sick nurses - page 2

I will soon be a new grad. and I have noticed a lot of nurses who work with colds and coughs; one even told me she had to keep running to the bathroom to throw-up. Is this a good evironment for... Read More

  1. by   alk3rainbow
    Quote from Blackcat99
    :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire I worked at a place where CNA's had to come in and prove that they were sick before they could have the day off. The nurses were expected to take the CNA's vital signs and if the vital signs were normal the CNA's were expected to stay at work that day.
    Sounds like the place I did my CNA clinicals at. Kind of a silly rule. You can be sick and contagious, but have normal vital signs.
  2. by   Gompers
    At my hospital I think if you have more than 3 sick occurrances in 6 months you get a warning, something like that. And calling in sick for more than one day in a row is still considered one occurrance. I think full time employees get something like 2 weeks of sick time per year, which can be accrued for up to 8 weeks total. If you call in for more than 3 shifts in a row you need a doctor's note or one from occupational health services saying you are okay to come back.

    Now, I'm not sure if it's because I work in a NICU with severely immuno-compromised patients or not, but we NEVER "have" to come in if we're sick!!! If you call in, that's it, they can't force you to do anything. If you call in way too much and get warnings, then that's between you and the nurse manager. But the charge nurse can NEVER make you come in. She can make you feel guilty if we're busy, but that's about it.

    Of course, I see lots of nurses working sick and it makes me mad because it puts our patients at risk. Most don't wear masks. (Who can wear a mask for 12 hours straight?!) Usually it's because they are out of sick time and can't go without pay. I do understand that but still, especially during RSV season it makes me cringe to see people coughing and sneezing on the unit...
  3. by   PedsNurse1981
    Quote from Lauriek
    I will soon be a new grad. and I have noticed a lot of nurses who work with colds and coughs; one even told me she had to keep running to the bathroom to throw-up. Is this a good evironment for spreading colds and viruses, or are shortages just so bad that nurses have to work sick? Is it possible to do a good job while sick?

    Thanks for replying.
    I will not under any circumstance come to work sick. I think nurses who do are only stressing themselves out, and in the long run, they'll wish they had taken better care of themselves. My job is to take care of sick children, which I cannot do if I myself am sick. I my management started having a problem with us being out sick, I'd find a new job. Thankfully, I'm not sick very often. Also, I won't come to work with a headache. Some call me wimpy, but I know that when my head hurts, I cannot devote my full attention to my work, and the lives of my patients are too important for me to give them substandard nursing care.
  4. by   fergus51
    One of the things I like about Canadian nursing is that the sick benes are usually pretty good. I don't work sick. I know some people who do and I want to smack them. It is just so rude to come to work and spread germs to coworkers and patients.

    I do know there are a lot of nurses who abuse the sick time here. A lot of "Saturday night flus" and such.
  5. by   Stitchie
    Quote from smkoepke
    i once worked as an aide in an assisted living facility where they had written in their manual that staff was prohibited from coming to work with a teperature of 100.5 or higher or vomiting/diarrhea. I called in with a temp of 102.9 and was told that i must come in. I quoted their handbook to them and the charge nurse said "that's too bad, we need you." Pushover that i was at the time i dragged my butt in there and was shocked to learn that another girl was allowed to call off because she had to study for a test for nursing school! I started a new job search that day.
    Good for you! I would have copied that page and shot it to the manager with a flaming arrow...just kidding. I'd use a regular arrow. :chuckle
  6. by   Stitchie
    When I started my new ED job I got sick the first couple of weeks -- late February, cold and flu season, new facility, new co-workers, new germs.

    I really was ill - I had a nasty sinus infection then gastroenteritis on top of that. I did miss a couple of days within a two week period, but I had evidence that I had seen my doc and that was it. TPTB were okay with that. I did not think that I was in any way capable of 1) working 2) learning a new position or 3) not being a complete and utter dope because I felt so horrible. I do fine in the utter dope department when I'm 100%!!!

    If they only knew that my doc is one of those really great guys that would give me a 'she's contagious' note for a bad hair day When I went back to the doc with my N/V/D, he asked me how long I wanted to be off. I must have really good insurance!
  7. by   RNKPCE
    As nurses we are stuck behind a rock and a hard place. We shouldn't be working with a horrendous cough, fever, diarrhea, but then we get counseled if we are sick too much. People who have desk jobs with a dedicated phone line can work with many more ailments than a nurse. Even something such as stiches on ones hand can keep a nurse out of work til healed, or a sprained ankle. A person with a desk job can likely work with a sprained ankle.

