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Winter weather transforms Crestwood Medical Center into hotel for hospital staff

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - More than a dozen WHNT News 19 staff members settled in for the long haul and stayed through the wee hours Friday into Saturday morning. That was after 'typical' dayside shifts had long been over. It's not as if they didm;t want to go home -- they couldn't. When winter weather gets nasty, though, we're certainly not the only ones who get stranded at work.

Patients inside Crestwood Medical Center won't be the only ones staying put if we get snowed in yet again. But the hospital has a plan to keep things running full steam ahead of winter weather uncertainty.

It sounds a little like a soap opera title , but when inclement weather threatens, the hospital transforms into 'Hotel Crestwood.' And it's never a surprise for employees. They know when first on-boarded to the hospital staff, they have to be ready for their shift: rain, shine or otherwise. After all, hospitals don't get snow days.

"It's an expectation that when you work here, you're here. Simply because we can't tell the patients not to come," explains Assistant Chief Nursing Officer Susan Bryce.

But that doesn't mean it won't get complicated. If the hospital is at full capacity, staff could find themselves just about anywhere to catch some off-shift Z's.

"One year we had a slumber party in the board room and it was a girl's dorm. We had mattresses all over the board room," Bryce remembers. "I have spent the night in my office on the floor with a palette."

There's also lots of mommas and daddies who have to worry about getting their kids from A to B. Bryce says during times like this, everyone pitches in to help each other out. Through it all, Susan Bryce says staff keep a good attitude -- even if they're on the floor for a few hours.