Oh please. I work in a hospital that mandates its nurses. So if enough people call off, then guess who has to stay and work a double? That's right. Your already tired employees who have put in twelve hours. Just a week or two ago, there were several call-offs (conveniently during a level I snow emergency) that resulted in nearly more than half of the night shift being mandated. So some people had to work from 7p-11a and then had to turn around and work 7p-7a shift.

I would be furious if I had to work 7a-7p and then have a coworker cancel (who wasn't sick and didn't even make the effort to come into work) leaving me to have to pull a double. I have pulled 16's (by choice) and they are not fun. I wouldn't do that to a coworker, and I would expect the same.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN.

902 Likes; 11 Followers; 64 Articles; 168,794 Visitors; 13,721 Posts

For those live on the Midwest out other snowy areas, don't compare your situation with the rest of the country.

There are states that may experience snow ocasionally or no more than a few inches at a time. These areas are not equipped for snow removal like other states (i.e. Carolinas, Georgia, even DC at times).

So it's nice to exchange war stories about how you drove through a 6 foot snow block in your Toyota Camry, but that's what you're used to! I'd be giving you the side eye if you didn't know how to drive in snow.

I quite understand that a snowstorm in Seattle or Atlanta is a far different animal than a snowstorm in Milwaukee or Fargo. And while I've never lived within the District, I have lived nearby in Maryland, and I understand that their situation is different as well. The District has subways -- people have more ways to get to work than they do in Fargo or Milwaukee. It snows often enough in Maryland that there IS snow removal equipment, drivers for it and highways ARE cleaned. People who live around Washington DC see snow often enough that they ought to take responsibility for being prepared for the eventuality of getting to work before, during or after a snowstorm.

Even folks who live in Atlanta, though, ought to take responsibility for getting to work BEFORE the snowstorm. It was predicted -- folks had time to make a plan. Maybe not as much time as a hurricane allows, but time. I'll excuse them from having snow tires and knowing how to drive in the snow, but the hospitals there still operate 24/7 and someone is needed to care for the patients.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN.

902 Likes; 11 Followers; 64 Articles; 168,794 Visitors; 13,721 Posts

One thing that I think is being overlooked on this thread -- even those of us who make a special point of getting to work during a snowstorm are sometimes afraid to drive in one. We do anyway. Being afraid isn't really an excuse for staying home. All of you who sit at home telling yourselves it's OK not to try to get to work because you're scared -- understand that those of us out on the roads are scared, too. The essence of bravery is being afraid, but doing the right thing anyway.

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SoldierNurse22 works as a L&D Nurse.

1 Like; 13 Articles; 61,854 Visitors; 2,057 Posts

This entire thread has me rolling, partially because I'm from the great white north and partially because of the way the military system works. Please, indulge me with a little story:

When you come into the military, you are told up front that you are essential staff, which means you will be to work on time. I have a sports car that does not do well in the snow, but I have consistently made it in to work in all areas of the country in all kinds of weather (my driver's license was minted in a snowstorm, vehicle type notwithstanding).

If you are genuinely concerned that you cannot safely make it in, you can 1) call a buddy (they have us network when we first arrive at our duty stations to figure out who has 4-wheel drive, etc) or 2) the MPs can come pick you up in a vehicle that's pounded sand in a warzone and is hardly afraid of a little snow/water/what have you.

Calling out? What a nice thought. As a military nurse, I am not allowed to call out. If I'm sick, I go to sick call or the ER. They don't care if you have a stomach bug or ebola--you are not, under any circumstances, allowed to call out and just stay home, and that goes for everyone from private to general. (I'm not exaggerating). SOME hospitals have policies where you're allowed 1 call-out in a particular timeframe without seeing a provider, but those places are the exception, not the rule, and I have never seen an Army base with those rules yet.

If you are deemed ill enough to miss work, you're given quarters depending on how soon they think you'll be well. If they're wrong and you're still sick, guess what! You're coming back in to see the doc/NP. And that goes for everyone in uniform, whether you're a nurse, a medic, or the head of surgery.

