Working while sick! - page 3

This is gnawing at me and I don't know what to do! There is a policy at our LTCF that if you're sick, you have to find your own replacement. I was sick one nite a couple of months ago and ended... Read More

  1. by   Medic/Nurse
    WAIT JUST A MINUTE!

    Let put a big STOP on nursing co-dependent behaviors in the profession.

    You are staff. You do primary care for the patient at the bedside. Now, You are sick. Your entitled to "miss work"/call off. But, to have to make 50+ calls when you feel rotten - well, it just a rotten practice. Refuse or ask for written policy that dictates this mandate.

    Management, as a rule, does NO patient care. They handle the administrative tasks including scheduling. So this is part of their job.

    Bottom line: He/she who owns the problem steps up to find the solution.(Fundamental factor in elimination of those co-dependency behaviors)

    Your PROBLEM: Can NOT go to work --- SICK. Call out per policy and rest and take care of yourself.

    Their PROBLEM: They have had a nurse call out and now we need to replace her. (We can hope that they have planned for this occasion)

    Bottom line, advocate for yourself. I'm not sure if this a is labor/OSHA/CDC thing, but coming to work sick is just not considerate - for you, patients, all.

    Now, will this ruffle administrations feathers - maybe? But unless there is a written mandate that you must find your own replacement, I'M JUST NOT GOING TO "PLAY" THAT WAY!

    Good Luck and
    Practice SAFE
  2. by   ns lpn
    I tend not to go if I'm sick. They are short staffed and I'm a good nurse, they are not going to fire me. Besides if I go in I know I wont be able to leave b/c they wont let me with out a replacement.
  3. by   Gennaver
    Quote from banditrn
    This is gnawing at me and I don't know what to do!

    There is a policy at our LTCF that if you're sick, you have to find your own replacement. I was sick one nite a couple of months ago and ended up working because I could find no replacement.

    Well, a week or so ago, I came in for my 11-7 shift, and the evening shift nurse was sick with an URI. She sounded awful, and her face was hot and flushed. I found out later that she'd tried to find someone else to come in and couldn't and the DON told her 'too bad, it's your problem'!

    Well since then, some of the residents have come down with an URI, and one had to be hospitalized with pneumonia. Don't know if there is a connection or not.

    This same DON will come in to work as a cna if they're short, but she will not do the nursing. It's not like it's been years since she practiced either - she's been a DON for 6 months - before that, she worked med-surg at the hospital.

    This doesn't seem right to me - I've decided that if she ever insists that I work sick again, she'll get my resignation on the spot.
    While the DON may sat too bad I wonder what your facility's infection control nurse says about this. Have you approached Epidemiology?

    Recently when I was exposed to the Mumps at my previous place of employment I found out later that they patient had it, well, the same day I felt a sore throat and wanted to wear a mask, "just in case" and one of my nurses told me to "take that off it is against policy". Also, I was waiting around to be "told" to go for bloodwork and I had volunteered to go home but, nothing happened until a couple of days later when I just really thought something must be wrong, so I left for sick leave.

    Turns out, I "did" have the mumps. Not only did the CDC tell me that I should've went home regardless of waiting to be told, (as my nurse initially told me to wait for the word) but, the facility's epidemiology Nurse told me that the nurse who demanded I take off my mask was wrong. There was indeed a policy to wear a mask if we were sick rather than to expose a patient. Matter of fact, since I removed my mask, they ask every patient I was near after I took off my mask. All of my coworkers AND the 40 patients that night had to be put on quartantine...so, before you take the DON's word I highly suggest you find the policy that Epidemiology suggests and tell them what you wrote above.

    Good luck,
    Gen
  4. by   squeakykitty
    We should be able to call in sick rather than expose the residents to being sick. I had to call in sick, and I wasn't going to spread these URI germs to an elderly man on my station who was on O2 and had a lot of SOB. I figure if he came down with what I had, it would put him in the hospital, and might even cause him to die. I didn't want to be responsible for that.

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