Call in sick?

  1. She did it again!

    We have this nurse who calls in sick so often! She will tell you right out, "I needed a mental health day", and smile! I think she should back off to a .8 if she is too overwhelmed by full time hours. We depend on people working their scheduled hours. Of course, it goes without saying that a SICK employee (contagious, fever, vomiting, etc.) does not belong at work.

    Yes, our (weak) management has spoken to her, and yes, we are unionized so she has most of those days coming to her, although she is willing to take unpaid days whenever she 'needs' to. (The union is a good thing at our place due to such poor management, and our sick leave is generous.)

    What do you think about mental health/sick days?
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  2. 60 Comments

  3. by   P_RN
    You won't like this, but I think that is her business.
  4. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    I tend to agree with P_RN. Her time, that she earns, is her business.

    Heather
  5. by   dawngloves
    It's a PITA and it won't make her popular, but if she has the sick time and is using it, that is her business.
  6. by   CATHYW
    Righto-I am with the others. But, do they leave you short staffed? Does management not replace her? If that is the case, I'd talk to my shop steward about getting management to get someone (agency, whatever) to fill positions when nurses call out. For all you/we know, this person may really need the days she calls "mental health days" for just that, instead of the recreational way we usually take it. Do these days happen on Fridays/Sat/Sun/Mon? If so, that is a pretty big clue she is just stretching her weekend. If not, it might be real. Just my 2 cents worth!
  7. by   l-andre
    Even if it's her right to take sick days, since they are paid for, some people think that they "have to" take them, almost like an obligation... whenever, whatever. That's what's bothering me. It affects all the departement when someone is missing because it's so hard to get replacement. So when you do have to miss, it should be because you have to. I personnally don't live well with knowing that taking a "mental health day" gave a hell of a night to my co-workers (especially taking mental health days while smiling from there to there)... but, that's me.
  8. by   Brownms46
    Umm..would you prefer she frowned and acted like she was physically sick? I prefer honestly myself.. and a smile usually helps things to be taken better...in most cases.

    I do believe in mental health days...but "I" would only take one as a last resort...but that is "me". But if someone says they need a mental health day...far from me to say they should or shouldn't take it....as I have no idea what they're dealing with.

    P_RN...I had to :chuckle out loud, when I read your post...
  9. by   jones58
    Where I work if you call in on a weekend, you have to make it up on your weekend off. It doesn't matter if you have sick days coming to you. Does she know there's a nursing shortage? I wonder how this co-worker feels when she works the day someone else calls in? Probably like she needs to take 'another' mental health day.
    She should have her hrs cut to accommodate her mental status.
  10. by   hogan4736
    put ALL time off into one pool...vacations AND sick time come out of the same pool...
  11. by   l.rae
    On the uit I work on (ER) we are only allowed to replace ourselves if there are no open shifts on the needs list. It doesn't matter if you are trying to replace yourself for two hours or a whole shift. And it doesn't matter if the need is a totally different shift than what you need covered. It leads to a lot of people calling off with time they have earned...I meaan sometimes it's important stuff, a family member having surgery, a funeral of a close aquaintance etc. Then, maybe.. they will try to cover the shift and offer premium time which is not a whole lot more than many of the long term nurses earn any way With shift dif, some of them actually earn more... Any thoughts on this? Does anyone else out ther have a policy like this???????
  12. by   Kimt
    My question is.... Do you really want that person at work if they don't want to be there? Sick, mental health day, or otherwise. Myself, I'd rather have a coworker that has there head into work.
  13. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Originally posted by jones58
    Does she know there's a nursing shortage?
    And there will continue to be a nursing shortage whether she calls off or not. Call offs are not the root of the shortage problem, the poor management and unnattractive benefits of nursing are the problem.

    My call offs are far from excessive, but I have no shame or guilt in using them when I need them. I won't be a martyr for the nursing shortage.

    Hogan - our unit doesn't lump the sick & vacation time together, but when you call off, for no matter what reason, the first day that you are off comes out of your vacation time. For some it's 8 hours, others it's 12. Only after that first day do you start to use your sick time. This was done in an effort to curb call offs. Not only did it not reduce the number of call offs, but now we are sure that someone will call of for at least 2 or 3 days.

    Heather
  14. by   nursedawn67
    I have to agree its is her business......we all call in for a variety of reasons....i would hate someone to question if I was really in pain when I called in with Tendonitis. Anyhow...the nursing shortage is awful and will continue no matter who calls in.

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Call in sick?