The best part of this is that our civilian counterparts can call out, so in emergencies, military is staffing the hospital, usually without exception. Considering most of the hospitals I've been at are at least 50% civilian, you can appreciate what this means for staffing/sleep/coverage. We pay for the privilege that civilians frequently exploit.

All that said, as the nurse who has frequently worked long because someone else just didn't want to get out of their jammies and brave the weather like a big boy/girl, if you're a working adult in this field, then please, plan ahead. Leave early. Drive slow. Pack an overnight bag. Use the vast resources we have in this era to make your trip as safe as possible, because it is your responsibility to make it--just like the rest of us have.

The vast majority of the time, incliment weather is not going to take you by surprise. Our forecasting is sophisticated enough to see most disasters before they happen. So please, think of your patients, your coworkers, and your own safety and be prepared!

Edited by SoldierNurse22

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7,339 Visitors; 268 Posts

For those live on the Midwest out other snowy areas, don't compare your situation with the rest of the country.

There are states that may experience snow ocasionally or no more than a few inches at a time. These areas are not equipped for snow removal like other states (i.e. Carolinas, Georgia, even DC at times).

So it's nice to exchange war stories about how you drove through a 6 foot snow block in your Toyota Camry, but that's what you're used to! I'd be giving you the side eye if you didn't know how to drive in snow.

thank you! this is getting ridiculous. I'm not going to learn to ski or buy an SUV for weather conditions that only happen once every 3-5 years.

My plan is to call out for snow when it is truly unsafe. That means I've called out ONCE in the three years I've been working here. I find it difficult to believe the flippant "suggestions" to "just move" are even serious and not just bored internet baiting. You will forgive me for feeling that calling out of work once every three years is a more reasonable plan than turning my (and my family's) life upside-down and moving halfway across the country just to avoid all remote possibility of ever encountering a snowstorm.

As I mentioned before, my current facility offers emergency transport, so I won't have to call out at all during this storm. Today I wasn't scheduled, but knowing that I would have a safe way to get to work, I called in and asked if they needed help, and let them know the offer stands all through this weekend even though I am only scheduled Sunday. So much for the ASSumption that everyone who would even think about calling out in a snowstorm is lazy and looking for an excuse to avoid work.

Go above and beyond for your workers, and they will go above and beyond for you. Extend a "screw you, it's your problem" attitude toward your workers and don't be surprised when you get back exactly what you give. It's that simple.

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mclennan has 8 years experience and works as a RN.

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And folks? Driving in snow is not some insurmountable skill to learn. IT IS EXACTLY LIKE REGULAR DRIVING, just slower and more careful. It doesn't matter if you grew up doing it or not, it's NOT THAT HARD. Start the car, step on the gas, steer and go. Take it easy and be extra careful. It's not like you're being asked to perform neurosurgery on a mouse. Sheesh.

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psu_213 has 6 years experience.

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One of the arguments is if you choose to live in an area known for bad weather, you should make it to work. With the economy being what it is, some posters may not have had a choice and when they relocated to take their job they may have been more concerned with paying their bills than whether it was going to snow this year.

It is true that some people did not choose to live where they live. However, they did choose to enter nursing. That person knew in advance that being a nurse means he/she is becoming "essential" personnel. That means they are required to be at work, even when the weather conditions outside are less than ideal.

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Lennonninja has 7 years experience as a BSN and works as a RN.

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My hospital's plan in bad weather - get to work. In January when we had a crap ton of snow, I stayed with a local coworker for 4 days because I live 50 miles away and drive a rear wheel drive sports car. The hospital did allow people to sleep there, and many took them up on it. Several people called out, and we worked very short and it sucked. Plan ahead and get there.

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zahryia works as a Staff Nurse.

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And folks? Driving in snow is not some insurmountable skill to learn. IT IS EXACTLY LIKE REGULAR DRIVING' date=' just slower and more careful. It doesn't matter if you grew up doing it or not, it's NOT THAT HARD. Start the car, step on the gas, steer and go. Take it easy and be extra careful. It's not like you're being asked to perform neurosurgery on a mouse Sheesh.[/quote']

Really? It's that simple, huh? Blinding snow fall, icy conditions, jerks who drive too fast, untreated roads, lack of snow tires make for regular driving?

It's really not black and white. There's so many factors involved.

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