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

  1. 2
    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 signing on 18 months ago.

    Yesterday, he called in sick for the first time ever (vomiting and diarrhea.) He gave plenty of notice, calling both our nurse manager and charge nurse at midnight. Our shift is 7a-7p.

    At 4am, our NM called my husband. My husband was ill, and could predict that it was a plea to retract his sick day, and decided not to pick up. Then, the NM texted my husband "please call me back asap."

    Ten minutes later, the NM called my cell phone. I of course happened to be finishing my last precious hours of sleep before showing up to work at 7am. I did not pick up! Five minutes later, the NM texted my phone: "please let your husband know to call me. we will need his help at 11. thank you."

    Then, between 0400-0430, NM proceeded to call us BOTH one more time. He proceeded to leave a message on my husband's phone: "we will be needing you to come in as several nurses will be tripled."


    My husband did end up going into work (i know, i know ) much to our charge nurse's dismay. It turns out, had he not retracted his sick day, the NM would have ended up coming in to take patients. My husband ended up working while he was sick, and three nurses were tripled anyway (I was one of them.)

    Is this a typical tactic in nursing these days? I feel that this was inappropriate behavior on our NM's part, and can't help but to feel somewhat violated - on my husband's behalf, and that the NM was disturbing my sleep when he knew I would be working in several hours?

    Not sure why I'm posting, just trying to vent and find some solidarity I guess. Thanks
    Dragonfly777 and LexRaven like this.

  2. Enjoy this?

    Join thousands and get our weekly Nursing Insights newsletter with the hottest, discussions, articles, and toons.

  3. 67 Comments...

  4. 18
    He gave more than enough notice. I wouldn't have answered the phone. If he is sick then he is sick. The nurse manger should have stepped up to the plate and taken an assignment.

    But to answer your question, no I'm not surprised. I worked at a hospital similar to this and sure enough I'm sitting in the ER AT THE HOSPITAL I was working at very sick and my manager called asking could I reconsider calling in because the floor would be short. I said well I hope it isn't too short because I will be a patient today. Thank goodness I was admitted to a different floor.
    Sherriblu, ChiTownRN5, GrnTea, and 15 others like this.
  5. 4
    I wouldn't have answered either. Definetly gave plenty of notice. The facility where I worked last
    Was like that too, and when my NM called me the last time, I was sitting in a chair in the ER waiting room puking my guts up. I'm glad it wasn't just my facility!
  6. 16
    That's really inappropriate. A sick day is a sick day and hounding you both over it is beyond unaccaptable.
    GrnTea, canoehead, redhead_NURSE98!, and 13 others like this.
  7. 21
    Yes, it was inappropriate but it was also inappropriate for your
    husband to cave in to it.

    You both should have ignored the calls and texts.

    Say what? I never got any message.
    Last edit by Mulan on Nov 12, '12
    GrnTea, canoehead, Elvish, and 18 others like this.
  8. 11
    It never ceases to amaze me how a healthcare facility puts the health of its employee in the "we don't care" pile. Plus, if you read your employee manual there is always a place dedicated to telling you "not to come to work sick out of consideration for the patients and your fellow employees". I have a chronic illness and getting exposed to someone who shouldn't be at work can mean serious consequences. Why do they even make these policies if they aren't even going to follow them.
    I recommend next time not answering, or answering and saying a polite "no".
    KelRN215, aileenve, RoseRyan, and 8 others like this.
  9. 3
    Ah, yes....been there, done that, won't ever, ever again.... the nerve of some people. Sounds to me that NM just didn't want to have patients that day.....
    RoseRyan, anotherone, and Fiona59 like this.
  10. 1
    I agree it was probably inappropriate for him to cave to the NM's calls; he ended up doing it because he predicted I would be one of the nurses tripled in retaliation - and was trying to reduce that possibility. We work in a crazy ICU where being tripled feels like you are playing roulette with your license and patient lives... Am I a bad wife for letting him come in? Let's put it in the p.o.v. that he's an amazing husband. (I was tripled anyway though)
    SweettartRN likes this.
  11. 13
    Two words.

    Harrassment grievance.
    GrnTea, canoehead, kaiamc, and 10 others like this.
  12. 18
    Completely inappropriate. I've never worked anywhere where that would happen ... but if I were to get such a call, MY next calls would be to human resources and to my manager's boss.
    ChiTownRN5, GrnTea, canoehead, and 15 others like this.

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.