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Navigating Winter Weather as a Healthcare Worker

As the winter season approaches, healthcare professionals like you face unique challenges when it comes to traveling to and from your shifts. In this blog post, we’ve shared 7 valuable tips to help you navigate winter weather while continuing to make a positive impact throughout healthcare facilities.

Plan Ahead and Stay Informed

In the days leading up to a shift, we recommend keeping a close eye on the weather forecast, your local road conditions, and watching for any weather-related advisories. Knowing what to expect can help you plan your commute more effectively and ensure you allocate enough time for potential delays. You can also take advantage of navigation apps that provide real-time information to help you choose the safest and quickest route to your destination.

If you’re unfamiliar with local road conditions, especially if you’re on a travel assignment away from home, you can reference the state’s Department of Transportation site, linked below, or you can dial 511 on your mobile phone to access weather information when you’re not in front of a computer or television.

Prepare a Winter Emergency Kit

Creating a winter emergency kit to keep in your car can provide comfort and assistance in case of unexpected situations. Some ideas of what to include in your kit could include essentials such as:

  • Blankets

  • Cell phone charger

  • Extra clothing

  • First aid kit

  • Flashlight

  • Ice scraper

  • Jumper cables

  • Non-perishable snacks

  • Shovel

  • Water

Invest in Quality Winter Gear

Dressing appropriately for the weather is crucial. At the bare minimum, make sure you have a warm coat, insulated gloves, a hat, and sturdy, slip-resistant footwear. Layers are key, allowing you to adjust to changing temperatures both indoors and outdoors.

Regularly Check and Maintain Your Vehicle

We advise regular maintenance of your vehicle to ensure it’s in optimal condition for winter driving. This involves inspecting essential components such as the battery, tires, brakes, and fluids. Keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent fuel line freeze-ups and be sure to replace your windshield wipers and fill up your windshield washer fluid with a non-freeze formula as needed.

Before leaving for your shift, it’s recommended to let your vehicle warm up for at least 20 minutes or longer. This ensures both the engine, and you, are warm for your commute. Additionally, don’t forget to clean off any snow or ice from your vehicle to ensure your view isn’t obstructed during your drive.

Explore Alternative Transportation Options

We highly suggest giving yourself plenty of time to drive to your destination. Leave earlier, drive slower, and be aware of shifting weather patterns. If possible, consider carpooling with colleagues or utilizing public transportation options or ride-share services, which can ease the burden of winter driving.

Communicate with GrapeTree and Facility Staff

Keep both GrapeTree and the facility informed about your travel conditions and estimated arrival times if you anticipate delays. If you have made all reasonable efforts to travel to your shift but failed due to the weather conditions, you must notify your GrapeTree Staffing Specialist prior to your shift start time, or as soon as possible.

If you don’t already have your Staffing Specialists phone number saved in your cell phone, you can find their contact information on the home page of your mobile app under the section, “Your Dedicated Support.” Otherwise, you can reach our team at any time by calling (712) 336-0800 and select option 2.

** Don't have the GrapeTree mobile app yet? Download it today to revolutionize the way you work and enhance your overall experience like never before! Our mobile app is available for download in both the App Store and Google Play.

Remain Calm

Most importantly, remain calm. We expect you to make every effort to make it to your assigned shift(s) as facilities and residents are depending on us; however, life happens, and some things can be out of our control. We highly encourage you to follow all the tips above to show up for your shifts without putting yourself at risk.

By planning ahead, staying informed, and taking proactive steps to ensure your safety, you can continue to make a positive impact during these colder months. GrapeTree values your dedication and we’re here to assist you in any way we can this winter season!


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