working sick...need advice:) - page 3

I did find some similar threads...but I am really looking for some advice, so stay with me:chair: I got sick on friday. Fever, cough, chills, body aches...really really sick. Believe me, I'm... Read More

  1. by   bagladyrn
    As all the others have said, you don't "ask" to be off sick, simply call and inform them that you are sick and will not be in. No discussion. If you start to feel the "guilt" thing, just remind yourself - if you fell down and broke your leg, they wouldn't close the hospital (or even your unit). None of us are that essential.
  2. by   jules1326
    I learned a long time ago that going to work sick does no one any good. plus if you start to feel worse they wont let you leave. Ino longer feel guilty about calling out sick, but I do not call out sick unless I am sick and I do nothing except rest if I can not go to work.
  3. by   ICURN_NC
    Scrmblr, I know how you feel. Last week, I fell down my steps getting ready for work, and broke my toe. I have never done this before, and I had no idea how much it would hurt. I work for a really good place, though, because within 1/2 of me being @ work they called in another nurse to take my patients.

    Next day, I took the trip to the ED. Def broken, def HURTS, here's your script for Percocet. So, I've missed Mon and Tues, so I drag myself in Friday night and experience some of the worst pain in my life. (And, yes, I have given birth naturally, but that only last 7 hours!) But, I can't take Percocet before work and nothing else was helping the pain. I had to get a ride home because I couldn't walk out to my car. I cried almost all night.

    So, I'm scheduled to work Christmas night, trip and hurt my toe again. Talk to the ortho surgeon on call, and he says plainly, "You have to keep pressure off of it. If not, the bones can grow together wrong, and you could have pain for the rest of your life."

    Well, that did it for me. I love my job and my co-workers, and I didn't want to stiff anyone on Christmas, but there's nothing I could do
    . Our acting asst. NM called around all day to find someone to work for me. I was supposed to work tonight, too, but I told her I couldn't do it. And again someone pulled it together and came in for me. I feel like a jerk for missing work over a broken toe (I mean, it just sounds minor) but I have pain all the way up to my hip because of how I have to walk. And no job/avoiding gossip/getting a raise is worth the idea of having this pain forever.

    I just thank God for the place where I work, where my co-workers really pulled together for me, because they saw how much I was hurting when I tried to work.

    Merry Christmas to all! (And break out the percocet, because this toe/foot/leg hurts so much!)

    Sharon
  4. by   Agnus
    Staffing issues are NOT the responsibility of the staff nurse. This is management's responsibility. It is thier responsibility to see that there is adequate coverage for sick calls.

    The reason they "make" you come in sick is simple. YOU DO It.

    You take on thier responsibililty. You allow them to place responsibililty for their failure to staff adequately. Staffing issues more often than not result from failure to hire adequate staff.

    It is management's responsibility to hire enough staff to insure coverage for illness, vacation and other types of time off. It is NOT your responsibility.

    Employers do this because we let them intimidate us. IT is bullying.

    Your first responsiblity is to yourself. If we are so darned scarred that we will loose a job for being sick that we are willing to sacrifice anything to keep that lousy job then we will continue to be lead around by our noses.

    We will continue to be the victims of employer bullying. As long as you agree to it you will remain their slave.

    They KNOW they can make you feel guilty because you always prove to them that you do.

    This is the difference between being all grown up and capable of making "tough" decisions and being a child controlled by others.

    Make the tough decision to take care of yourself instead of taking on thier guilt.

    EVERY single RN who works for your company is an RN and is capable of careing for patients. What I am getting at is MANAGERS who are RNs but do not do patient care can put on a pair of scrubs and do patient care when needed. How often do you see this done at your facility? Keep in mind most RNs who work behind a desk and does not do patient care at your facility is salaried. They can work them > 40 hrs if needed it is part of being salaried. What usually happens is if they do work > 40 hrs they can make up for it by taking extra time off. Thier job is not so critical that they can't take the time off. The bedside nure's job is critical and does not allow this.

    There is no reason the DON the RN Case manager and other types who get EVERY holliday and weekend off can not come in and work in a crisis situation. If they are not doing this then they are not utilizing all thier nursing resources. In any case it is not your problem.
    Last edit by Agnus on Dec 27, '05
  5. by   Agnus
    Quote from ICURN_NC
    Scrmblr, I feel like a jerk for missing work over a broken toe And no job/avoiding gossip/getting a raise is worth the idea of having this pain forever. Sharon

    Stop feeling like a jerk. The only jerk would be someone who tried to make you work.

    This is the same as apologizing when someone else steps you YOUR toe. It is they that should apologize, no if ands or buts about it.
  6. by   jeepgirl
    I would go above someone's head on this and then I'd threaten (and do it) give my notice. That's an abusive work situation if I ever heard one.
  7. by   pkeyrn
    I know what you are talking about. I work in long term care, the residents are elderly and immunocompromised. We post signs at every entrance asking people not to visit if they have cold or flu symptoms so that they will not infect the residents. Our policies state that, for infection control reasons, direct care staff are not to come in if they are sick. However, we also have a policy stating that if you call in twice in a 28 day period you receive a verbal warning, if it happens again, you get a 3 day suspension, and if it happens a 3rd time you are terminated (MD note or not). The only thing that can save you is if you are actually admitted into the hospital. So staff are continually coming in sick, coughing, sneezing, even vomiting, because they cannot afford to lose their jobs.
  8. by   zorita
    Just got finished reading this thread looking for moral support after having to call in ill the 3nights prior to Christmas day.I too had fever, chills HA etc and had been to Dr. who told me I should stay home while running temp. I work in L@D and work with newborns in mother baby care. I almost dread having to return to work because I know how angry people become when someone calls in ill on a major holiday. This forum has made me feel better and reaffirmed my decision to do the right thing for both myself and my patients.

