Neither Snow, Sleet, Hail, nor Major Blizzard: Business as Usual for Nurses

By Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief

ShawnKennedyThe snowbanks in the New York area are already starting to melt, but it’s worth noting that this past weekend’s massive storm was business as usual for nurses. The New York Daily News carried a story earlier this week of a practical nurse who got a babysitter for her daughter and then walked through the height of a recent blizzard to get to her job at a nursing home.

Chantelle Diabate, who works at the Hebrew Home in Riverdale, New York, walked a mile in the snow and wind to get to work. She has been working there for six months as an LPN and said she knew they’d need her because many staff would be unable to get there. She stayed through the weekend.

by doortoriver, via Flickr

by doortoriver, via Flickr

AJN’s publisher, Anne Woods, works every Saturday as a cardiothoracic NP in a hospital near Philadelphia. With the imminent arrival of the storm on Friday afternoon, Woods went to the hospital that afternoon and spent the next 36 hours there as the only NP on duty in critical care. About 100 other staff stayed through the night, too. Woods noted that the camaraderie was uplifting, with physicians pitching in alongside nurses. Monday, Woods resumed her publishing work.

At the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland, on a pediatric bone marrow unit, the children were looking wistfully out at the falling snow of the blizzard. Given the conditions, it wasn’t safe for them to go outside, but nurses went out, filled up tubs with snow, and the young patients spent the afternoon making snowmen.

Across cities in the Northeast, nurses showed up and stayed, as did dietitians, physicians, medics, and all the other personnel who make hospitals work. Kudos to them all!

We know it’s all in a day’s work for nurses to do such things, but do you have a particularly wonderful storm story? We’d love to know.

Editor-in-chief, AJN

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