called in sick, nurse manager calling back (inappropriate tactics?) - page 3

My husband and I work together as RNs on the same unit (ICU) and we work the same schedule. No problems on that front so far between us, staff, or management. Neither of us has called in sick since... Read More

  1. by   WhereIsMyCallBell
    Oh boy, I can sure sympathize. I shut my phone off most of the time so my voice mail picks up and I check it when MY SLEEP time is over with. "oh gosh I didn't even hear the phone ringing I was so tired and my poor husband, he is even more tired than I am being so sick and all. We slept right through any attempts to contact us, I apologize. Now What did you need?". A simple no way, "I wouldn't want him putting our patients health/healing at risk by taking a chance catching this AWFUL bug he has, not to mention infectiing other staff members". Ok so I am role playing here, lol. But that would be what I would have done. I used to have a boss that would try and bully me into covering all the time for the same people calling off, time and time again. In the almost three years I worked there, I only took two sick days. One of which, I made the mistake of picking up and she talked me into coming in 3-11. Sheeesh! All those shifts I covered for other people and I can't get one darn day off! grrr.. If we would not come in when asked/told to in order to cover for someone else. Um, there would be subtle retaliation; erroneous write ups, pick pick pick. In your case, sounds like blatant HARRASSMENT. Also sounds like my old mgr. who would never dream of actually taking patient assignments to help her staff out. (it's so hrs to respect someone like that!) When one is truly vomiting and running to the bathroom every 15 minutes. There is no way your head is in any shape to safely take on ICU patients, or ANY patients for that matter. If you are Union Greivence all the way! If no union, although it's tough we as caretakers must advocate on our own behalf because obviously in alot of circumstances our boss sure does not have our back. I am blessed now to have a Mgmt. team that does evrything in their power to see that we get the R & R we need when. Good luck to you and may god bless you with good health. =}
  2. by   jadelpn
    If I was awake because of my phone ringing, I would have answered. And said that my husband was up all night sick. Therefore, you had no say on the matter, but it was your understanding that he called out, and that should he choose to call back, he would. Unfortunetely, one hand washing the other is more than likely the culprit here. If they give you both the same shifts, then I am sure they feel "put out" if you all don't make acccommodations for them. And your husband was guilted into going in to work. And a number of you were tripled anyway. And your husband went into work sick. With critical patients. And the NM didn't work the floor, even though you ended up tripled anyways. Apparently, patient safety is not within your NM's management style, nor her strong suit. And if it is not in writing, but a deal you and your husband made with management to be scheduled together, then unfortunetely, I would expect that your NM will call in favors. Probably more often than not. Travellers write their own contracts. And can state that husband/wives work together, take it or leave it. Unfortunetely, when you make verbal deals, then the expectations could be different. So it was way out of line, it was playing on your husband's guilt, and I would say to the NM that you felt uncomfortable with her calling you regarding your husband. And if I were your husband, I would be angry that the NM called you after it was obvious he was not responding.
  3. by   mindlor
    I always get called in on my days off. I always say no, unless it is to work overtime and it includes a bonus. They hate paying the bonus but will do so when desperate....

    Anyway, I asked my NM straight up.......what are you trying to do burn me out?

    The bottom line is that we are resources. They do not care about us or recognize the fact that we all need balance in our lives....

    We must advocate for ourselves because no one else will. I have made it clear that I will not work three days in a row, nor will I work more than 4 shifts in a week.

    As a result of having a balanced life, I seldom get sick and have never had to call off. Many coworkers will work 6 shifts one week to help out and then call off 3 shifts the following week d/t exhaustion......

  4. by   brillohead
    Because it's soooooooooo obvious that someone with N/V/D should be working with critically-ill patients, right?

    So sorry that your work environment is so non-supportive!
  5. by   TopazLover
    Turn off your phone when you sleep. That is a normal response to anyone who has a cell phone. Charge the phone when it is off.

    I understand your hesitance to go to HR since you are getting a sweet deal about shifts worked. That does not mean you are at beck and call 24/7. Once your DH had called off both phones should have been shut off. Now you know that what will happen, calls and texts all night.

