"I Come Into Work Sick! Why Can't You?" - page 2

The quote I used for this thread is a paraphrase of something that I've heard many times at work. The people who say this are usually angry that a nurse or CNA called out sick, thereby leaving the... Read More

  1. by   RainDreamer
    Wow, that's terrible.

    I guess I should feel lucky that I work with people that do NOT want you coming in when you're sick because you can get them and the patients sick. They're underestanding and don't expect you to work when you're sick.
  2. by   DusktilDawn
    Quote from ruby vee
    [font="comic sans ms"]i've worked with notorious callers-in-sick. at my last job, they got promoted despite it! it rather made it laughable when they, as assistant managers, either complained when someone called in sick or attempted to counsel someone about excessive use of sick time! when i called in sick for pneumonia once, one of those folks gave me a hard time about it. that said, dusktildawn is right -- with the addition that those folks in category 1 are usually the ones who also complain about other folks calling in sick.
    isn't it amazing how they harass the ones that don't abuse it or are legit? your also right about the biggest complainers most often being the worst offenders.

    don't ask me why, but i've seen exemplary employees harangued over every little thing, yet the worst offenders (whether sick time, chronic lateness, or shoddy work) never have a word said to them. for some reason, management does not want to deal with problem employees, yet they want to intimidate and harass some of the best they have.
  3. by   Midwest4me
    [quote=DusktilDawn] The problem I've always found is that management does not want to deal with the abusers of sick time.

    I SO AGREE with this statement. However at my job management CAN'T do anything to abusers of sick time(due to union rules) unless the abuser goes into LWOP(leave without pay) and then there are a number of steps taken before termination ever occurs. I'd say approx. HALF of the staff I work with use their allotted 8 hrs of sick time every month---and, sadly, many of them have a PATTERN of calling in sick.
  4. by   tddowney
    Quote from smilin_gp
    At one place where I previously worked as an aide, we had two people who tended to call in regularly after a hectic day, nice weather saturdays, uthings like that. There was quite a bit more grumbling when one of these people called in sick than when someone else without the predictable sick call schedule called in. It just got very frustrating to the rest of the staff, and these were also the last two people to ever cover an extra shift for a coworker. Fortunately, most people that I have worked with are more conscientous about their sick calls, but this seemed ridiculous.

    Actual illness, unlike sick leave used as extra vaction days, comes randomly with regard to days of the week or the shift schedule. In fact, it's possible to be sick on your day off.

    You can usually tell the goldbrickers after just a couple exposures to their act. Getting rid of them is harder than it used to be.
  5. by   DusktilDawn
    [QUOTE=Drifternurse]
    Quote from DusktilDawn
    The problem I've always found is that management does not want to deal with the abusers of sick time.

    I SO AGREE with this statement. However at my job management CAN'T do anything to abusers of sick time(due to union rules) unless the abuser goes into LWOP(leave without pay) and then there are a number of steps taken before termination ever occurs. I'd say approx. HALF of the staff I work with use their allotted 8 hrs of sick time every month---and, sadly, many of them have a PATTERN of calling in sick.
    I've worked at a unionized facility, and yes they can do something about abusers (I saw ONE instance in which they actually bothered to do this), however there are steps that management has to follow in order to discipline an employee. Have you looked at your collective agreement in regards to sick time? The issue is more about not wanting to go through the trouble and the hassle of those steps to rectify the issue.

    Also the unionized place I worked at also cut their own throats over sick-time. For instance, when staff asked for absent day/s ahead of time, rarely would they grant them, and as a result, staff would call in sick if they needed a day off. Why would one request an absent an absent day when they knew they would not be granted it, and if they called in sick they would be paid for that day off.
  6. by   Thanet
    I live and work in England and to some extent it is different here.

    As a senior staff nurse I have sent people home as I considered them too sick to be at work, they would have been putting my patients at risk catching their condition.

    Also if you go into work sick and something goes wrong BECAUSE you are sick there is no come back for you. I thought that in the US that would be a sueable offence.
  7. by   Midwest4me
    [quote=DusktilDawn]
    Quote from Drifternurse
    I've worked at a unionized facility, and yes they can do something about abusers (I saw ONE instance in which they actually bothered to do this), however there are steps that management has to follow in order to discipline an employee. Have you looked at your collective agreement in regards to sick time? The issue is more about not wanting to go through the trouble and the hassle of those steps to rectify the issue.

    Also the unionized place I worked at also cut their own throats over sick-time. For instance, when staff asked for absent day/s ahead of time, rarely would they grant them, and as a result, staff would call in sick if they needed a day off. Why would one request an absent an absent day when they knew they would not be granted it, and if they called in sick they would be paid for that day off.
    Yes I've read the collective agreement (I am with a very large governmental agency)and, like I said in my post, the management CANNOT do anything about the abusers of sick time(in all reality when one calls in, he/she doesn't even have to say "I'm sick". Most people just say "I won't be in." Union contract forbids asking the reason for not coming in.) until the abusers have no sick time left. Then there are 6 steps of discipline before termination occurs.
  8. by   Blee O'Myacin
    if we are sick - according to unit policy, we need a negative RSV nasal swab when we have a cold and a stool culture when we have a GI bug. So you'd think that management would be understanding when you have to call out.

