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What Would You Do?

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Love to think about hypotheticals such as this!!

I would stock up on as many supplies as possible and head to my family.

Only the strong will survive, so conserving energy and resources is the best choice. That will benefit society as a whole. Wasting resources on futile cases (anyone sick enough to need hospitalization or total care) will only drain the resources for the fit who have a chance to survive.

Obviously, this attitude would kick in as soon as we were all sure this is an end to all known civilization as we know it scenario. It would be like going into disaster triage mode. I'm sure before that occurs, there will be a hopeful period where we will hope energy will be restarted within a few days, but once reality kicks in... Survival mode.

And what would survival mode have us do with those patients needing total care? Just walk away from them? Euthanize them? Hope that their families will come and get them? I'm not sure what I think is the right thing to do.

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If I were able, I'd assist patients with transitioning back to their family homes. Most people can't take care of their elderly family members because they work (or have other time-consuming commitments outside of their homes). Problem solved.

I would consider taking someone frail, with no family, into my home. I would also consider helping those in my immediate area. ...but "work" in a hospital or nursing home setting wouldn't be a part of my day-to-day life.

I like the idea of transitioning patients back into their family homes. But how many families would be close enough (walking distance) and have the resources to come and get a total care patient? How many would show up to get said family member even if they were close enough?

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I don't work providing direct patient care.

I would go upstairs and help them discharge their patients.

I would then take my pay in supplies and head home. I currently live only a mile or so from the base so it won't take long. Some days I ride my bike so if I'm lucky this happens on a bike day.

Most people walk an average of 2-2.5miles/hour so...the other day I walked 5 miles in just over 2 hours, pretty average. I was tired and my hip hurt when I got home though.

I would be fine.

I don't depend upon running water or electricity (I have electricity but it is a luxury in my view) or fuel oil for heat.

I hunt and fish and garden for most of my food sources. I already have access to great stuff available with a reasonable barter.

Most of my family in the lower 48 would be in trouble without many options for water and heat and food.

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I want to know where OP lives--she's worked during a blizzard, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, and volcano--and not live there! Anyway, after the freak snow/ice storm that hit the south this year, I can safely say I'll be at home. The storm that hit in January paralyzed the South for a week. When it snows down here, it's usually warm on the roads so the snow stays snowy and freezes overnight. The January storm, however, the snow melted and froze almost instantly and schools and employers were releasing people around the same time. My normal 30-minute commute took 5 1/2 hours. I called my husband as I was trying to leave the parking lot and told him to leave now (he was going to leave an hour later) because I knew I couldn't make it home for the oldest son's bus or to pickup the baby at daycare. He took 3 hours to get to the daycare to get our baby, and my oldest was able to stay with his friend in our neighborhood (the elementary school kids had to walk from the front of the neighborhood because the bus couldn't make it up the hill). I had my car phone charger and was able to talk to my husband the whole way home which helped keep me calm. People were abandoning cars and walking, kids were having to sleep at the schools because they couldn't get home, people slept in their cars, people slept in Home Depot stores. After going through that, I will stay home with my family (and a bathroom!) in any disaster.

In the case of a zombie invasion, I'm going to Washington, D.C. I figure the zombies would have starved to death-no brains to eat there!

The OP has lived in the Pacific Northwest (ice storms, volcanoes and earthquakes), the Mid Atlantic (hurricanes and snowstorms) the midwest (tornadoes, thunderstorms and blizzards) the west coast (earthquakes) and several other places. The OP's former husband was in the military and the OP moved bunches.

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And what would survival mode have us do with those patients needing total care? Just walk away from them? Euthanize them? Hope that their families will come and get them? I'm not sure what I think is the right thing to do.

Just thinking out loud...if the patients are total care, it stands to reason that their lives have been extended due to our technologies. For those that were previously independent and are total care for the moment (trauma, post-op e.g CABG, etc.), they would most likely die within hours without continuing technology. For the ones who are chronic total care and in the hospital, they might be kept alive for longer through manual interventions, but it would just be delaying the inevitable.