    Turn them off.
  6. by   T-Bird78
    If he's working in the ICU, around pts who are already frail, he doesn't need to be dragging his vomiting self into work and risking the pts health even more. As to the manager--oh, hell, no. If it's the first time calling out and giving plenty of notice and to multiple sources, then he owes nothing further. Calling you to tell him to come in--um, no. What if you weren't married, they wouldn't have that option, so it shouldn't be an option anyway.
    I called out once when my son was sick, running a fever, so he couldn't be in school and couldn't be at a daycare, so I had to stay home with him. The clinical director, over all 200+ employees, called to see if I could come in. I explained what was going on and she was fine with it. The next day, a coworker was griping because she had called out and they called her back in after talking to me; the coworker had called out because her boyfriend had been in the ER and clinical director said sick child trumped boyfriend. Coworker was mad at me. A year later I called out because I was throwing up, clinical director called me an asked if I could come in anyway because we had a heavy schedule that afternoon. I told her I couldn't because I was literally on my way to the ER to get fluids. I was pregnant and that was the first of 4 visits I'd make to the ER. I wound up getting intermittent FMLA during my first hospitalization and missed 3 weeks of work in one month between hospital stays and home health--hard to work when you're hooked up to an IV. Three months after I was back at work on my normal, full-time schedule (wearing a medication pump for a month of it) I got my annual review and was docked several points for my attendance--I hadn't missed a single day since I had gone back to work, and my absences were all protected under FMLA. I got so mad that my attendance was a negative and affected my raise when I had FMLA to protect me.
  7. by   Anna Flaxis
    Totally inappropriate. He called in sick, end of story.

    On cell phones, I don't have a land line either. Gave it up years ago when it didn't make sense to pay for two phone bills. Also, I like texting. It's often a far more efficient form of communication than a phone call.
  8. by   classicdame
    I would report this to HR. It was inappropriate to call you at all, since you are not the employee who called in. Technically it was like calling any other nurse from your unit. It disturbed your sleep which put you at risk for fatique syndrome when working. And if I call in sick that means I am sick and not coming in. Next time do not give her any positive reinforcement by dragging in. Just stick to what the HR policy says about sick calls.
  9. by   Dragonfly777
    I agree with you and support your point of view. Must be really nice to work together with your husband on the same floor and same schedule. On the NM behalf, I think she was desperate...but nevertheless inappropriate.
  10. by   RoseRyan
    Quote from BlueDevil,DNP
    Oh, completely off the rails. Why does she even have your cell phone numbers? She has no business texting you, ever. If my boss ever sent me a text message I think I'd "have a cow," as they saying once went. I cannot even conceive of an environment or circumstance in which that would be remotely acceptable.
    Both of you should file separate complaints to HR, in writing.
    (1) It should stipulate that she is not to ever text message you as a route for formal communications again, unless of course the institution is going to pay for the full cost of maintaining the device.
    (2) Further, stipulate that you expect the institution to honor their own call-in policy. Once you call in sick, that's it. No return calls, ever. You are out for the day.
    (3) Lastly, you and your spouse are separate employees. It is not appropriate for her to try to reach one via the other.

    I am outraged on your behalf. I would want her formally reprimanded.
    1.I agree
    2.I agree
    3.I agree
    1000 percent
    Believe it or not, nurses are not machines. We get sick and injured just like anyone else and if your spouse was sick with stomach flu, he had no business being at work. I sure if you asked the nurses on your unit, they would probably rather triple up for the day instead of catching the stomach virus
    Hope you al are feeling better
  11. by   mariebailey
    Ridiculous. Your infection control practitioner would have a fit. I hope it wasn't the all too common Norovirus; it spreads like wildfire.
  12. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from DizzyLizzyNurse

    What do you mean you got tripled?
    I believe she means that instead of having two patients each (ICU) the nurses would each have three.
  13. by   RNsRWe
    I wish I could tell you that this was outrageous behavior and is unique to your facility, however it is outrageous behavior that occurs frequently in many many places....but DOES seem to be unique to nursing.

    Used to work in a hospital that wouldn't allow you to call out sick more than three hours prior to a shift and you also couldn't call out less than two. So you had this window in which to notify them you were dying (and you had better be). If you called out four hours early, they told you to call back "just to make sure you were still sick". Unbelievable. I once called out 3 hours prior to my 7p-7a shift (I felt like I WAS dying and KNEW I'd be hard to replace, so wanted them to have as much time as possible to fill in my spot) and was told that I should call back at 10pm "in case we need you to come in"!! I actually had to tell the supervisor "I'm not REQUESTING a sick day, I'm TAKING one". I actually had to say "I'm NOT calling you at ten pm because I'm hoping to he(L I'm going to be asleep at that time, since I've not slept all day BECAUSE I'M SICK!"

    I'm now a nurse manager myself. I GET that people get sick and as long as you're not a chronic abuser, it's not the nurse's responsibility to staff the unit, it's the manager's. Thank heaven I have a staff that doesn't call out unless they're keeling over, and even then by the time I know about it, they've found a replacement for themselves