Today, while in the office, several of us were siting there calling our pt's setting up visits for the day, and our supervisor came up to us, and said, "So, are you both feeling OK? Healthy, and everything?" Huh?? We looked at each other and looked at her, like, well, we're here, and we look OK don't we? My co-worker and I just said "yeah...why do you ask?" And she said, "Well, the weekend staffing is very tight, and we just want to be sure no one is feeling ill or thinking about calling out sick on Saturday."
Now, I don't know about you, but I was a little peeved at this line of questioning. First of all, no one ever plans to get sick, sometimes 24-hour bugs really DO come on fast, or you spike a temp, get food poisoning, or your child gets sick, or you have another emergency. So, if I am trapped into saying "Yes, I feel great," then something happens and I had to call out sick, would they then call me a liar?? Mind you I have no plans to call out sick for mental health purposes or anything. But, it just seems to me that by going around and asking everyone how they are feeling, is just somehoe inappropriate. We are given 10 sick days and 11 personal days, and they are ours to use, regardless of the agencies short-staffing.
The supervisor explained they are trying to determine how many new pt's they should accept, and that is good, but I don't think it is wise to cut it that close. If there is even a question we will not be able to handle the load, we shouldn't take it, we need a cushion, b/c you just never know. Esp in HH, there have been rare occassions when I have had to park my car on streets w a lot of broken glass, I could get a flat, cars die, nurses have been in accidents. You just cannot make a foolproof plan by going around and asking each nurse if they will be sure to be well enough to show up.
We have had a tremendous amount of call-outs lately, maybe this is due to the incredible stress we have been under by taking too many cases, though in fairness, management did cut the number of new pt's taken dramatically this week, and it was a very pleasant week of working I might add, all my pt's were actually seen, and no one had to be pushed on to the weekend. I am caught up on all my paperwork too.
Anyway, back to the subject, they have already implemented a sick pay-out once a month you can get an extra sick day paid to you in your pay if you don't use sick time. That should be it. OK, some people will still take their mental health days, and frankly, if they feel that stressed, I say they should take it. Even tho it creates more stress for everyone else as we scramble to cover their pt's. When a nurse is that stressed, her pt's don't need to hear about it, and they are not always pleasant to be around, so if they need that day, leave them be. What do you think?
That was a very strange question to ask you in my opinion. Sounds like she might have her own personal plans and was checking to see if she might end up covering or having to scramble to get the coverage. Since you said she was trying to figure out how many patients to accept on the basis of coverage, I'll go with that and say you should all get together and buy her a crystal ball because that is the only way she will predict the future! LOL. Good Luck! Happy visiting! Hug.
Last edit by Huganurse on Jun 30, '02
I didn't read it as the supervisor wanting to make sure she won't have to cover. I read it as a thinly veiled threat. "Don't call in sick, or else. I saw you here and I know you were not sick when I saw you, so if you call in sick, you will face judgement by your superivisors."
If anybody calls in sick, they should make sure to have a doctors note, for sure!
Last edit by pebbles on Apr 6, '02