Sick Of Co-workers Calling In ALL the Time

  1. 8
    GRRRR....I am sick of my co-workers calling in sick all the time. It would be different if it wasn't the SAME ones that call in month after month. When they are "out sick", I am picking up their slack and it is so frustrating! Yes, I agree that everyone gets sick from time to time and needs a sick day, but when it becomes a PATTERN I start to lose trust in them. I like my co-workers, but it makes it hard to smile at a few of them when they come back from ANOTHER "sick day" knowing the day before I was busting my butt picking up there slack. It makes me want to call in just because I am literally SICK of them calling in SICK. Sorry I sound so angry....thanks for letting me vent.
    tlairrol, Jules A, Tait, and 5 others like this.
  2. 53 Comments so far...

  3. 8
    i hear ya! one of my co-workers called in sick from a party the other night. we all knew about the party, of course, and those of us who are married and older traded shifts so that all the young, single newbies could be there. and then one of the guys called in for the next morning while he was still at the party -- the charge put the call on speaker and we could all hear the sounds of our co-workers partying in the background!

    i have another co-worker who calls in sick whenever work might make her miss a church event. that gets old, too!
    Tait, Orca, RNSC, and 5 others like this.
  4. 3
    Hmmm, I just hung up from calling in sick when I saw this post.

    My manager was a bit snippy, asked if there was "a particular reason" I was calling out. Gee, let's see, I am having a diverticulitis attack.

    My intestines feel like they are tied in knots, I can't stand up straight, I have n/v/d, and oh by the way the abx my doc prescribed have some unpleasant side affects.

    But by all means, perhaps I should have gone in to work. I could have just as easily spent my evening in the bathroom there as at home.

    Most people can't afford to just not come to work. I really doubt that your co-workers are calling in just to take advantage of you.
    pagandeva2000, RN1982, and skittlebear like this.
  5. 1
    "Most people can't afford to just not come to work. I really doubt that your co-workers are calling in just to take advantage of you."

    My current job gives employees the option of either not being paid for a call-off or using accumulated PTO to cover the time. A previous job didn't give the option - they just automatically deducted the hours from your PTO and put them in that pay periods check. So if the OP is employed at a facility like the ones I've worked at, then people really can afford to not come to work.
    skittlebear likes this.
  6. 6
    Qaqueen, I was "venting"...and I didn't mean to offend you for any reason, I am sorry that I did. I am not against calling sick, as my opening thread implied. I am just sick of the same co-workers who call in sick all the time. The ones that call in every 2-3 weeks for something. They don't just call in for one day either, they will call in for 2 or 3 days, or even a week in a row. I could understand this more if it wasn't a pattern...but it leaves me suspicious because it is.

    I have called in several times before, so again, I am not against it. It just sucks when I feel some are taking advantage of all the sick days they have accrued...and would be suprised if they didn't have any left.

    Qaqueen, I hope you get better soon. I truly didn't mean to offend you.
    Tait, Orca, RNSC, and 3 others like this.
  7. 3
    This is a universal problem in the workplace. Workers in general are not concerned of their absence from the workplace. The older generation would have one believe this is a new phenomenon and perhaps it is. Some people take a day off and refer to it as a "mental health" day. Management has responded by placing the workers on an hourly pay scale, rather than a salary. The hourly worker can make up for lost pay through overtime and paid holidays. In addition, the hourly worker is given a set number of "sick" days. These days are to be used during the year, and the person simply starts each year with the same number. Very seldom are the days able to be rolled over to the next year, and rarely is there really an incentive not to use them. I do not believe this is problem has an easy fix. I do believe it does come down to the individual. Some facilities may luck out to have a workforce who believe: if one is not sick they come to work even in the snow storm.
    Orca, Not_A_Hat_Person, and skittlebear like this.
  8. 11
    Quote from skittlebear
    Qaqueen, I hope you get better soon. I truly didn't mean to offend you.
    you made it quite clear, you were referring to those who abuse their sick time...
    which brings up a point:
    that there are many nurses who are legitimately ill, and the chronicity of their illness necessitates them taking all their sick days.
    but still, even though we know there are valid reasons to calling off, if the facility doesn't replace the nurse who called out, it creates quite a burden on those who are working.
    so, it's still perfectly normal to resent working short-staffed, regardless if the nurse is genuinely sick or not.
    (i'm talking about ongoing absenteism...not isolated events)

    we are burdened as it is.
    and because mgmt doesn't give a fig about our woes, our frustration only escalates, making the unit near unbearable to work.

    skittle, i hear ya loud and clear.
    and it needs to end...
    period.

    leslie
    Plagueis, Tait, nerdtonurse?, and 8 others like this.
  9. 2
    I can assure you that your co-workers give no thought to you or the others before they call in. Their focus is on themselves and their own needs, no one else's. Personally, I would find it difficult not to slow down my work efforts when it came to doing the extra work required when picking up their slack. If the supervisor commented, I would want to say something like wouldn't it be better to call an on-call person who can give their undivided attention, rather than overwork me? But then, we all know what happens when the downtrodden say or do anything in their own defense.
    Orca and skittlebear like this.
  10. 2
    Quote from skittlebear
    They don't just call in for one day either, they will call in for 2 or 3 days, or even a week in a row. I could understand this more if it wasn't a pattern...but it leaves me suspicious because it is.
    Unfortunately where I work we get "dinged" per occurrence...so if you're out one day that's an occurrence...if you're out one OR MORE days that's an occurrence. If you're out one day, try to come back to work, relapse and are out again that's more than one occurrence.
    RNSC and skittlebear like this.
  11. 35
    i agree that abuse of sick time impacts overall on unit performance. however, the act in and of itself is usually self limiting; that is you can only call in sick if you still have a job. there will be a point where this is not possible if you consistently call in sick. but this is frankly not my concern. my concern is, how does management respond to it.

    management loves it when other nurses go after those that call in sick. because now they won't seem like the bad guy. but if one looks at it realistically, sick calls are an institutional fact of life, especially in large organizations. even the military and corporations plans around this.

    fact is, the hospital that you work for should have contingency planning in place to prepare for sick calls, accidents, or other unforeseen or unpredictable events. blaming the nurses who exercises their hard fought right, to call in sick is not only wrong, but inherently unfair.

    sick time was at one point, non existent. until the arrival of unions, if you took a day off, even for a heart attack, you may as well have packed your bags. they fired you on the spot.

    bottom line for me? when another nurse calls in, i say, "i hope you feel better soon" (regardless of the noise in the background, which is none of my business). i then call management to send me another nurse.

    sick calls are not a nursing issue, they're a management resource problem. management needs to provide enough staff to cover for any contingency. if they fail to do so, then it's management's fault, not any individual rn's. period.

    *** sidebar *** the charge nurse in the example of putting the phone on speaker for all to hear
    (as the other nurse called in sick) should be reprimanded for violating employee confidentiality. had the other nurse already been a patient she should be fired for violating hipaa.
    Last edit by Emergency RN on Dec 13, '09
    squatmunkie_RN, AmericanRN, Plagueis, and 32 others like this.


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