I started at a wound care clinic as a Hyperbaric Tech/Wound Nurse on November 7th. Last Thursday (12/20) I became very ill and went to the ER. ER doc did a chest X-ray and said she "saw something" in the right lower lobe of my lungs. Said it was Bronchitis, got two shots, a Rx for antibiotics and an excuse to take the next day off. We were off 12/24 and 12/25. I woke up feeling worse on 12/26 but went in anyway. All day I saw patients and did wound care while I dripped sweat, having to leave the exam room a few times to sit down because I felt very dizzy and was hacking up a lung and other nasty gunk I won't describe.
Yesterday morning (12/27) I was so weak, short of breath and dizzy I could barely make it from one room to another without gasping for air. Called the Nurse Manager and told her I would be in but would probably be a bit late. She called the Director, called me back and said they could make it without me and to go back to the doctor.
Went to the doctor, had a chest X-Ray and now have pneumonia in both lower lobes. Doctor wrote a statement saying I have Pneumonia and am not to return to work for two weeks. In the meantime I will be doing repsiratory treatments at home provided by a home health agency.
I informed the Nurse Manager that I will be going for a follow up appt. next week to see if I can be cleared to go back to work before the two weeks is up. She stated "Just keep me posted. We will work something out."
Here's the thing. The clinic is very small with me and two full time wound care nurses on staff. Since I am out sick, the Nurse Manager has to run the hyperbaric chamber, so that leaves one nurse to see all the patients for the first half of the day, which can be overwhelming, then the Nurse Manager can step in the second half of the day and do wound care. In my opinion, they are not adequately staffed, but who am I to determine that?
With all that said, and since I have been there less than 2 months, would they have a legitimate reason to terminate me, even with a statement from the doctor? Please understand that I realize they need to be adequately staffed to provide proper care, but all of our patients have open, oozing wounds, and more than 90% of them are diabetic with other co-morbidities which would weaken the immune system, but like I said, I have been there less than 2 months and am already having to take so many sick days.
Part of me says if they fire me for being legitimately sick they're not worth working for anyway, but another part says they have a business to run, and while I have worked hard and proven myself competent while I've been there, what can I say if they do let me go? It's just business as usual. Nothing personal.