    Thanks, Zorita
  9. by   LPN1974
    This is why the hospitals are a dangerous place to go....go there and you'll GET sick.....thru no fault of employees like you....but the administration, bosses, etc, who won't let people who ARE sick stay home until the infectious stage is past!

    No one should be made to work sick and patients should not have to be exposed to more than necessary. It was not necessary that you work. They found someone to come down to help....she could have taken your place to start with.

    My boss is alot the same way....come in anyway. She doesn't care if you are sick, just come in anyway, and work.
    Then when we expose all the residents who live there, they all get sick, then we're ALL sick, staff working sick to take care of sick residents, until it makes its rounds and everyone gets over it.
  10. by   AtlantaRN
    EVERY single RN who works for your company is an RN and is capable of careing for patients. What I am getting at is MANAGERS who are RNs but do not do patient care can put on a pair of scrubs and do patient care when needed. How often do you see this done at your facility?



    AMEN! RARELY have I seen it done at my facility, but it has happened...in fact, in the last couple of weeks I have seen it done...

    Can't turn away patients, not enough staff, managers do 1/2 a shift til
    another nurse can come in,,,then they take a 1/2 a day off during the week.

    They don't need to stay in their offices or going to meetings...I remember having an ACLS class CANCELLED because they didn't have enough nursing staff and that was how they got us to come in an work (without having to pay crisis pay)...

    linda
  11. by   barefootlady
    You don't ask permission to be sick, when you are sick, you call and inform the staffing supervisor you will not be in, no long explanations, just that you are too sick to work.
    I do think you need to bring to the managers attention that your culture was positive and they still kept you at work. Do not be surprised if the reaction is
    "too late to do anything now". Do not let her off the hook like that, when she says that say "yes, but my concern is for the next person who is treated this badly and for the patients", that will not win you any points but she will understand you will go above her head if a plan of action is not worked out.
    I was called in to work last night, no, I did not go, I was at home, over 2 hours away, and I was not going to set the ball in motion that if call offs occur on my unit, I will ready to fill in. I did that years ago, now I just want my hours and be off. Daughter handled it, told the truth, she is not here and I do not think I can reach her. Tonight will be a test of how they handle my not returning the call or coming in as requested. Afterall, it was my day off and I did work Christmas Day.
    Be strong, do not allow administration to make you feel guilty. Sick is sick. If we can take care of others, we need to remember to take care of ourselves too.
  12. by   LeahJet
    Quote from Agnus
    There is no reason the DON the RN Case manager and other types who get EVERY holliday and weekend off can not come in and work in a crisis situation. If they are not doing this then they are not utilizing all thier nursing resources. In any case it is not your problem.
    Oh yes.....this is soooo true. We have been absolutely slaughtered before because there has been a call-in or two and to add insult to injury..... see the NM, the "ER coordinator", the "unit education something or another"...all walking around oblivious. I have worked several different ER's and the problem has been worse at some places more than others.
    A NM that I respected the most, got down and dirty with the rest of us. She just jumped right in and helped....she even did ward clerk duties.
    I have no idea if some people have had "pencil pushing" jobs so long that they have forgotten skills or if it is just pure unadulterated laziness.
    But YES, Angus, I totally agree..... staffing IS their problem!
  13. by   MMARN
    Quote from mjlrn97
    I used to believe that there were only two circumstances that should keep me away from work: when I couldn't keep my head off the pillow, or out of the toilet. Now I know better.........I've been ill so many times this past year that I lost count of my absences. That's what I got for ignoring my body's signals for too long---and believe me, nobody gave me any props for coming to work sick. They did, however, give me a number of verbal warnings for being out so much, and while I can understand that to a point, it's also a source of much frustration and anger.

    Think about it: what good is it to ourselves and our patients to come to work when we're coughing, blowing our noses, running a fever, or throwing up every five minutes? Not only does this prevent us from getting the rest our bodies demand and possibly prolong the illness, it exposes already vulnerable patients to germs they didn't have before coming into the hospital or care facility. That fact alone should make nurse managers and supervisors think twice before 'guilting' us into coming in when we're sick......you'd think these people have never heard of nosocomial infections:stone

    I realize there are those who abuse their sick days and call in whenever it's a holiday or a weekend (ever notice how prevalent the 'bottle flu' is on warm, sunny Mondays and Fridays?). But the vast majority of us shouldn't be suspected of what the old Army drill sergeants used to call 'gold-bricking', let alone punished for the actions of the few.........IMO, coming to work sick should be regarded as bad practice, just like going from patient to patient without washing one's hands, or failing to observe the five rights of medication administration.

    If nothing else, I'd advise the OP that it's far easier to ask forgiveness than permission---next time you're sick, tell TPTB that you are ILL and cannot come to work. Don't ask them if it's OK, don't tell them you'll try to make it in later if you feel better, and above all, DON'T GO IN. I used to think that if I showed up looking pathetic and moving around with the speed of a weary blacksmith, management would take pity on me and send me home; in reality, they will almost always assume that if you can walk, you can work.

    Stepping off my soapbox now.......
    I absolutely agree. If you are sick, you need to call in. You just tell them that you can't come in. Like many other posters have written, they can't guilt you into coming in and, let's face it, there is gossip EVERYWHERE you work. Next time, call in, let it be KNOWN that you won't be coming and keep that blessed ID caller and answering machine to their job. :wink2:

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