Mental health days

  1. I got in a (almost screaming) fight with one of my coworkers today over mental health days. Our staff chronically calls out, we know they aren't sick because they tell me ahead of time what their plans are. It annoys me to no end! I have not called out once since starting my job 2 years ago. I don't really get sick and their has never been an event important enough to screw over my coworkers. We have to stay (16 hour shift) if this happens. They do try to get us a float but it doesn't always happen.

    I don't know maybe I am the odd one out? I just can't wrap my head around it. I get needing a "mental health day" but I don't think it should be days you work! Use your days off for that. She said it was none of my businesses why people call out but it is when I am stuck working for them. And if you do it, don't go around telling everyone about It. At least act sick! There is an attendance policy but it is not strictly enforced.

    I am just annoyed and wanted to see if I am in the minority.
  2. Visit PediLove2147 profile page

    About PediLove2147, BSN

    Joined: Oct '05; Posts: 666; Likes: 482


  3. by   SaoirseRN
    I once had a very vivid dream in which my sister died horribly, and I learned after that I had the same disease. I woke up at 4 am, upset, unable to sleep, and unable to call my sister until she would be awake at 8 for work.

    I called in sick. THAT was a mental health day. I felt completely out of sorts all day, and it would have affected my work.
  4. by   TheCommuter
    The nursing industry can chew people up, spit them out, and steamroll the best workers. People might question my work ethic when I say this, but I feel that we all need a mental health day every once in a while. Without one, not much is stopping us from mentally flying off the chain.

    I worked in LTC on and off for six years and could not handle a schedule of five 8-hour shifts per week for an extended period of time. Being forced to work the floor in a nursing home for five 8-hour shifts caused me to feel as if I was always at the workplace, and to be honest, it drained my soul.

    Imagine five days per week of dealing with verbally abusive visitors, family members with unrealistic expectations, a massive patient load, heaps of paperwork, and the occasional resident emergency that pops up. To be honest, I would not want to put up with it for five days per week. I salute all the nurses who fight the battle in LTC on a daily basis.

    I was able to survive in LTC by working weekend shifts only. I worked weekend doubles for a couple of years at one facility, then worked two 12-hour weekend shifts per week at another facility. Since the weekend shifts enabled me to have Monday through Friday off, I felt rejuvenated and was able to cope better.

    Management at most facilities does not care individually about the worker bees, even the nurses with impeccable work ethics who never call off. My mental health is important because, without it, I cannot function at work.
  5. by   Palliative Care, DNP
    Well I'm glad that you give 100% where you work. I'm sorry but my coworkers don't pay my bills. The hospital I work at will work you like a dog if you allow them. If I call out it is what I need for myself & my family. If the hospital wants changes they certainly do not care if it makes my job harder. The days of loyalty are gone. I don't go to work for friends although its nice to have them. When I'm not at work I don't speak to coworkers. Called it what you will but it works best for me. If not for you then continue to martyr yourself for a facility where you are just an employee I.D.
  6. by   AnonRNC
    Quote from PediLove2147
    I got in a (almost screaming) fight with one of my coworkers today over mental health days. Our staff chronically calls out, we know they aren't sick because they tell me ahead of time what their plans are. . . . I get needing a "mental health day" but I don't think it should be days you work!
    These are two different things. "I have great plans next Tuesday and will call in sick" is NOT a mental health day. "OMG, I'm so exhausted and depressed by my job that I cannot possibly go to my job today," IS a mental health day.
  7. by   nursel56
    I tend to be like you, Pedilove2147. I very rarely miss work. I did once leave when I found out my dad was in the ICU and might not make it, but thankfully at the time they were able to cover for me.

    I also used to feel that our sick day/vacation day/floating holiday policy was pretty generous so it was usually possible to plan ahead. If someone takes an occasional mental health day I don't mind, but it seems everywhere you go there are those who take advantage and just don't get it that somebody will usually have to pick up the slack if they don't provide notice.

    I've actually gotten snarky remarks for having a good attendance record - even though I never preach at other people.
  8. by   anotherone
    I rarely call out. I only do when I am physically ill. It is AWFUL TO have to stay 17 hours because of any reason. I am vocal about it when I am mandated sometimes. I get annoyed at MANAGMENT AND ADMINISTRATION for not hiring more floats not at people who call off.
  9. by   SoCalGalRN
    I feel so badly because I missed my 3 shifts in a row this weekend and because I'm doing so poorly, I have a procedure scheduled this week and will miss another 2 days, making me out of work for 2 full weeks. I have a doctor's office note but I feel bad for leaving "my team" short.
  10. by   RNperdiem
    It sounds like a case of workplace "moral hazard". Like patients who game the system for all they can get, you will find some co-workers who will do the same. It is part of an entitled attitude.
    A lot of places will turn a blind eye to the very occasional mental health day. If you go around advertising it in advance, prepared to get fired.
  11. by   Good Morning, Gil
    I have never taken a "mental health day" because it's not right, like you said, and haven't called off work in almost 3 years, and even then, only missed 1 night. Just went to work under the weather, but made it through, and didn't leave my team short. Nursing is a job in which sometimes we may not want to go to work, but the patients need us, and it's our responsibility to show up when we don't feel like it. Being sick is one thing, and if you're coughing constantly or something, probably not a good idea to go in. But, the calling off because I don't feel like being a nurse today thing is not cool. Employees should not be mandated; the way to avoid this is to have a strict attendance policy.
  12. by   SwansonRN
    A mental health day and just wanting that day off for leisurely reasons are def. not the same thing! Plus workers of all professions take mental health days. Just because I'm a ~*nurse*~ means that I have to not be a regular person with needs of my own? Please. It's a job like all other jobs at the end of the day. The world is not going to end because I call out once or twice a year.
  13. by   julz68
    I've never heard of a "mental health day." My hospital has "personal days" but you only get one a year...and even then, it counts against you as if you call in sick, so I don't even see the point of taking a personal day. Its hard enough to call in sick as it almost have to be on your death bed. I called in one night when I will was sick...told the supervisor I had a temp of 101.6 and he said to take Tylenol and come in anyway 'cause they had no one to replace me. Ugh
  14. by   joanna73
    Calling in regularly is unprofessional, if it's just because you feel like missing work.

    However, when someone is legitimately unwell, or they require a "mental health" day, that's different. There are times when we are not fit to practise, and we need to be aware of this. I would never advocate regular call ins.

    However, nurses need to take care of their health because no one else will.