Sunday, February 28, 2010

DC hospital fires some nurses, other associates for not getting to work during colossal snowstorms

A private hospital in Washington DC, the Washington Hospital Center (MedStar Health), well known as a trauma center, has fired at least eleven nurses for missing work during the colossal snowstorms in Washington in mid-February. Theresa Vargas has the story “D.C. hospital fires 11 nurses, 5 staffers for snowstorm absences” link here.

Some nurses report termination several days after they had reported back to work and stayed overnight to avoid transportation problems. The termination letters apparently referred to gross misconduct. It's particularly disturbing that they took several days, when employees thought they would be all right.

During storms, calls go out for volunteers with four-wheel drives. Conceivably the National Guard could transport critical medical people.

In information technology, the workaround is usually to work from home. But during this storm, many people had power and probably broadband outages.

For several years in Minneapolis, I lived fifteen hundred feet from my job on the Skyway. It didn’t happen much, but, yes, I could get other people’s nightcalls. Work availability and ability to respond becomes an issue in some salaried jobs, relating to commuting distance, broadband access and family responsibility.

Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Washington Hospital Center

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