Background:Weather emergencies present a multifaceted challenge to residents and residency programs. Both the individual trainee and program may be pushed to the limits of physical and mental strain, potentially jeopardizing core competencies of patient care and professionalism. Although daunting, the task of preparing for these events should be a methodical process integrated into every residency training program. Summary: The core elements of emergency preparation with regard to inpatient services include identifying and staffing critical positions, motivating residents to consider the needs of the group over those of the individual, providing for basic needs, and planning activities in order to preserve team morale and facilitate recovery. The authors outline a four-step process in preparing a residency program for an anticipated short-term weather emergency. An example worksheet for emergency planning is included. Conclusion:With adequate preparation, residency training programs can maintain the highest levels of patient care, professionalism, and esprit de corps during weather emergencies. When managed effectively, emergencies may present an opportunity for professional growth and a sense of unity for those involved.
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