The scenario posed is the end of our lifestyles as we know it. Permanently. With a technology apocalypse, survival and self-preservation is priority. I will admit that all I wrote in the first paragraph is mere justification for my actions, to assuage my own guilt. But it's also very true in what would probably happen. I couldn't save these people, but I could save myself and my family.

If I was the previously healthy person in that bed due to trauma or surgery, without a doubt, if I was able to express my wishes, I would want my nurse to euthanize me then go save her own loved ones. Otherwise, I would just die a slow, painful death anyway, even with her there.

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I work in an ER 50 miles from my home. We have wood heat and gravity fed spring water. I would grab some crackers and juice from the patient pantry, look for an unsecured bicycle, and start pedaling home.

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If s*** hit the fan like that, massive EMP strikes, no electricity for years, working for no food or pay? You really think people will be thinking about coming into work and being a nurse? Me....Screw everything, I will be looking to survive and be with my loved ones. The weak and vulnerable will perish. The strong and violent sadly will win and control. You cannot imagine the mass chaos and hysteria that will take place when that happens...forget "going to work at the hospital" my dear. And might I say WHEN that happens...because sooner than not, that is what is going to happen. ALWAYS think yourself and your family's needs first, it is all you have at the end of the day.

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I LOVE disaster movies. However I hate that almost 100% of the plot is the main character focusing on getting back home. Even if they are in a relatively safe secure area....nope they have to leave and get to their family.

I always think that wherever people are in a disaster they need to go where it is safe and take care of themselves and help those around them! Not run around like chickens getting "home" to family.

I don't know what I'd do in real life. I think I would stay at work (about 15 miles away) for the initial incident, till "things" get a little settled? Maybe 24 hours...maybe several days? I would hope, assume, my family was taking care of themselves and people nearby were helping them, just like I would be helping people nearby me!

In our area there is CERT training (which I of course have not taken) Community Emergency Response Team. Where laypeople learn what to do after emergencies. The emphasis is that the public needs to prepare to be on their own for at least 3 days until "help" arrives.

The best end of life disaster book I love is really old but I think realistic, The Earth Abides. I love the meaning in the title and love that the characters are realistic. No nutsy-megalomaniacs-crazy-societies. Just the survivors doing the best they can.

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As far as seeing a difference between my patients and my employer- my employer is a private technical college and I have no patients. I could not simply abandon my disabled spouse in favor of going to take care of patients at the local hospital, could I? Who would care for him?

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I love 'Earth Abides' also. My favorite post-apocalyptic book.

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I work in an ER 50 miles from my home. We have wood heat and gravity fed spring water. I would grab some crackers and juice from the patient pantry, look for an unsecured bicycle, and start pedaling home.

You'd be in a very good position to survive, assuming you have a readily available source of wood. I like the bicycle idea, too. I hadn't thought of that when I was envisioning walking thirty miles home through some of the worst neighborhoods in the city . . . .

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The OP has lived in the Pacific Northwest (ice storms, volcanoes and earthquakes), the Mid Atlantic (hurricanes and snowstorms) the midwest (tornadoes, thunderstorms and blizzards) the west coast (earthquakes) and several other places. The OP's former husband was in the military and the OP moved bunches.

Gotcha. Thank your former husband for his service, and you also because military spouses/families go through all the hell with them.

Regarding the PP about pts being sustained due to modern technology and the power going out, a clinical preceptor in nursing school worked at Charity Hospital in New Orleans when Katrina hit. The staff that remained and didn't evacuate wound up manually bagging the vent pts as long as possible until they physically couldn't do it anymore. Those pts did pass away, and some of those nurses were facing charges in those deaths. There were accusations of overdosing morphine even though autopsies weren't done for several days and a deceased body at room temp (or higher, with no a/c in NO in August) breaks down differently than one that's been in a morgue cooler.

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