With a blizzard coming, doctors and nurses at local hospitals showed up to work on Christmas and prepared to stay for up to a few days.
Hospital employees picked up doctors and nurses who couldn’t make it in to work. Some showed up on Christmas night and volunteered to stay for a few days. They slept in patient rooms and brought enough clothes to last them a few days.
The goal was to be sure that the hospital had enough doctors and nurses on staff for emergencies and the patients who need care the most and to make sure that workers were safe, officials said.
At Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin, a few surgeries were done Wednesday morning before patients and doctors began calling in and rescheduling because they couldn’t get to the hospital, said Bill Oakes, hospital director of business development.
The hospital began working on a plan on Christmas day to get nurses and doctors there before the storm hit, Oakes said. Other employees, such as administrative staff, were told to stay home, he said.
Surgeries and other nonessential procedures have been postponed, and Oakes expected the hospital to be more empty than usual over the next few days. Doctors and nurses are there for the patients most in need of care, he said.
At Community Hospital South in Indianapolis, nurses and doctors volunteered to stay overnight and possibly for a few days so the hospital would have enough staff for emergencies and patients who come in, said Lacey Clifford, hospital spokeswoman.
Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis continually updates an emergency plan for hazardous weather, such as snow. Hospital officials determine which employees need transportation to the hospital and ask employees to bring extra clothing and necessities, such as personal medications, in case they have to stay overnight, spokesman Joe Stuteville said.
He said the hospital notified employees about the plan Tuesday night.
“We’re always prepared for situations like this, long before the storm hits,” Stuteville said.