Not falling for that old trick - page 5

by beeker | 8,316 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. 0
    Ah, yes....reminds me of the time I called in because I had fever, chills, a bad cough, difficulty breathing, etc. I went to the doctor and was told I needed to stay home as I had a very bad case of bronchitis/laryngitis. I called in plenty of time to cancel myself. Wellll....I was called with a verbal reprimand after I missed work later due to a slipped disc (again, I had a doctor''s note stating I was not to lift ANYTHING heavier than 5-10 pounds) and had given plenty of notice---more than a day's notice because my doc had put me on "indefinite status for return to work". That was the 3rd of "any more than 3 within a year and you are in trouble" absences (my mom died unexpectedly & I had missed; the upper respiratory infection: and the slipped disc). The response I got regarding my illness and the fact I didn't want to spread my germs to fellow workers & the patients and I stayed home was "You do what you gotta do". I told the nm that well, I had to stay home to protect my patients and fellow workers. Anyway, I also turned in my resignation shortly after.
  2. 0
    Quote from NurseGuyBri
    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.
    Often I have to wonder how some of these chronic caller-outers ever made it through nursing school. Of course they made us come in sick too, or else be cut from the program.
  3. 3
    I just called off for a week with the flu, accumulated all those sick points and am the proud owner of a written discussion for sick points. And flu is not covered under FMLA unless you have an underlying condition that makes it a severe respiratory illness or have complications after. So, if we don't have a fever we go to work. Hello, hack hack hack, I am you nurse for your little immunocompromised preemie, but don't worry I have on a mask.
    Orange Tree, CherylRNBSN, and Libitina like this.
  4. 4
    Quote from NurseGuyBri
    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 :-(
    I truly get that absences make life difficult on management, I really do. But I've worked places where nurses are treated well and morale is high, and I've worked places where management treats nurses like crap and morale is low, and it seems that absences are more a problem where nurses feel disenfranchised. So while treating nurses well will not prevent all absences, it will go along way to preventing call ins for a poor reason. When I had a manager that cared about us, worked with us, worked as harder or harder than we did, and defended us like a lioness would her cubs, I and my coworkers worked unholy hours if the need arose. When I worked in a unit with a manager who really didn't like us, didn't respect us, and couldn't keep up with us, I and my coworkers were less than eager to work extras. And I heard many times around the unit (and I said and did it myself on occasion), "I'm not even going to bother asking for time off, she won't give it to me (or the manager would keep you hanging out there wondering if you would get it when you were trying to make reservations or buy tickets), I'm just going to call in." Or, the last shift was heck, I can't do this another night. Or, She's never here, why should I be.

    There will always be people who abuse the system, no matter how perfect the environment, but I'm sorry, management causes a lot of these problems themselves by creating a work environment where the nurse feels downtrodden and disrespected, and therefore cannot work up the energy to respect the hospital or her coworkers.
    NurseGuyBri, hiddencatRN, CloudySue, and 1 other like this.
  5. 3
    No one gives you a badge for coming in sick. If you come in you'll be expected to work just like everybody else.

    If you're sick, stay home. The patients don't need your germs, and neither do your co-workers.
  6. 0
    Per the policy at my facility, if you miss one of your scheduled weekend days you have to make it up at the director's discretion. Before this policy was implemented we had issues with people calling in on the weekends. Now, no one will call in on the weekend...we've had staff work while sick with the flu and management gladly let them
  7. 1
    Quote from jmll1765
    Per the policy at my facility, if you miss one of your scheduled weekend days you have to make it up at the director's discretion. Before this policy was implemented we had issues with people calling in on the weekends. Now, no one will call in on the weekend...we've had staff work while sick with the flu and management gladly let them
    Same policy at the local hospitals, and I've seen the same thing. Nurses vomiting in garbage cans at the desk, or falling asleep over their lunch because they are so sick and fatigued. I understand the need to cut down on unnecessary call ins, but that's preferable to exposing vulnerable patients to all sorts of new illnesses.
    NurseGuyBri likes this.
  8. 0
    If you're sick, stay home. I wouldn't want a nurse with the flu or who knows what taking care of me, and I wouldn't want to expose my patients to germs like that if I were sick. I consider myself pretty healthy and I very rarely call in...I feel guilty when I do, because I know it sucks to work short, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    As for work trying to call me in, I just don't answer my phone. I the nursing supervisor's number in my phone (saved as "nursing supervisor") so I always know when they're calling. Otherwise, if it's an "UNKNOWN" number, I can guarantee that's work, too. They leave a message, I ignore it lol.
  9. 1
    Touche, monkeybug! You are right, it does follow management- but I'll tell you, it depends on the TEAM as a whole! I know I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. One nurse who isn't part of the team makes the whole machine slow down. I would like to think of myself as a very different kind of manager. Some of the changes I made include hiring a bunch of PRN nurses, and I *ALWAYS* give requested vacation as long as I can cover it, which is 99% of the time. I am on the floor when I can; I go to bat for my nurses over and over. I'm fighting tooth and nail during survey; I get looked at by other directors as if I'm mentally unstable just because I give our nurses a voice and I'm not an authoritarian. Problem is that I have 22 wonderful nurses who work hard, and when they make mistakes, we work together to fix them. It's the 3 nurses I have that think they are not the problem. I can quickly identify who is not a part of the team, and they ruin it for everyone. So, they're not good team members. So what? Not good enough to "change" and get in new nurses. My hands are tied. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you are right, management has a huge hand in it, but it's ultimately up to a nurse to be a professional and react in such a manner that is appropriate and not abuse the policy. With the amount of new nurses flooding the market, the mindset has changed and SOME of the newer nurses (more than before) don't really understand what it means to be a nurse. I was SO proud when I became a nurse, it seems like a good portion of newer nurses dont care at all and really shouldn't be nurses. Maybe that's harsh, but it's true. So, while I agree with you- I can say that my teams morale has really improved, by far- I think you may be looking more from the aspect of the downtrodden nurse, not the manager who is really trying to do everything he can but only getting flack and attitude. And yes, it's a little personal. Our facility has really improved in it's self image, however I can only lead a horse to water. I could really go on, but the morale of the story is as you know, it takes a village... And every village has it's bad apples.
    joanna73 likes this.


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