Showing up to work SICK - page 3

don't get me wrong, i have been known to show up to work sick only to regret it later! my gripe is not only is it not good for my health to show up to work sick, it endangers the health of my... Read More

  1. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from kriso
    I say if you are sick- please stay home. It irks me when someone will come to work and say right off the bat, "I don't feel well" or "I'm sick".
    Three days ago, I made it work.

    I wasn't really feeling "sick" but I wasn't feeling "100%" either. Since I didn't think I was sick, I didn't think it deserved a 'call in'.

    Well, about the first thing I did half-way through report was barf up my dinner. I hadn't had anything "exotic" for dinner. In fact it was as "bland as can be" - pasta with sauce, cheese and onions. A bit of tabasco sauce.

    Well, post emesis - I felt fine...so to say.
    Except for the fact that since I had thrown up my dinner, I was now empty stomach. I was freaking hungry!

    All that gas, every time I burped, I felt nauseous.

    It was a royal PITA going through that shift - I didn't know if I was really sick, I felt miserable from the upchuck and subsequent rumbling stomach, the "burps that make me wanna puke" didn't help none, a full patient load...

    Ai yai yai! The list went on!

    The LPN from eves shift offered to stay on to cover my shift if I needed to go home. I growled "I'm sick. I'm not dead. Go home!" ...

    ...In all fairness, the man had pulled an 18 hour shift barely a day before because of bad weather. I didn't want him to stay on and cover me just because I had upchucked some steak and fries... [besides, he was a combat medic. He knows I've served. We understand each other very well]

    Yes, I know that it's technically "management's" responsibility - but the charge nurse was a dear friend and colleague (we don't have dedicated charge nurses on noc shifts. One of the RNs assume the responsibility) ... she was a nurse I respected. Besides, the 'on call' RN just recently suffered the death of her MIL ... and I didn't want to bother her.

    So, I stayed. I worked through my "bowel issues" with some 'traditional remedy' (sour curds/yoghurt. Always helps. Don't ask me why). It didn't help the malaise, but it helped quell the symptoms. I can't tell you how many times during that damned night I felt like puking again but I didn't ....

    I was touched by how many people kept asking me as to how I was feeling - the am shift from 2 days post was asking me about it!


    cheers,

    PS: The only time I took off work for being sick was the day following the night when most of my patients asked me "Are you all right son? You sound sick to me".

    I was coughing up brown-green mucus at that point [should have told me something, yes? ]. I took myself off work for 4 nights. I needed the money but my health was more important....
    Last edit by Roy Fokker on Feb 20, '07
  2. by   ZootRN
    In my opinion many nurses are coming in sick because of this martyr attitude they have to come to work unless they are dead or else something horrible will happen, like the hospital will close down, or there will be none caring for the patients and they all will die.
    I myself called in once in 8 months, and felt so guilty on top of feeling sick. I don't know what's up with nursing that we cannot take time off when we need it most.
  3. by   Diahni
    Quote from mystic_fish0526
    In my opinion many nurses are coming in sick because of this martyr attitude they have to come to work unless they are dead or else something horrible will happen, like the hospital will close down, or there will be none caring for the patients and they all will die.
    I myself called in once in 8 months, and felt so guilty on top of feeling sick. I don't know what's up with nursing that we cannot take time off when we need it most.
    I had an experience working with somebody who had the stomach flu. She finally went to throw up, and everybody was leaning on her to leave. Nurses know how contagious this is! Even after saying she would leave, she went in a back room to finish her paperwork. While I was relieved that I didn't catch it, I was amazed that she didn't leave immediately. They say mothers don't get sick - actually, they just function, sick or not. When nurses do this, they put everybody at risk. The "martyr attitude" is so dysfunctional, and backfires in everyone's face.
    Diahni
  4. by   midnightRN
    I prefer to stay home when sick; I think most of us do. However, a lot of us are limited by unrealistic work policies. At my place of employment, we are allowed five days a year before diciplinary action commences. Not very realistic when you consider that we work with sick patients daily. I wash my hands a bazzillion times a day. All it takes is that one patient who sneezes in your face, the co-worker who coughs on the phone, or for me, my kids coming home sick form school and wanting to cuddle with mommy. i can't count the number of times i've been sneezed on, coughed on, thrown up on, etc. I'd say it's true of ANY of us. I have come to work sick becuse it meant my job if I stayed home. Believe me, I very carefully consider when to call in, and when not to.
  5. by   indigo girl
    Quote from nurse_nan
    I decide based on how contagious I think I am. Or how horrible I will look to the patients. Like the time I had poison ivy all over my hands and face and the house sup said, so what you aren't contagious, but I couldn't bend my fingers to hold a pen and I figured I wouldn't want someone touching me looking like that. So I stayed home. Colds, well, by the time symptoms break out I've already spread it around so if I can control the symptoms, I'll go in. GI symptoms - don't even ask me to work and run to the bathroom every few minutes. Although I did work with a nurse one time who was on that 3rd call off and worried she was going to get in trouble so she came in with GI problems. She collapsed on the floor of a patient's bathroom hurling. The patient was so funny. He turned on his call light then picked her up and put her in his bed and was moping her forehead with a washcloth when I showed up. We sent her home and sent the patient flowers for being such a nice guy. =)
    This story is too funny!! The patient picked her up and put her in his bed?
    You have to love it!!!
    Last edit by indigo girl on Apr 22, '07
  6. by   timdmb
    were not allowed to call in sick at all... we get written up
  7. by   RunningWithScissors
    Actually, those of yo who think the patients don't catch anything from staff, listen up:

    There has been an aweful GI virus running rampant through the staff, and patients are being admitted right and left as well...
    I've had 2 patents whith unrelated surgical problems who came down with the nausea/diarrhea a day apart, no family members sick, but staff had been sick.

