Sep 9, 2017
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Hello fellow doctors.

I have a concern and I wanted to discuss it here. I am a resident working at a hospital in direct path of IRMA hurricane and we have been asked to work. A lot of us are scared and have tried to ask the management to allow us to but to no avail. The entire city has been evacuated except us.

Are residents required to work in a life threatening hurricane as well? Or is it voluntary.
 

rokshana

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Hello fellow doctors.

I have a concern and I wanted to discuss it here. I am a resident working at a hospital in direct path of IRMA hurricane and we have been asked to work. A lot of us are scared and have tried to ask the management to allow us to but to no avail. The entire city has been evacuated except us.

Are residents required to work in a life threatening hurricane as well? Or is it voluntary.
if you are considered essential personnel, then yes you are required to work. And if you don't understand why, then maybe medicine is not the right career choice for you...

And I'm sure your sick patients are scared too.
 
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aProgDirector

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This is a difficult situation. I attended a great talk about it given by the PD at Tulane talking about Katrina and the aftermath. His lessons learned were that 1) It's better to staff the hospital with residents who volunteer to do so. Some people with families etc may be too distracted; 2) Residents should either be "in house" -- working 12 and sleeping 12 hour shifts all in the hospital, or "sheltering" and not present at all; 3) you need supplies for all of your residents in the hospital. Assume that there will be no food, water, etc; 4) You need a different schedule to manage this. He recommended 12 hour alternating shifts. Forget long call / short call / etc; 5) assume all infrastructure fails. He created "war chests" of supplies for residents working in a catastrophe like this.

Bottom line: if your program hasn't really prepared for this (and to be fair, the Tulane program was completely unprepared for Katrina and all these were lessons learned afterwards), you should plan to bring your own supplies, and if possible plan to stay in the hospital 24/7 until the emergency is over. Bring everything you need.
 

2010houston

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Echo above. Have had very recent experience with this that was not a bad experience at all, but might have been- bring your own food, water, many extra sets of scrubs, toiletries, flashlight .... you can prob leave some of this in your car if you have an attached high up parking garage, but if not then haul it in. Be prepared and you will be fine. Hopefully you won't need any of it, but if you do then at least you will have it and will be ready to take care of your patients
 
OP
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Sep 9, 2017
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1
Thank you all for your comments. We have got all the necessary supplies ourself too.
It is just scary situation for most of us as it is our first time facing a hurricane let alone cat5. Many of us are IMGs whose families are also scared and are far away.
Hopefully things don't go too bad out here. Good luck to all.
 
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rokshana

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Thank you all for your comments. We have got all the necessary supplies ourself too.
It is just scary situation for most of us as it is our first time facing a hurricane let alone cat5. Many of us are IMGs whose families are also scared and are far away.
Hopefully things don't go too bad out here. Good luck to all.
having been through a Cat 4/5 hurricane myself (and even though i have lost count of the number of hurricane i have been though, a Cat 4/5 is very surreal and impossible to explain), the safest place for you will probably be the hospital...its about being as prepared as you can be and know that its still going to be a mess. Hopefully you took your important papers with you and secured your house as best you can (boarded windows, filled the washer and bathtubs with water, unplugged everything except the frig and placed ice bags in your frig) and got your family out of harms way.
 

mvenus929

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Our PD told us that residents are not essential personnel at our institution, but unless there was a mandatory evacuation, residents were required to show up to their shifts. We have call rooms and additional cots set up for people. It's not an uncommon thing for suspected bad weather...usually the hospital makes the support staff stay, but leaves it up to the discretion of the physician staff whether or not they want to stay or go home and come back.
 
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dpmd

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In residency my badge had a card that indicated I was essential personnel and should report to the hospital in the event of an emergency, be let through in the event streets were blocked, etc. We don't really get disasters with warning where I live though so I don't know how they would deal with that sort of thing.
 

Donald Juan

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Our PD told us that residents are not essential personelle at our institution, but unless there was a mandatory evacuation, residents were required to show up to their shifts. We have call rooms and additional cots set up for people. It's not an uncommon thing for suspected bad weather...usually the hospital makes the support staff stay, but leaves it up to the discretion of the physician staff whether or not they want to stay or go home and come back.
I don't think half of my attendings know how to put in orders. I'd be kinda offended if my PD said we were "not essential" while at the same time saying we still had to show up during a potentially dangerous emergency situation.
 

mvenus929

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I don't think half of my attendings know how to put in orders. I'd be kinda offended if my PD said we were "not essential" while at the same time saying we still had to show up during a potentially dangerous emergency situation.
We have a retreat once per year where the attendings have to function without residents, so ours know how to put in orders. They may not know everything, but orders they can do. Both the attendings and nurses are usually thankful when the residents come back from that weekend.

We get flooding and streets shut down for snow a few times per year. If there is a mandatory evacuation, then the area predicts they will not be able to manage, so residents should evacuate. If there's a voluntary evacuation, we'd probably reassess things (we were watching Irma closely, and thankfully it didn't come our way). We have an emergency planning team that sends out a huge amount of information regarding the running of the hospital and keeping everyone as safe as possible.
 
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