    We have a policy that if you are sick more than 3 days in a row you must have a physicians note. Sometimes you don't need to go to a physician you just need the time to get over whatever you have. Sometimes you can't get into see your physician.

    Where I work your work status determine how many sick occurrences you can have. For instance if you work 1/2 time you get 5 occurrences a year. Full time 8 occurrence a year, or something along those lines.An occurrence is not each day sick but each group of consecutive days you are sick. So if you are sick on a Monday, scheduled off on Tues and sick Wed and Thurs, that is all one occurrence.
  8. by   oramar
    Quote from batmik
    So if you are sick on a Monday, scheduled off on Tues and sick Wed and Thurs, that is all one occurrence.
    Where I work employees sometimes get two occurences when they should only have one. Here is how it goes. They have the flu, they take off two days in row and that is occurence. Now nobody gets over flu in two days and they come back too soon, relaspe and miss two more. They can end up with two even three occurences that way. Not fair I say.
  9. by   mercykitten
    First, no one has mentioned that the vomiting nurse may have been pregnant. That happens quite frequently with our co-workers (since we are a predominantly female occupation). Several of my co-workers had frequent n/v....and were saving their sick time for their maternity leave.
    But I must confess that I have worked sick. Early in my career it was because there frequently wasn't anyone to replace me (back in the days of team leading where I was the only RN for 20-44 pts). I don't work sick as often now.....I am older and just can't. Plus now I am working mostly 12 hr shifts. I have called in on days that I would have worked if I had been scheduled for 8 hrs....but being sick, just couldn't go the 12 hrs.
    But I have also worked sick because of sick policies (just allowed 4 occurences/rolling year) and if you miss on your weekend, you have to make it up by working one of your weekends off. I only get every other weekend off, so that would put me working three weekends out of four in the month. My husband also works every other weekend, so it really messes us up.
    Anyone else have a simliar experience?
  10. by   heart queen
    It took me several years to wise up and stop being a martyr comming in sick. Once I was STUPID enough to allow a coworker to give me an IM of compazine because my vomiting was so intractable... in 30 minutes I was a blubbering idiot, too doped up to drive home We had a policy of 3 call off's a year, then verbal, next written, then suspension... well I used the first three when the kids were sick, the next two when I was. Facing suspension, you drag your sick butt in!

    Now, I work on an immune compromised floor. I do come in with a cold and wear a mask when I enter ANY room, but the staff was pissed, wiping down everything I touched and told me NOT to return the next night, I was blamed for every sniffle for the next two weeks :chuckle

    So I just don't come in with a fever or gastric blow outs But I still come in with colds. I just keep scrubbing my hands until they're raw! and ignore the sterilization crew following in my midst.
  11. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from JMP
    If you live in my neck of the woods, sick time is unlimited. After 2 years you get 80% full pay, after 3 years, 90% and after 4 years, 100 %. Employer cannot ask what is wrong, physically or mentally. I know some nurses who have been off over 2 years with mental challenges, and as long as they prove they are seeking help, the cheques keep rolling in.
    But then, I work in a highly unionized hospital. Sick time is not something you can be disiplined for. I am not saying there is not great abuse of the system, it is just the system we have.

    I do know that if you have high sick time, they can call you in for an "awareness program'.........but then again I think they had to cancel it as it was seen as a form of harassment.

    Things sure are different in Canada!
  12. by   fergus51
    Quote from Hellllllo Nurse
    Things sure are different in Canada!
    We're still recruiting.... hint hint....

    One of the reasons you can't just compare salaries when deciding on a job
  13. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from fergus51
    We're still recruiting.... hint hint....

    One of the reasons you can't just compare salaries when deciding on a job
    Lol. I know what you mean about looking at a lot more than just salary when finding an employer. In The U.S., however, it's pretty much unheard of to be told anything about a job before starting, except for your wage, shift and the unit you'll be working on.

    I'm an Arizona girl. I'm used to 115 degrees in the summer. Think I can hack it up there in The Great White North?

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