    These patients are ill equipped to handle these illnesses! Do you want to be responsible for killing somebody?

    I myself got hammered with this virus and stayed home sick. I'm not a martyr, those in admin would do the same.
  8. by   ZootRN
    Quote from timdmb
    were not allowed to call in sick at all... we get written up
    This is crazy. I can't believe the employment conditions that some of us have to put up with.
  9. by   Jo Dirt
    Quote from mystic_fish0526
    In my opinion many nurses are coming in sick because of this martyr attitude they have to come to work unless they are dead or else something horrible will happen, like the hospital will close down, or there will be none caring for the patients and they all will die.
    I myself called in once in 8 months, and felt so guilty on top of feeling sick. I don't know what's up with nursing that we cannot take time off when we need it most.
    I can care less about getting anyone's sympathy. It has nothing to do with being sick, it has to do with calling in. You are immediately put on a s--- list as being a slacker by the staff who has to cover for you.

    The administration doesn't care if you're sick, they don't care if you give it to other people...all the better for business if someone has to spend extra time in the hospital. People don't realize there are a whole lot of sociopaths in control and people DON'T MATTER. The bottom line matters.
  10. by   RunningWithScissors
    The bottom line is, take care of yourself, sheesh!

    Know you facility's policy; if you are allowed sick time every so many days, take it if you're sick and don't feel guilty, give me a break! This is considered a benefit, so take advantage of it if you need it!

    There are plenty of jobs out there that don't offer any benefits like sick time; so if you have it and don't use it when you need it, that's downright dumb.
  11. by   melsch
    Please call in sick if you are. I just had to cover for an RN who came in sick on a night shift and was sent home by the infection control doctor because she had c-diff. Because she came in and started her shift we couldn't find anyone to replace her and me(RN) and 3 LPN's had to cover 33 patients the rest of the night. To say the least this was really unsafe and I ran my butt off didn't sit down for 12 hours, let alone have time to react if one of the patients had become worse during the night.

    It also left the rest of us wondering for the next week if we were going to come down with c-diff, or which patients had she spread this to. This nurse had spoken to the manager whose response to her was well don't call in we need our nurses.(what would she have done if we all caught it and had to call in sick) :trout:

    She had actually worked the previous two nights as well and didn't think anything of it (not the brightest bulb in the box)until the infection control doc came up and she happened to mention what the manager had said and why she was there. The doc was going to speak to the manager thank goodness.
  12. by   CaLLaCoDe
    Quote from RunningWithScissors
    The bottom line is, take care of yourself, sheesh! There are plenty of jobs out there that don't offer any benefits like sick time; so if you have it and don't use it when you need it, that's downright dumb.
    Sometimes, I have to admit it is difficult to tell if one is sick to the point of having to call in sick, especially if you get guff on the other end of that telephone line... Example: Soar throat (are you kidding me?)...Temp below 101 (did you just run a marathon?!)...Cough (use a mask silly, that's what they're for!). So from now on I call in: "I'M SICK...Yeah, IT'S ME, you know my name look up the number," and hang up...done!

    Quote from melsch
    Please call in sick if you are. She had actually worked the previous two nights as well and didn't think anything of it (not the brightest bulb in the box)until the infection control doc came up and she happened to mention what the manager had said and why she was there.

    I'll admit it sometimes, I'm not the brightest bulb in the box either, especially during a code!!! lOLOLOLOLOL heee heee heee!
    But seriously, what was she thinking?!!!
    Last edit by CaLLaCoDe on Feb 22, '07
  13. by   Xbox Live Addict
    For an industry that is supposedly devoted to the treatment and prevention of illness, health care has no mercy when one of its own gets sick - or in how that might impact the patients.

    Over the years, I've worked through several stomach-virus epidemics in NHs, sick as a dog. Between every patient, almost every staff member had to run to the bathroom for vomiting or diarrhea. At least one girl I know of, unfortunately, did not make it and had an accident. Where is the concept of "infection control" in these fiascoes?

    When I worked at restaurants, if you had so much as a sniffle, the manager would send you home. No restaurant manager worth his salt would allow people to work with stomach viruses bad enough to cause uncontrolled vomiting/diarrhea. The media would run a story about how the restaurant was traced to numerous cases of illness. The county health department would shut the place down. Yet, health care demands that its workers put aside their own health at the risk of permanent damage in favor of their jobs. The statement "How can you abandon your patients?" is often dangled over the heads of health care workers.

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