‘Snow Day’ Is No Option for Hospital Employees

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - You might have enjoyed a day off the job during the recent snowstorm. Some may even get another day off during the next one.

Shea Lewter told WHNT NEWS 19 she doesn't really know the real definition of a ‘snow day'.  Lewter and others often work harder in times like these.

The snow moved in early. Schools and businesses closed.

“But, today I am here,” said Lewter.

Lewter is a charging nurse at Huntsville Hospital. She spends her time in the emergency room with the hospital's youngest patients.

“I enjoy what I do. I really like the kids. I really like what I do,” added Lewter.

She pays attention to the weather, but doesn't get to take-off time when it snows.

It's tough. It's also part of the job.

“You kind of have to prepare yourself for what you have to leave at home and what you have to prepare for the next day if you end up having to be away from home,” added Lewter.

Lewter sat with WHNT NEWS 19 in a waiting room the hospital turned into a sleeping room. Staff members have the option to stay there overnight if it is not safe for them to travel to and from work in bad weather.

“We need the work staff here to take care of patients because you never know what might come in or who you need to treat. It`s not like you can just take the day off,” added Lewter.


  • Joe

    Huntsville Hospital is a monopoly in North Alabama that has a high turnover rate with their nurses. Yes they do have great nurses but they are under paid and do not get pay increases. They can pay under the state average for nurses because they own almost every hospital from the Shoals to Florence and still looking to expand. If a nurse leaves Huntsville Hospital to seek a better opportunity for their family, Huntsville Hospital will not hire them back if they decided the grass was not greener on the other side and wants to come back. Also Huntsville Hospital does not have enough beds for staff and doctors during winter weather so it is suggested (from management) that the nurses get a hotel close to the hospital so them can make it into work. Huntsville Hospital does not reimburse the nurses either. I wish WHNT would talk to the President and HR about their practices. Image if we did not have any nurses because they all walked out!

  • Kimberley

    Joe – recently moved back to AL from Colorado. I’m an experienced ER nurse and was making $40/hr in CO….HH offered me $20/hr. It shocks me how little care they have for their nurses and other staff and that they’ve created a situation in which there is no where else to work. As soon as I finish my masters, we’ll be moving somewhere out from under HH’s thumb.

  • Rebecca

    I’ve been a nurse in the Shoals for 19 years and am currently employed by HH. They are an excellent organization! As far as pay, it’s all about cost of living. If you want to make more money then move somewhere that it costs way more to live. HH is growing throughout N Al because of the changes in healthcare, not in order to become a monopoly. They are helping keep hospitals open that would not survive and keep people employed and patients taken care of otherwise. BTW….the Heart Center was open to HH employees to stay overnight for those that could not leave. If you became a nurse or healthcare worker because of the money then you did it for the wrong reason.

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