Do you get wriiten up for calling in sick with a doctor's note?

  1. Hi- I can't believe this just happened to me, especially in light of the nursing shortage. I'm an RN with 9 years experience and a history of good to excellent performance evaluations. I called out sick 3 times in one year without a doctor's note and received a verbal warning, per my hospital's policy. I have no problem with that. Then I called out again (4th time in 13 months) WITH a doctor's note and received a written warning. I protested, and was told by my manager and by the human resources department that ALL callouts, with or without a doctor's note, count towards disciplinary action unless I am covered under the federal family medical leave act, which does not cover monor illnesses including the flu. I worked 5 1/2 years for this hospital on another unit and was never disciplined for callouts covered by a doctor's note. When I mentioned this I was told "This has always been the policy but it has not been consistently applied in all units". The only way for me to "exit the disciplinary process" will be to remain callout-free for 12 months, or to leave. If I call in sick again within 4 months I'll be suspended. If I callout sick again within 5-12 months I will receive another written warning. Two written warnings in 24 months = suspension. So I guess I'll leave and sign up for a bonus elsewhere. How does your hospital handle callouts? What would you do?
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   grouchy
    PS. I should point out that one reason the policy is so strict is that I "only" work 36 hrs/ week. I have approx. 150 hours of unused sick time, and no "pattern" of abusive or weekend sick calls.
  4. by   VAC
    Check out the thread, "how does your hospital handle call in's" for an earful on the subject.
  5. by   deespoohbear
    I would be out of a job if I worked at your facility, just for this past week!! My 10 year old had an appy done a week ago today. I took him home the following morning. Then my husband became ill that evening with N/V/D that I figured he had no business taking care of my kid. So, I called in three straight days. My husband ended up being admitted to the hospital on Saturday morning and stayed until late Sunday evening. So, I ended up calling in on Monday because I was so exhausted I couldn't think straight! I have never, ever called in 4 working days straight ever since I started working when I was 17 years old! But, I was clearly needed at home for all that time, and it wasn't like I was out enjoying myself!! I know all this will probably go into my file, but oh well. I can go about anywhere and get a job but I can't get a new family! I can always start with a clean slate with a new employer, but not with my family!!
    Last edit by deespoohbear on Dec 5, '01
  6. by   mcl4
    Originally posted by VAC
    Check out the thread, "how does your hospital handle call in's" for an earful on the subject.

    That thread looked at abuse of sick time when calling in on a weekend. This orginal message is not the same.
  7. by   VAC
    Originally posted by mcl4



    That thread looked at abuse of sick time when calling in on a weekend. This orginal message is not the same.
    How hospitals handle call in's, habitual or otherwise, regardless of whether you believe the person is sick or not, are very similar topics, because despite what some managers and others believe, most of the time you can't prove whether the sick time is being abused or not, therefore, hospitals usually have a single policy for call ins.. No, the original messages weren't identical, but I believed they were similar enough that if a person were interested in one, they would be interested in the other.
  8. by   mercnurse
    [ But, I was clearly needed at home for all that time, and it wasn't like I was out enjoying myself!! I know all this will probably go into my file, but oh well. I can go about anywhere and get a job but I can't get a new family! I can always start with a clean slate with a new employer, but not with my family!! [/B][/QUOTE]

    HOW DARE YOU, to consider your family first!!!!!!!

    3 of my friends were 'called on the carpet' over excessive use of sick time. two were terminated as unit specific and transfered to the float pool. All, in the same year, had major surgery. two for the "C" word. Yet the DON stated that all this didn't matter!!!!!!
    All 3 are now gone from that facility.

    And the DON just can't figure out WHY there is such a shortage.

    done ranting now :}

    and YES you were needed at home more.
  9. by   fergus51
    RIDICULOUS!!! Do you have a union or another avenue of adressing this? We don't even have to produce a doctors note as we are no longer in elementary school. I can't believe nurses are not given enough credit to know when they are sick and shouldn't be at work. I would quit faster than you could say "doctor's note".
  10. by   semstr
    Hi there,

    The first three days are without a doctors note, then you have to get one.
    This is not just hospital politics, it is the federal law here and it is the same for everybody, regardless of job or position.

    Take care, Renee
  11. by   fergus51
    Hey Renee!
    It was the same when I was in the Czech Republic. Kids even had to get a doctor's note for missing school. Here that is seen as a HUGE waste of money. We are short about 15 doctors in our city alone and health care resources are very tight so we dont encourage people to waste time and money getting notes if they have the flu or something.
  12. by   P_RN
    Ours was "excused" or "unexcused."

    You could have 5 "occurrences" in a 365 day period-ergo a "rolling year time period."

    I broke my leg and was out for 5 weeks. That same "year" my father died.

    I also had an emergency laparotomy." I was out 11 weeks with complications and peritonitis.

    Guess what only 3 occurrences. No, it's not fair to the one who had a cold for a total of 3 different days, but rational people do not make these rules.

    They will never catch on. People do not like being treated as if they are in kindergarten.

    You also could not call in sick the day before or the day after vacation time. The girl who went home to New York for her wedding had a terrible cold and called in sick for 2 days before.

    She got paid NOTHING out of her vacation time for having the nerve not to plan her sickness better. And they WONDER why she isn't working there anymore. And she HAD a doctor's note. :\
    Last edit by P_RN on Dec 6, '01
  13. by   semstr
    That's right Fergus, well a bit different though, doctors note for kids, only when they have a paper or test on one of the days they are sick.
    (that's pretty new, but the school autorities had to act, because more and more parents let their children stay at home, at important testdays, saying they were sick.
    Those kids returned to school next day, boasting to their comrades, that they weren't sick at all and ha, ha now they had more time to learn!! made this experience a few times too, with my own students)

    Take care, Renee

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