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.
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