Working sick - page 4

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   JB CC-RN
    Most places when you start to work will tell you that if you are sick not to come to work and usually give you so many sick days per year. The big problem come when you call in and try to use one of those sick days. They don't want you at work sick but they don't want you to call off and inconvinence them either. WHAT is a person suppose to do? I have worked in healthcare for almost 20 years and have seen people come to work deathly ill because they were afraid of getting written up or fired! Those of us who rarely call in have to pay the price for those people who abuse the system and will call in for a hang nail!
  2. by   NicuGal
    Yes, FMLA has it's purpose, but we have the ones at work that have them for migraines and, gee, they have a migraine every Friday night

    We also can't call in on the weekend...you have to make it up in the next 4 weeks of time. Call in on a rotation..make it up too. We had a huge problem with calling in, then the hospital came up with the points and viola! instant punishment for the ones of us that don't call in often!

    I had 3 people call off one night and just told me they were too tired to work.....well, gee, isn't that too bad No sympathy here LOL
  3. by   Love-A-Nurse
    originally posted by cheerfuldoer
    if i'm too sick to stand up and function to the fullest of my capabilities as a person and as a nurse, i stay home. i don't give a rat's tail what the hospital policy is. they do not pay me enough to drop dead for them, so i come first...not them. fire me, whatever........at least i'll still be alive to go elsewhere for work instead of dead due to some frikkin hospital sick point system that penalizes us human beings called nurses for having the gall to get sick.
    don't be shy, speak your mind.
  4. by   live4today
    originally posted by love-a-nurse
    don't be shy, speak your mind.
    uhhhhhhhhh....ya know it, girlfriend! :chuckle :kiss
  5. by   colleen10
    Most places I have worked (non-medical) give 3 sick days off a year on top of two weeks vacation. I am lucky in that it is not often that I get sick, but when I do it is usually a doozy and knocks me down for a good day or two. Because of this, I accept that if I am unlucky and get really sick I could use two or three of my days just to fight off one incidence of illness. There goes my wad of sick days. I just accept that I have to save up my vacation days til the end of the year just in case I come down with something else.

    The problem that I did run into this past year was that you have to use up all of your sick days and more than half of your vacation days in one year because you don't get to carry them over into the next. I had saved up some of my days "just in case" and when I didn't use them by the middle of December I used them before the end of Dec. because if I didn't I would forfeit them for the next year.

    Wouldn't you know it both me and hubby caught a nasty stomach flu from my younger cousins at a holiday party on the very last 2 days of the year. I had to call off the day before New Years Eve and on New Years Eve but didn't have any sick days.

    What a pain in the butt. Got all kinds of written up and this is just a small sales office where I don't do any real work anyway. As evidenced by this lengthy message. Forget that I only called off once at the last minute due to illness. I completely scheduled my mandatory one week vacation around my boss's schedule and when it was convenient for him to let me go. (My company makes you take a whole week (5 consecutive days) off each year or you get written up.)

    So, I think it's safe to say that just about every where has strict and adolescent sick policies.
  6. by   nadia562002
    I can identify too well with this post today. Just this morning, I called in sick for the first time in 2 years of working for the same agency. It just happens to be my last week of work but when you are sick, you are sick. I promptly got a call back asking me if I was sure I could not make it in to see the client. Go figure!!!!!

    I left my message with as soon as I realized that I was not gonna make it in which happened to be at about 2AM. THe person on call, got the message a little before 7AM which is when I was supposed to be at my clients house. Now they still want me to work tomorrow too but I wont because I am sick. Just had to vent.
  7. by   obeyacts2
    what makes me irate is that my agency says dont work ill, but yet will not offer health insurance or paid sick leave. Hypocrites.

