Working sick - page 3

Was having yet another discussion with a colleague about people who come to work sick. I'm sure we've all done it at some point. Many of the patients that I work with have very poor hygiene and... Read More

  1. by   itsme
    Well, god forbid any of us should get sick on a weekend!! That just doesnt happen! Management thinks no nurse should or will be ill on a weekend! There must be a law against it!! I dont go to work sick at all, my doc knows the kind of management we have (small town) and will write up a little "sick note" for me- Hey, when I was in high school and was sick my mommy had to write a little "sick note" for me too!! What a coincidence!!
  2. by   Tweety
    Originally posted by cheerfuldoer
    What is with these hospitals and their "point system" and "wrist slapping" and treating full grown adults who are professionals like kindergarten children anyway?

    Furthermore......WHY ARE NURSES TOLERATING BEING TREATED LIKE FIVE YEAR OLDS ON THEIR JOBS?

    When I hear stuff like this, it makes me wonder how much progress women have really made in the USA after all. Sounds like the days before women's liberation to me.
    Because, quite frankly there are plenty of people who abuse the rest of us hard working full grown adults by calling in sick excessively and abusing it. You give someone unlimited number of sick calls and no monitoring and you are going to get abuse. By only a few, but abuse nontheless.

    It's the few that make it hard for the rest of us full grown adults.

    There also is the culture that if we are "allowed" six occurrences a year to call in sick without reprimand, then those people consider those days holidays that they are entitled to, in addition to any scheduled time off.

    BTW, I don't think it's a woman's thing. Most organizations have policies regarding the number of sick calls, and what to do with excessive sick calls.

    Our managers do take an individuals situation into consideration. We had a nusre with a very sick child and she called in a lot and no one cared.

    But we also have a nurse who the past year has mysteriously gotten ill every Saturday night for six scheduled Saturdays in a row. Should we ignore her that as an adult she should be allowed excessive absences every other Saturday?
  3. by   KaroSnowQueen
    I think it is ridiculous to give points to adults for missing work. If a person has forty seven absences in six months, then write them up for it, that IS excessive. But if you have the flu in January, a car wreck in May, your grandma dies in August , your kid is in the hospital in October - these are things that happen to your average human and really can be easily proven, ie, you look/sound ill, you have a different car, wreck and grandma both written up in the local news. To be penalized for things beyond your control is beyond me. I think it is uncalled for.
  4. by   Shamrock
    Originally posted by ERNurse752
    :roll :chuckle

    ERNurse - I would love to take credit for this but babynurselsa had it 1st.

    I subscribe to the hand theory of nursing.........
    If the butt is bigger than my hand I do not wanna change its diaper.
  5. by   CseMgr1
    I called out sick on Christmas Morning in 1975...with a raging case of bronchitis (I had caught a cold from a family member at a Christmas gathering the week before). The Head Nurse Manager called me back and DEMANDED that I come in, because there was only one other person to work the floor and, as she put it: "I'm not running my butt off!" I should have told her right then and there to cram that job sideways, but my husband and I had just moved into our new home, and there were bills to pay (of course). I dragged myself (crying all the way, because I felt so lousy) into work. Practically all the patients were those from the local nursing home, and they were total care, and me and another L.P.N. worked our a---- off. What was Mrs. Head Nurse Manager doing, in the meantime?; Sitting on hers, and it was only after we got all the patient care done, that she sweetly came to me and told me to go and see the E.R. Dr. He took one look at me and threw a fit. "What in the hell are you doing here?", he wanted to know. "You're sick! " No s---! When he asked me why I came in, I told him to ask Mrs. Lazy Butt Head Nurse Manager why. He just nodded, rolled his eyes, gave me some medications from the Pharmacy and told me to go home and go to bed.

    I made a solemn vow after that incident...and I have not broken it in the 28 years since, that I would NEVER again compromise my own health...or my patients' and co-workers...by coming in sick to work....no matter WHAT.
  6. by   Shamrock
    Our vacation and sick leave and any other time needed off is
    rolled into one big bundle. This has a tendancy to stop the frequent offenders from calling in sick too often, apparently much
    like canoehead's place of employment.

    I think the "point" system is a bunch of balogna, but once again,
    3rd is hitting the nail on the head by pointing out the wonderful
    co-workers that call in when they get a paper cut. Looking at it
    from management's point of view - how to control it?? Would cash incentive help, like the manufactuing industry does? You know, no days missed in a certain quarter and you get a bonus, instead of the wrist slap or the DREADED points.

    And back to the basic question, how do we as nurses protect
    our ethical, legal and professional standards in regards to being
    sick?
  7. by   jadednurse
    Yes, in the past I have worked sick. Usually b/c I was near the limit of my sick call allowance. I admit, I get sick alot...maybe I picked the wrong profession, LOL! Though working 12 hr nights and tons of overtime does not help at all.

