Not falling for that old trick - page 4

by beeker 8,258 Views | 48 Comments

You know when they beg you to come in sick making all kinds of promises. You can leave if it is too much, we won't give you a big assignment, the charge nurse will help you. Just for a few hours, or just until 11. Well you know... Read More


  1. 1
    Oh, yes! I have heard some of the same lines - call in sick and whn youre on the phone with staff member you can hear the heitation in their voice - "... uh,...well, uh...ok." I knew that within 30 minutes I would get the call back - and if I anwered, it would be those same "deals"
    - you can jut float, you can work just until the other person comes in (and you that person is nonexistant) - you can have just 1/2 a pt load, ect.

    The last time I called in, I wa working in the ER and was asigned as the 11a - 11pm shift. I had laid down and woke up vomiting. I called the supervisor well within the allotted time frame for sick call. He argued with me, then tried to tell me another nurse had called in becase he had wrecked his truck. then supervisor tried to beg and bargain with me.


    He finally made me come in, but by 0930 I wa SO sick I ended up as a patient in my ER -when the traige nurse called me, he found me sitting in my PJs in a chair in the corner, shaking and repeatedly vomiting into my trash can from home.


    Anne, RNC
    tewdles likes this.
  2. 0
    For some reason, this has ALWAYS happened to me... I call out sick, and right after I do, I start to feel better and question whether or not I should still come in.
  3. 3
    Quote from LTCNS
    I was offered a free lunch once to stay over and work 7-3 after I had just worked the night shift, and that was after I had already pulled two consecutive 16 hour shifts. Lunch? Really? I told them I was exhausted and wasn't going to risk making med. errors for a free lunch and went home.
    Yep. I turn the conversation to patient safety. "Im sorry, my illness prevents me from practicing safely today." If they try to argue that, THEY sound like the bad ones for willing to risk patient safety.
    Libitina, tnmarie, and beeker like this.
  4. 0
    Quote from Sirius Squint
    Yep. I turn the conversation to patient safety. "Im sorry, my illness prevents me from practicing safely today." If they try to argue that, THEY sound like the bad ones for willing to risk patient safety.
    That is good, I am going to use it next time! Thanks!
  5. 2
    If you are sick then do not let the "dialog" surrounding your absence deter you.

    Staffing the hospital is not the responsibility of the staff nurse...it is the responsibility of the administration and management. Most of us are lowly hourly employees and are under no obligation to work when we are ill, in fact, we are encouraged not to work ill when we are oriented to our positions. It IS an issue of patient safety when we encourage ill staff to work.
    OCNRN63 and wooh like this.
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    Thankfully I now manage a small ASC and the staff never abuses the concept of sick time---honestly! They JUST.COME.IN. If someone is sick, too sick to work, then she will call one of the per diems to cover her or one of the part-timers, or something....I typically just get a call telling me that the shift is covered.....period. Sounds like a fantasy, but it's true

    However, I have worked for a hospital system where no matter WHAT you told the supervisor, no matter how ill, you had to deal with the wheeling/dealing/whining about how YOU are making life difficult for THEM. Truth be told, I know for a fact that they got lots of calls from lots of people who were anything BUT sick: they just wanted the night off, or they had it tough the previous night and didn't want to work shorthanded again, so....they were going to stiff those who were on tonight. MUCH different work ethics than I have the pleasure of working among now.

    My tales to share? How about the time I called the supervisor with a stomach bug that wouldn't quit; I could NOT leave the bathroom for more than a few minutes, without exaggeration. So how was I going to drive a half hour to get there and do a 12 hour+ shift?? Supervisor response: Take an Immodium and get in. Seriously? Wish I'd thought of that....uggh. Sorry, I'm sick.

    Or how about this one: Telling supervisor that I was too ill to work that night--I was on 7p-7a at that time--and was calling him at about 3pm because I hadn't yet slept that day from LAST night's shift and there was no way I could manage this. His answer: go sleep now and come in. Umm...nope. I'm SICK, which is why I'm not sleeping. Answer: Call me back at 5 (we had a two-hour window for call-ins) and he'd see if he needed me at 7. NO, pal. And then---ready for this?--"Well then call me at 7 and I'll let you know if I need you to come in at 11"!!! Seriously, dude?? I told him "I'm not ASKING to be out sick, I'm TELLING YOU I'm out sick tonight....and I'll let you know tomorrow if I"m coming in the NEXT night"!

    Unreal. People who work "the real world" of office life, 9-5ers, I swear think we make this up.
    OCNRN63 and tewdles like this.
  7. 2
    Some managers do act as if your sick time is negotiable.
    If you do not abuse your time off you should not be hassled.
    OCNRN63 and NurseGuyBri like this.
  8. 1
    My work place's view is that it is their own best interests to encourage sick people to stay at home. They don't want us spreading it to other employees or patients.
    OCNRN63 likes this.
  9. 1
    You know, I'm sorry that some workplaces try to get you to come in sick. I'll tell you from being the "them", when someone calls out, it makes it difficult for everyone. Yes, I know you know that. I work crazy long hours in management. When a nurse makes an error, she usually writes a statement. I end up with hours of investigation reports, QA's, calls, etc. That's my job. So when I have to call around to get coverage for a nurse calling out *FOR A POOR REASON* it really hurts. It makes my other nurses tired and kills morale. Now here is my long-winded point- it's VERY difficult to know when the ones that call out are truly sick. I always give the benefit of the doubt, but I know there is some advantage being taken. I'm not saying that you should come in sick, you shouldn't. But know that as a manager, sometimes it seems like I'm being hard or mean, but I'm not trying to be. I just want everyone to come to work when they are supposed to; I have to trust your word and that can be hard. We're not all trying to pull one over or dupe you into coming in to work. I'll end on disclaimer- I dont think my words here are accurately portraying what I want to say :-(
    RNsRWe likes this.
  10. 3
    I agree that it is difficult from a management perspective. And short staffing takes a very serious toll on the remaining staff AND the patients.

    We have to develop better mechanisms to deal with chronically absent staff rather than to adopt a style of nagging.
    OCNRN63, CloudySue, and MJB2010 like this.


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