    Laura
  8. by   Nurse Nanna
    I worked 4+ years for the same Health Care System. The first time ever that I called in was with 102.6 Oral Temp; I was called back by the nurse manager who said she spoke with the facility Administrator who told her to call me back and tell me to take some Tylenol and get my a** to work. I am not a person who gets sick, nor do I call in or take off for other reasons. I worked numerous over-time including many double shifts as well as 12-15 days straight without a day off. I worked as much as 37 hours straight due to a snow storm and managers, the DON and the Administrator, who were all nurses, refused to come in to relieve me and one other nurse (who worked 41 hours straight) on who were caught on duty because of many other nurses calling in and refusing to travel in the snow. I had come in from 20 miles away because the DON had called me at home. Then, they didn't want to pay the over-time - they wanted us to clock out and re-clock in -- to split it up, which we both refused to do. My husband finally came to the facility and said "She IS leaving!" (I had accumulated over 200 hours of sick leave, +vacation and personal leave when I finally QUIT!) This is just one of my "war" stories over "sick" and "over-time" problems.
    Nurse Nanna
  9. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    In my last job, when you were sick and called the nursing supervisor by the designated time, you got paid for your shift, no questions asked. If your sick time started mounting up, the manager would arrange a meeting to discuss your health. It wasn't a punitive thing, more of a how-can-we-help proposition. I called in sick six times in seven years, four of those times because my kid was sick. Our contract included provision for that possibility, allowing up to 25% of sick time to be used to care for ill family members.

    In my current job... totally different. When you call in sick, you must speak to a manager. (We have four unit managers and a manager of patient care.) If you don't speak to a manager (because there wasn't one there when you called... which is pretty often, especially on nights and weekends ) you will get a call from one asking when you'll be back to work. The implication is that you shouldn't be sick on days you're scheduled to work, and that you better get your butt back on the job ASAP. Then, when you have your annual evaluation done, your sick time usage is an evaluation criterion. This is just WRONG!!!!!!!!! As for caring for ill family members, well, we have something called Code 86 (paid personal days, of which we have 4 per year) that are to cover any eventuality including sick family. They are not supposed to ask why you're taking the time off, according to the contract, but they do, and then decide whether to grant it or not. One girl was a birthing coach for her sister, whose husband was in the Persian Gulf; had her Code 86 denied when the baby had the nerve to arrive on one of her scheduled days. Another, more senior nurse was in a similar situation, but the mom-to-be was a friend (another nurse who used to work in the unit) with no hubby. Didn't she get hers appoved! How's that work?

    I came down with something while I was at work one day about two and half months after I started this job. It was the first of three shifts in a row, and as the day progressed, I became hoarser and more congested by the minute. The unit manager even commented on how flushed I looked. I came home, dosed myself with some of every OTC in the house and went to bed. The only way I could sleep was sitting up. At four am, I called the unit to say I was sick, spoke to the night charge (not a manager) who didn't even recognize my voice, and tried to go back to sleep. My phone rang at eight-thirty... the manager calling to see when I'd be back. I had already called my doctor's office, where the receptionist thought I was my husband, and had an appointment for later that day. Diagnosed with sinusitis and pneumonia, Rx'd some antibiotics and back to work I went the next day. A month later I'm having my first eval... manager says, "Oh I see you've already had a sick day..." Whatever!

    Last week when I hurt my back at home, I never even considered taking the night off. Who needs the hassle?
  10. by   casper1
    I don't feel nurses should go to work sick. However in my facility when someone calls in sick, often times it means someone else will be required to work on their day off or another nurse may be required to work a double shift. The nurses who work the extra time get tired and rundown and stressed they become more susceptible to illness then they call in sick and the cycle continues.
  11. by   Shamrock
    Geez, there are some real horror stories here!!
  12. by   nurseeverycare
    I am guilty of going to work sick, as if I do not the remainder of the staff will be pressure. Especially if it is the night shift. Sometimes I try to hold out as much as possible, but when the body have enought the body just have enought. Some Sisters or Nurse-In-charge find ur docket read it then have discussion as to why u had to get sick leave for "such a trivial complain"
  13. by   susanmary
    If I'm truly sick enough where I'm running a fever, can't think clearly, etc -- then I stay home. Let them write me up, etc. -- I need to protect my health and my patient's health. As a charge nurse, I know how difficult it is to fill sick calls ... but that's what people should do when they are sick. There should be ENOUGH staff -- whether it's additional staff, float pool -- to absorb sick calls/time. We should have resources we can turn to which can support nurses. Instead, nursing is punitive.


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