absenteeism

  1. Ok, let's talk a minute about how to handle.....call-in's. We schedule 8 CNA's on our evening shift for 78 residents......last evening we had three people say, oops! I can't come to work, one was legitimate, had been to DR, one had a babysitting problem, one called in with "tonsillitis", she had spent the evening before trying to find someone to work Friday evening for her cuz she wanted to go "out of town"....let me here some of your policies on missing work, please!
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   kewlnurse
    Personally if you have a legit reason I say fine, but if your stupid enough to let people know your going out of town and need the night off you shoud be fired. Unfortunatly in the hospital i work for the aides, cleaning staff and other non proffesional people have a stronger union than we do and it's impossible to disipline any of them. Go figure.
  4. by   AGI
    I forgot to mention something but with the reply mentioning unions, it triggered my mind. Federal and State Mandates state that LTC facilities must have "sufficient" staff. No numbers are given, it is up to us. Some states are putting out numbers and I am glad that our state hasn't done that yet. But our new absenteeism policy states that by being absent from work you (the call-in) have caused the facility to violate these federal and state mandates, plus it also infringes on the rights of the residents to receive proper care. I do not see how the unions can fight the laws.
  5. by   nur20
    This is just a personal theory. 9 out of 10 call-in's are stress or burnout related. Let's not forget the ones that just plain hate the job.Until the workplace, staffing, nurse/patient ratio improve this will always be around. Lets face it, nursing is not the easiest and most appeciative job in town and some burnout faster than others. Of course, it makes it hard on one who really is sick. What a sneaky way for management to shift blame from their poorly managed, understaffed, whacked out facility to the shoulders of their tired, burnt out staff. I'm sure they have a policy concerning excessive absenteeism or a doctor's certificate for absenteeism beyond a certain amount of time, but i see that is not good enough. They want to hold you responsible for infringing on the patient's rights. I think it is THEY who need to consider the patient's rights also when they are thinking about the budget
  6. by   AGI
    That was an interesting reply! So first, staffing ratios......1 cna to 7 residents, I don't think that is too darn bad. Do we hire people and say.......I don't have any work for you but if you will sit by the phone, I will call you when someone calls in. You may have misunderstood......we are able to staff very well, but when you have three people of 8 calling in "sick" there are not alot of people you can pull. The "shortage" occurs when people do not have the thought in mind that the residents come first. Actually, the CNAs have been asking all summer for some type of absenteeism policy becuase they are tired of the "work ethic" of some. They have endoresed this one whole-heartedly. We work as a team, however, there is always a small % that don't grasp that concept. Makes me wonder what type of management they came from......or when someone "blames" management it is apparent that they haven't "walked in those shoes"
  7. by   canoehead
    Food for thought- When I am feeling ill I know that I will be going in to a physically and emotionally demanding job, and that there is no way once I am there to take extra breaks, or to ease the workload a little because everyone is running. I also know that working with other healthcare professionals, and knowing that if have to go home early their workload will double, I feel like I have to prove that I am sick if I need to leave early. A 12 hour shift is a long time to be on your feet if you are ill, as opposed to a job where you can sit, or go home early if you need to, or that you could put off the most demanding tasks until tomorrow.

    Since nursing is a very demanding job it makes sense that people would hesitate to come in if they are a little unwell, where the same people might tough it out at an office, or try a few hours and then go home if they still didn't feel good.

    This doesn't in any way excuse false sick calls, but explains why some hard workers might call out, and what could be changed.
  8. by   ltc
    We have a written policy for Attendance:

    3 episodes in a 3 month period Verbal
    2 more in a 3 month period Written Counseling
    2 more in a 3 month period Final Written Counseling
    Must be clear 6 months to wipe clean
    2 more in 4 month period 3 day suspension
    1 more in 9 month period Termination