    A friend of mine got a "verbal warning" that was written (if that makes any sense) where a pattern of call outs was falsely detected. There was no pattern, she was simply sick. If the hospital gives you the time for sick time, then it should be taken when one is sick without fear of retribution. If I'm out, I'm sick enough for the doctor and I always get a note.

    Personally, it bothers me when sick coworkers come to work and cough all over the phone, sinks, computers etc. I'd rather work short handed for a day or two then catch whatever is going around and have to take my own sick time (which inevitably falls on a weekend so it looks bad). You just can't win.

    Blee

    Quote from Tommybabe
    The quote I used for this thread is a paraphrase of something that I've heard many times at work. The people who say this are usually angry that a nurse or CNA called out sick, thereby leaving the job short staffed. They often say that they have come to work with a migraine, fever, or flu, for example, so how dare a nurse/CNA call out for something "minor," like a headache or stomach pains. One coworker even said that by agreeing to work in the nursing field, you should know that work will often be short staffed if you call out sick, so CNAs should stop being "wimpy" and "selfish" and come into work sick. I have also seen many coworkers who are nurses and CNAs at work with an obvious illness, such as nonstop coughing, sneezing, and some who have admitted to having a fever. I don't think it is good for the patients to have someone who is ill working around them, nor do I think that a sick employee should be made to feel guilty for calling in sick. Therefore, I was wondering: is this attitude about coming into or calling out of work sick common where any of you work? Also, exactly how sick is "too sick" to come into work?
  9. by   vamedic4
    Oooh, I hate the above quote...hate it. If it's uttered in front of me I just eagerly let them know that if they get sicker over the course of their shift, it's no one's fault but their own. You have a responsibility to your employer, sure ...but you have a responsibility to yourself first. You are at a greater risk of making mistakes if you're under the weather while taking care of patients.
    I've been at work with staff who are sneezing, coughing...spitting their nasty crap all over the place..and for what??? Just so they don't "harass" you for calling in?? Harass me, dammit, I dare you.
    I say this as I sit home (called in) to take care of the wife who has vomited x3 already. Thank God for FMLA.

    vamedic4
  10. by   steelydanfan
    Something everyone seems to have forgotten -
    We work with SICK people!
    We are at at least 5 times as likely to contract an illness as the general public due to our work environment.
    Some may say that this fact leads to our having better immunity; and I agree with that to a certain point.
    But I have found that my miracle immune system has let me down as I age; and the average age of nurses has increased over the years.
    I am not as healthy as I was 10 years ago, the colds are more severe and last longer, my back cannot take 3 days of lifting 350 lb patients without complaint.
    Yes, there are people who abuse the system, however, as a per-diem, I don't get paid for sick time; but there are a lot more days when I have to call in where in the past I would have sucked it up and gone in.
  11. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Something everyone seems to have forgotten -
    We work with SICK people!
    Actually i didn't. The first i thought of when i read the OP was "what about the pts. that are already sick, not to mention those with compromised immune systems?"
  12. by   Plagueis
    Quote from Blee O'Myacin
    A friend of mine got a "verbal warning" that was written (if that makes any sense) where a pattern of call outs was falsely detected. There was no pattern, she was simply sick. If the hospital gives you the time for sick time, then it should be taken when one is sick without fear of retribution. If I'm out, I'm sick enough for the doctor and I always get a note.

    Personally, it bothers me when sick coworkers come to work and cough all over the phone, sinks, computers etc. I'd rather work short handed for a day or two then catch whatever is going around and have to take my own sick time (which inevitably falls on a weekend so it looks bad). You just can't win.

    Blee
    Thanks, everyone, for your posts. At my place, we have paid sick time (2 weeks), but if someone calls out on a weekend, they have to bring in a doctor's note. If not, that person gets a verbal warning. It progresses to a written warning, then a few days suspension, I believe. As far as workers coming in sick, I don't like the idea of someone at work coughing and sneezing around me, which not only makes me more likely to get sick (and then I have to call out), but can affect the residents who are not sick, too. I just don't understand how a nurse/CNA would blame the person who called out sick for the short-staffing at work. If a hospital or nursing home has paid sick days, then they should take into account that EVERYONE gets sick once in a while, so they should make sure they have the staffing to cover when that happens. It is the hospital or nursing homes' responsibility for staffing, not the employees.
  13. by   gitterbug
    Earned sick time is to be taken when sickness occurs. It is unrealistic to think we never need a day off, sick or not, so I am sure call-ins happen when its more emotional than physical. I never cared when someone called in, sick or not, it was their pay-check, their decision.
    How many of you get sent home early when census drops? Called off for low census? Come on, there are bigger issues in nursing than who uses or abuses sick time.

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