Need advice- Shingles?

  1. 0
    So I developed a rash over the weekend. Thought it was linked to my daughter just having symptoms similar to hand-foot-mouth disease (I didn't bring her to the pediatrician, but the on-call nurse said it sounded a LOT like HFM). This rash had been getting more and more itchy, and since yesterday was painful. So at work I asked colleagues what they thought it might be and what they thought could be put on it. Apparently they all secretly freaked out and told my nurse manager that they wanted me checked out in case it was contagious. Mind you, none of them said this to my face. So my NM then calls me to her office and insists that I need to see a doctor before I can go back to work. Diagnosed with Shingles, but allowed to return to work since it is only direct contact precautions, and I dont intend to let anyone touch the rashes,plus they are covered by my scrubs anyways.
    My question is, are there any labor laws allowing her to do this? If so, since she insisted on it and I have no medical insurance yet (this is a fairly new job), can I request that they pay part of the cost of my visit to the doctor?
    I guess I am just trying to figure out if I have any recourse to help me pay for anything since my funds are kind of low because this job pays an awful salary and they basically MADE me see a doc...
    Any advice or information?
    Thanks all.

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  2. 13 Comments...

  3. 1
    I don't know but for future reference I would keep my personal business to myself.

    Good luck.
    CallieNM likes this.
  4. 0
    Lol, yeah, no kidding, Ive learned that one the hard way. I mean, its not like I was asking anyone to poke and prod at it. I was staying far away and just asking for advice based on what the rash looked like. But anyways, that won't happen anymore. I am just hoping that there is some kind of reimbursement I can get for the MD bill...
  5. 3
    I'm sorry for your situation. However, your original thought was that it was a form of HFMD due to exposure from your own child. HFM is contagious ( CDC - HFMD - Overview of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease ) You showed your rash to your coworkers asking for advice, who in turn appropriately addressed their concerns with your supervisor. As obligated by law, your supervisor required you to get a fitness for duty evaluation from a qualified health care practitioner as a condition of work. So in answer your question, not only do the labor laws allow her to do this, but the labor laws require her to do this.

    Unless you can prove you were exposed at work and thus developed the condition, which is impossible as per: CDC - Shingles Overview - Herpes Zoster CDC - Shingles Transmission - Herpes Zoster you have no claim against your employer to request reimbursement for the medical treatment. Your employer has an obligation to require you to prove that you are not contagious and fit for duty. Unless you had an on the job illness or injury your employer has no obligation to pay the medical costs.
    joanna73, hgrimmett, and ddunnrn like this.
  6. 1
    Sometimes, it's a good idea to keep your mouth closed and not share some things.

    Some doctors will take payments under certain conditions -- like medical insurance that hasn't kicked in yet. Try asking the billing
    clerk or the office manager. I'd even ask the doctor him/herself.
    JustBeachyNurse likes this.
  7. 1
    I must admit I'm a bit concerned about the circumstances and certain responses here. You knew you had a serious enough medical condition to ask others about, but you didn't think that going to work, and possibly exposing others was a problem? Also, "keeping your mouth shut" is not an option when you could be endangering others. Your supervisor did the right thing. I'm sorry you didn't have medical coverage, and that's one reason our medical system needs to change. I hope your shingles case is a minor one, but unfortunately the meds for shingles are very expensive if you don't have insurance.
    CallieNM likes this.
  8. 0
    I do realize now that I shouldnt have been showing anyone. I guess in my defense I figured since no one was actually touching it I wasnt risking anyones health. As far as my initial question, I thank everyone for the responses I got. Im not one of those who will get upset or offended when I dont hear what I want to hear lol. Being new to the US, I am not very familiar with policies and everything, so I just wanted more information as to what is common or not. And since I have been at this job, my boss often does things that I consider kind of lazy and unethical, so I just wanted to make sure she was in the right. I used to work directly in a hospital, and if I needed to see a doctor, my colleagues would just have me leave my name at the ER and continue the shift while I waited my turn, but Ive never been FORCED to go see a doctor before returning to work.
    When it comes to the medical coverage, yes, it sucks that I dont have any coverage yet. The meds were not too expensive though. Costco only charged me 22$. The MD visit was 80$. From what Ive seen if I DID have insurance, most co-pays are around 50$ anyways. But since I come from Canada where we dont get charged up front for healthcare, let me tell you, the taxes associated with 'free' healthcare are so ridiculously high, it is still cheaper to pay for these things out of pocket.
    And yes, its a fairly mild case of Shingles. Mild enough that the MD only gave me topical lidocaine for it. Apparently the man has never felt the pain associated with Shingles, but thats besides the point I guess.
  9. 0
    Quote from Jeweles26
    But since I come from Canada where we dont get charged up front for healthcare, let me tell you, the taxes associated with 'free' healthcare are so ridiculously high, it is still cheaper to pay for these things out of pocket.
    Talk to someone who has cancer but no insurance and get back to me. Or talk to someone in his 40's paying $800 a month for mediocre coverage with high hospitalization co-pays. Some insured people here go bankrupt after being treated for a serious illness. Is that common in Canada?

    You have no insurance because either you can't afford it, you can't obtain it, or you're a wild gambler. But then, if you got really sick, you could just cross the border for treatment, right?

    Do you imagine the money your employer uses to pay your twice-as-expensive-as-Canada's health insurance just rains down from heaven? It comes out of your salary.

    And now you know that your colleagues are your colleagues, not your sisters. Welcome to America.
  10. 0
    Talk to someone who has cancer but didn't find out about it until it was nearly end stage because they either didn't have a PCP (because they all have full patient loads) or because they couldn't get an appointment for the next 6 months. I get that insurance here is expensive, but in Canada, with taxes as high as they are, if you are overall healthy, not using the healthcare system other than just yearly checkups or wtv (if you are lucky enough to have a PCP) then you are still paying close to half your income in taxes for healthcare that you don't use. And let me tell you, if you pay like 20 000$+ a year in taxes, it quickly adds up to the kind of bills you would pay for hospital stays.
    And for now, I have no insurance because I am trying to catch up on lost income time and pay off other bills. I have been looking into short term insurance until I get covered by my employer after my 90-day probation period. And no, since I am here, I couldn't just 'cross the border' if I get sick. If I don't pay taxes, I can't use the healthcare.
    Yes, of course I realize that the insurance comes out of my paycheck. I am really not that dumb. But the money taken out of my pay is STILL less if you factor in the difference in taxes paid here or in Canada.
    And just to make things clear, the care I was referring to when I mentioned paying things out of pocket was clinic visits, not hospital stays, so no need to get your panties up in a bunch. I have been in so many healthcare debates regarding socialized medicine vs. what I would consider corporate medicine, and that is not the conversation I was looking to have on here.

    However, I do thank you for your comment about sisters vs. colleagues. I am definitely very aware of that now. Again though, I dont think it is an issue of Canada or America. I think it is more about working in an all female workplace. Being a woman, I feel I am allowed to say that women tend to talk behind each others backs more than men do.
  11. 0
    My parent's health insurance kicked me off when I was 23 at the very end of my cancer treatment. I didn't go bankrupt, but I did go into a lot of debt and my credit is just now rebounding 4 years later. That doesn't mean I don't greatly sympathize with the original poster. I just considered myself fortunate enough to be alive after all that. No doubt, I'd have the same concerns as the OP as well.

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