    Same goes for Tardies. Anything after 5 minutes is counted.
  9. by   donmurray
    Most people work to live, rather than live to work. All employees have a life outside of work, and not all lives run smoothly all of the time. Having a babysitter cancel at the last minute is a legitimate reason not to go in, unless the facility offers a 24 hour creche, or taking your child to work is an option.
  10. by   mtgirl63
    I know that our facility has the policy that you receive a verbal warning if you have more than 3 call off in a 3 month period, but beyond that I don't remember what it is, because I haven't called off that much. We were having a big problem with people calling off on the week-ends so a new policy was put into effect -- if you were calling off on the week-end, you couldn't just call the facility and tell the charge nurse, you had to call the administrator at home and clear it through him. It cut the call offs big time!!!
  11. by   Cubby
    How do you deal with call-ins? Shooting them is out of the question isn't it?
    I don't know how you can make people understand that someones life is in their hands. It obviously does not bother most
    (and yes I do mean most) folks. What really bothers me is that I work for a State agency, so we have plenty of leave time.The State pays us if we are unable to come to work.As a tax payer I am offended by peoples lack of respect for my tax dollars!!
  12. by   mtgirl63
    Yes call ins are frustrating to say the least. But, as someone said before -- a babysitter who cancels at the last minute is a legitimate reason to call off. It's hard to find a sitter with no notice and you can't leave little kids home alone now can you? And if my kids are sick --- well I'm sure not sending them to daycare -- they need Mom!! And if I'm sick -- coughing, fever, etc -- I'm not going to go in and put my residents at risk of getting sick.
    Now, as for the one who calls off on a Friday after trying to get someone to work for her because she wants to go out of town -- that is inexcusable!
    In our facility week-end call offs got to be a big problem --- so it became policy that on Friday and Saturday nights, and any holidays, you had to call the administrator at home to call off, otherwise it was counted as a no call no show. The call offs decreased a lot!!
    We also have a policy pretty much like the one ltc posted above.
    Some call offs are to be expected --
    my last call off --- I had gotten word at 11pm the night before (after getting home from work) that my grandmother's lung cancer had more than tripled in size and she was given 6 months or less to live. After having worked all day it didn't really sink in until I woke up the next morning. I was a basket case and could not quit crying --- there was no way I was in any shape to go to work and be passing meds. Yes it is hard on the rest of the staff when someone calls off because all too often there's no one available to come in --- but there is life outside of work and life happens!
  13. by   sandigapeachlpn
    actually sheila c you if we changed policy to shooting the call-in.... it could be a deterrence. i like it and i think i will put it in the suggestion box. because when i am 30 minutes away from wrapping up a long 12 hour shift on my last leg and don't know what country i am currently in--- that's exactly what i would like to do. we have also discussed a shock collar over the phone.
  14. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by nur20
    This is just a personal theory. 9 out of 10 call-in's are stress or burnout related. Let's not forget the ones that just plain hate the job.Until the workplace, staffing, nurse/patient ratio improve this will always be around. Lets face it, nursing is not the easiest and most appeciative job in town and some burnout faster than others. Of course, it makes it hard on one who really is sick. What a sneaky way for management to shift blame from their poorly managed, understaffed, whacked out facility to the shoulders of their tired, burnt out staff. I'm sure they have a policy concerning excessive absenteeism or a doctor's certificate for absenteeism beyond a certain amount of time, but i see that is not good enough. They want to hold you responsible for infringing on the patient's rights. I think it is THEY who need to consider the patient's rights also when they are thinking about the budget
    Nur20,

    I totally agree with you! And yes AGI...there are facilities that hire people, who are ON CALL. There also other facilites that have float people to cover. It IS the facilites problem to keep the ratios correct...not those who work there!

    I rarely ever call off or go home sick. I have worked with HCT of 21, in a fast paced setting d/t fibroids. I have went to work sick, and passed out at the end of a run all nite shift on step down unit, landing beside the toilet and the wall I had smeared with lipstick as I fell! I USED to guilty about not "being there" for my pts. No longer! I now take care of me first, and then my pts. If I'm too ill to be on my toes, than what good am I to the peole who count on me? What if I had landed on the floor of a pt's room? Please...I believe you can't intimidate people and expect them to feel good about where they work. Yes there will always be those who will take advantage of ANYTHING. But...it has been my experience...that MOST caregivers want to be good at what they do....and those that don't ....shouldn't be in the profession. EVERY employee desires to know they're appreciated and require the same compassion where they're ill, that we give our pts.

    And yes...calling off because of no babysitter IS a "legitimate" excuse! Your first duty is to your family....then your job! Anyone who leaves their children with just 'anyone" should be horse whipped for being an unfit parent! I took agency positions when I became a single parent d/t divorce. I did this so I wouldn't have to worry about my children being sick...and feeling gulity about not being able to go to work. I never took a shift except for on a daily basis...so if something came up...I didn have to worry about canceling. This isn't option for some people.

    And I wonder if the person who wanted to go out of town....had been given the coverage she requested...maybe she would feel more willing to cover someone else in their time of need.

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absenteeism