Weathering The Storm… Remede’s Travel Hero
Responding to Hurricane Florence
While hundreds of thousands of Wilmington, NC residents were evacuating the city due to the imminent arrival of Hurricane Florence…Lanita Peterson, RN was headed to New Hanover Regional Medical Center, right in the path of Florence. Lanita is a Remede Travel Nurse, who has been on assignment at New Hanover since February 2018. She was chosen for the Hurricane Storm Team. She was instructed to report to work on Wednesday afternoon as Hurricane Florence slowly approached landfall. Lanita would stay at the hospital throughout the duration of the storm.
Hurricane Storm Team
Lanita reported to work at 5:00 pm on Wednesday and did not leave the hospital until Tuesday morning the following week. The storm team worked 12 – 13 hours/day and then rested for 12 hours. They were provided with air mattresses to sleep on. She said there were air mattresses in hallways, waiting rooms, offices and just about anywhere an air mattress would fit. Lanita and two other nurses shared an endoscopy waiting room, which was just large enough for their three air mattresses. Because the hospital was without power, they were running on the generator. The generator only provided power to critical areas of the hospital. She said there were hallways and restrooms without lights…“we showered in the dark”.
Luckily, the hospital is on a hill, so there was not significant flooding in the hospital. Because of the amount of rain, 36 inches or more, the hospital suffered damage and the top three floors of the hospital were leaking and flooding. All of the patients and the storm team, with their air mattresses, had to be evacuated to other parts of the hospital. The hospital administration tried to keep the patients with the same nursing staff they had before being evacuated to another floor. Lanita was able to continue to care for several of her patients on another unit. “Sometimes we just needed to go where we were needed, and that could be anywhere in the hospital”, shared Lanita.
Worried About Family Back Home
Lanita was worried about her family back home in South Carolina. Lanita said they had to evacuate and stay with family further away from the storm. She was able to connect with them from time to time when she could get cell service. Lanita is thankful they were safe. There was no damage to their home. Lanita shared that some of her friends and coworkers lost their homes…lost everything.
The Remede Travel Team was concerned about Lanita and asked about her well being every day. Her Recruiter, Shedrick Hamer checked on her almost every day to see how she was doing and to provide encouragement and support. He wanted to call more but wasn’t sure when she would be sleeping or caring for her patients. He took advantage of every opportunity to check in with her.
On Monday and Tuesday, the 2nd storm team began reporting to work, when they were able to get to the hospital. In some cases, hospital employees were picked up by helicopters as that was the only way they could get to work. Lanita said they were thankful to be relieved, because they were all exhausted.
Good Learning Experience
Lanita shared that it was a good learning experience. She felt comfortable with the hospital staff and other travelers that she worked with throughout the storm. It brought people together and we realized how important team work is. Lanita said, “it reminded me of why I do what I do, that I love what I do…helping others!”
Travel Hero Recognized
Remede Consulting Group recognizes Lanita Peterson as a “Travel Hero” for her outstanding dedication to her profession. She put the needs of her patients, before her own family and self, during the Hurricane Florence disaster. While thanking her for her outstanding performance and dedication, in her humble way, Lanita responded “Thank you for the opportunity to work for Remede”.
A True Travel Hero!