Calling off :-(

  1. At our hospital, the policy is that if you have to call off, you need to find your own replacement. We are a critical access hospital so there are not a lot of staff on standby. The population of our town is about 1500.
    I had an injury before work today, got hit by a gate that a cow ran into when we were sorting. I passed out and when I came to, I had a forehead abrasion and pain in my L ribs.
    I was scheduled to work that night. So my question is...I was in NO shape to call around to find a repalcement. I called in to work and let them know what happened. They were very snotty to me on the phone. Needless to say I'm going to an ER 40 miles away to get checked out.
    Is this normal in other places? Especially critical access hospitals? I know we dont have staff but I can't function safely as a nurse with a head injury.
    Last edit by gaby19 on Jul 3
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  2. 59 Comments

  3. by   klone
    If you're calling out sick or injured, I've never heard of having to find your own replacement.
  4. by   caliotter3
    I once worked at a place where you had to find your own replacement in addition to calling the administrator on her personal phone. Contributed to the exodus.
  5. by   CrunchRN
    Wow. How harsh. I would find another job.
  6. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    I don't think they can legally make you do that if you are calling out for an illness or injury! Tell them no next time, that is their responsibility and tell them you are unsafe to work.

    Annie
  7. by   Here.I.Stand
    I've never worked in a critical access hospital; the closest was my first CNA job which was a single building with 1 hospital floor, 2 LTC floors, and an OR. I believe it was considered a CAH.

    But no, I have never heard of having to find your own replacement. What are you supposed to do if nobody wants to work -- come to work with what could potentially be rib fractures or a pneumothorax, and/or a TBI?? Or norovirus or the flu or......??

    Even small hospitals have administration, and it should be THEIR job to staff appropriately. The fact that we too can get sick or hurt is not new information, so why don't they have a plan in place? At the nursing home in my first paragraph, if nobody was able to work, the ADON put on her whites and worked (there nurses wore all white) -- or colored uniform if she was filling a CNA hole. She was very clear that as a nursing leader, this was her job. Or they could make an on-call schedule where a nurse is paid to be on call, and called in if needed (of course this would require more staff, so that the on call RN doesn't go into overtime or work >12 hrs per day.)

    But no, it should NOT be the staff nurse's job to be schedulers on their own time. Those hours in between the sick call and the start of your shift is your own, i.e. unpaid, time. So why in the world are you expected to perform a scheduler's job function for free, while off duty -- especially when a sick nurse should be seeking treatment or resting!!

    And.....I just read your post again and noticed that YOU HAD A ******* LOC!!!??!?! I read quickly and missed that. Please focus on getting better!! My maternal Grandpa and Great-Grandpa were both dairy farmers (of THEM, my uncle survived a farming accident, and a great-uncle died in a farming accident), two of my best friends were dairy farm kids, my parents' neighbors are dairy farmers, and I participated in the equestrian sport as a kid/young teen. When I was 12 I got kicked in the ribs by a horse I had spooked.
    Oh, and I went to school with a girl whose father survived being gored by a bull. Those big muscle-bound animals are NO JOKE!! They can KILL PEOPLE!!

    I am so livid for you right now.
  8. by   klone
    Agree with Here.I.Stand - administrators are paid to have 24/7 responsibility of the unit/facility. It is THEIR responsibility to staff if employees call out sick, NOT yours.
  9. by   gaby19
    Well my concern is that I would be turned in for Patient abandonment since I agreed to work the schedule. I do NOT want to jeopardize my license. But going to work like this would be unsafe. Also jeopardizing my license--and patients most off all! I don't feel competent to handle an ER case after getting my bell rung.
  10. by   gaby19
    You make an excellent point about it being the nurse managers job to find a repalcement. We have had CNA's who are working with 102 temps and pneumonia because they couldnt find someone to work for them. I've been at work vomiting on am hourly basis but was told- thats just what we have to do.
  11. by   Here.I.Stand
    It's not abandonment if you aren't there -- there is no established nurse-pt relationship for you to sever.
  12. by   saskrn
    I really enjoy working in critical access hospitals, and have worked in many of them over the years. I have never heard of a policy like this.

    If someone is sick or injured, it's completely ridiculous to think that they'd be healthy or coherent enough to find a replacement. If you're having chest pain, for example, are you expected to phone around for a replacement before calling EMS? It's illogical. smh

    IMHO, it doesn't sound like this hospital appreciates or respects their nurses very much. I would be looking for a new job ASAP.
  13. by   NurseCard
    I work in a critical access hospital, and we too have practically no staff to
    fall back on each shift, if someone calls in. Nonetheless, if we're sick,
    we're sick, and they don't make us find our own replacement. If the
    shift supervisor can't find someone to cover who is off, then the unit
    manager has to cover.
  14. by   saskrn
    Quote from gaby19
    Well my concern is that I would be turned in for Patient abandonment since I agreed to work the schedule. I do NOT want to jeopardize my license. But going to work like this would be unsafe. Also jeopardizing my license--and patients most off all! I don't feel competent to handle an ER case after getting my bell rung.
    It's not abandonment.

    You could always discuss the entire situation with your state board of nursing, ask for their input, and then pass it on to the hospital's DON, administration, etc. That might actually get their attention!

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