    I completely understand attendance/absenteeism policies...you have to set a limit. What frustrates me is management's inability to take into account an individual's performance and personal situations. When someone exceeds the formulated absenteeism policy they are automatically terminated. Nevermind the numerous hours of overtime, the countless times they came in on their days off to cover staffing shortages or other people's call-ins, the switches in their schedules to cover staffing needs, etc. If you're a good nurse, these things are worth considering, aren't they?
  8. by   gwenith
    We probably have the most lenient sick leave in the world and it was abused - throughout Australia so much so that it became known as "a sickie". It is less now than it was because they made sick leave cumulative. A present I have 3 months sick leave owing - which will show you how often I actually use it.

    Of course that does not mean that we do take a lot of sickies but nurses being nurses we do tend to come to work no matter when it is busy. Since I work ICU it is just accepted that when the unit is quiet =people take sickies - not so much mental health days as industrial diarrhea days. To be honest the hospital does not worry too much as it does in the end save them money.
  9. by   angelbear
    I admittedly do not work in a very friendly environment. Were I work we get personal hours that acrue based on hours worked and they acrue surprisingly slowly. I have a handicapped child and I suffer with fibro as well as some other things. In the 4.5 yrs I have been working as a nurse I have missed 4 days. Once when son had emerg surgery, once for a severe migraine requiring 2 rounds of demerol, once for My mothers surgery and the last time I actually missed to schedueled days when my son was life flighted easter morning. My point is I dont miss much and only for really good reasons. I have worked sick and wore a mask the entire time and changed it frequently even when at the nursing station. Were I used to work you got occurences for call off and were I work now unless you have personal hours it is a mandatory make up. So yea I work sick I need to save any personal or vac days I may have incase my son or myself have a critical health problem. But I do wear masks, wash hands frequently and try to isolate myself. I dont feel I have any other choice. But yes I do think it is unethical and maddening. When coworkers come in sick very few of them wear masks continuesly therefore they make people like me and my pts with compromised immune systems in jeopardy. But what ya gonna do. Sorry I rambled again I tend to do that.
  10. by   Shamrock
    Originally posted by jadednurse
    I completely understand attendance/absenteeism policies...you have to set a limit. What frustrates me is management's inability to take into account an individual's performance and personal situations. When someone exceeds the formulated absenteeism policy they are automatically terminated. Nevermind the numerous hours of overtime, the countless times they came in on their days off to cover staffing shortages or other people's call-ins, the switches in their schedules to cover staffing needs, etc. If you're a good nurse, these things are worth considering, aren't they?


    As soon as management started applying "different" strategies
    to determine a person's "worth" another employee would be
    screaming blood murder and calling their lawyer. It would be nice if someone could come up with a way to take into account all the good things you mention and somehow apply it in a manner
    that would be "fair" to all.
  11. by   cindylouwho
    more than 2 times a year...yes..I said 2 times a year and you can't challenge the career ladder in my unit.....oh..except if you have FMLA then you can call in as you wish and still challenge the career ladder....you don't think that makes people want to work sick?.....
  12. by   jadednurse
    Originally posted by cindylouwho
    more than 2 times a year...yes..I said 2 times a year and you can't challenge the career ladder in my unit.....oh..except if you have FMLA then you can call in as you wish and still challenge the career ladder....you don't think that makes people want to work sick?.....
    WOW is all I can manage to say. 2 times a year is the limit?

    In all fairness to the folks on FMLA...that's what it's there for.
  13. by   CseMgr1
    Originally posted by Shamrock
    As soon as management started applying "different" strategies
    to determine a person's "worth" another employee would be
    screaming blood murder and calling their lawyer. It would be nice if someone could come up with a way to take into account all the good things you mention and somehow apply it in a manner
    that would be "fair" to all.
    Yes, and one of Management's strategies is to "Rank and Yank"...that is, they are given a QUOTA of people to give bad reviews on...REGARDLESS of their work performance. That way, when the time for downsizing comes, it makes it easy for the Powers That May Be, to reduce their payrolls.....

    This actually happened to my sister, who worked as a Customer Service Advocate for a large Corporation for 19 years. She did not have a BLEMISH on her record, until 1999, when her bosses called her on the carpet and told her they were demoting her and cutting her salary $10,000 a year. A year later, they fired her for "poor work performance" (strange but true, though, that her personnel file later turned up empty, when her lawyers requested it). Anyway, when they fired her, they basically told her that if she behaved herself, and didn't cause any trouble for them, she would get "a nice severance package and benefits". But, the clincher was that she had to sign an agreement, agreeing not to sue them!

    I went ballistic when my sister showed me that piece of crap. I hollered at her that this was pure, unadulterated blackmail, and that if she signed it, she was as crazy as they were. She didn't. She got a lawyer, and sued those creeps for unlawful termination and age discrimination. She settled out of court.

close