Calling in sick?

  1. 0
    Just curious -

    If you are working as an RN in either a hospital or a LTC facility, what happens if you are sick (I mean short term - like you have a fever for a few days) and need to miss work. Who do you call, and do you have to arrange for your replacement? Does management give you a hard time about it?

    I am currently a teacher, and if I am sick I have to make a detailed sub plan so that someone else can cover for me that day. That takes 1-2 hours to do. If I know ahead of time that I have to be gone, this is easy to do, but if I wake up with a fever (as I did yesterday) it is a major pain. The administrative assistant I have to call into always makes me feel like a criminal for being sick. I am just wondering if this is the reality in nursing, as well.

    I am not talking about long term disability, or missing work too often....

    Thanks for any replies as I am curious about how this works in other professions.

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  2. 21 Comments...

  3. 0
    Oh yes - it takes 3 keys and key card to get out to my classroom, and the school does not have duplicates for the sub. So, I also have to work out how to get my keys out there.
  4. 0
    it's not unusual in this profession to have your nurse manager not believe you are sick which is why I always get a sick note from my MD
  5. 1
    Quote from Baubo516
    Oh yes - it takes 3 keys and key card to get out to my classroom, and the school does not have duplicates for the sub. So, I also have to work out how to get my keys out there.
    Sounds as if your employers deliberately make it unpleasant to call in sick. There is such a thing as duplicate keys that have to be available for emergencies. Wonder where those are kept? Most employers try to find a replacement for a sick nurse, but some try to be nasty and tell people that they have to find their own replacement. We were having lots of absences and retention problems one time so the new administrator, who was a big mean bear of a woman, said that call offs were to be told they had to call her at home. Then, all she did was to put the onus back on the floor nurse on duty by saying the sick person had to come to the building and have their vital signs taken by the on duty nurse. This type of rule is typical of a poor place to work. It is the exception, not the rule. All places have a set time frame, usually two or four hours, so they can attempt to find a replacement.
    canoehead likes this.
  6. 0
    The hospital units where I have worked require you to call the unit and speak with the charge nurse as far in advance as possible. It's not ok to call in sick 30 minutes before you are supposed to be there...rude and unprofessional. The nurses that work on your shift will pick up your patient load or if the census is high and there is an on-call person, the charge nurse will call the on-call person scheduled for that particular shift to come in and work. Hope this helps.
  7. 0
    I work in a very small, specialized department. We only have a few full-time people and even less PRNs. Our NM expects us to be "dependable" which means come to work when you are sick and if you can't then make calls begging the other FT people to come in on their days off. "Dependable" to me means you don't get falling down drunk and call out due to hangover, or when you have a mild cold that Sudafed, etc can be taken. However, some of my other co-workers come to work febrile or even with N/V/D! If I have that I will call out, and I have to call out occasionally when Grandma can't watch my sick kid.

    Also our NM expects to find people to cover our vacations. So if you can't find someone to cover all your shifts....guess what? Vacation is cancelled. I'm not even sure this is in accordance with hospital policy. It's ridiculous because some people can't/don't want to work extra to cover and then it causes tension in the work environment.
  8. 0
    Depends on the facility. My last job you could call out a certain number of times in one year, more times with notice than without. If you went above that, you better have medical documentation and probably a lawyer to fight it or you will be insto-terminated. But you don't find your own replacement, that's the manager's problem.

    A smaller facility I worked for would threaten and bark on the phone until employees came to work deathly sick. I came in with the flu once because it was that or literally lose my job. This was before the swine flu, and I think they've backed off a little since then. But threats of termination is no way to run a business.
  9. 0
    Wow, I guess I've been pretty lucky in the places I've worked so far as a nurse. I've never had any trouble if I called in sick (a rare occurrence). Most of the time I was required to call the charge nurse and the staffing office. The policy was usually to call at least 3-4 hours before shift start, to give staffing a chance to find a replacement so they would not have to call in the on-call nurse at time-and-a-half.
  10. 2
    Where I work, calling in sick is equivalent to committing a crime. Although the bosses are not supposed to talk about the staff who call in sick, the reality is that they tear them up one side and down the other. It doesn't matter who it is-or how often/how rarely they call in.

    It is a sad state of affairs for a nurse to feel awful physically and then feel awful mentally because management lays on the guilt trip nice and thick. It is even more obscene when the MANAGER calls in sick because they "didn't sleep well". Seriously?

    Policy states that nurses must call in AT LEAST two hours before their shift starts. Most of our nurses abide by this, and the ones that don't are not held accountable for it. We have the frequent call out people...and they are still employed for some reason. We have those on FMLA, and some managers berate these employees behind their backs, but the staff do not. We just want these staff members to get better.

    It would be nice if our managers were more understanding of those that must call in sick because they ARE SICK! As health care professionals, you would think that managers would be MORE empathetic, but it seems as if it is just the opposite. So the staff are relegated to come in sick anyway because they KNOW there will be backlash (mental, not disciplinary). Sad. Very sad.
    JacknSweetpea and MouseMichelle like this.
  11. 0
    our policy is two hours, although the day shift often calls at 4am a hour before change, which makes it tougher to get someone in. Nites there usually isn't a problem with the timing of call-offs. We can get pull nurses from all over the hospital, if the other floors have a available one, sometimes we don't and you have to suck it up and deal with it.

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