Sick call policy - page 6

Hi everyone, I am a Nursing Director at a very small rural facility. Our professional staff is also limited, and we do not have a pool to draw from, so when we have sick call ins it really impacts... Read More

  1. by   itsme
    she sure did, you see, the nurse manager thinks she is "abusing her sick time". Unreal isnt it..... We have had a major turn over in nurses lately because of management, and they just cant figure out why!!
  2. by   live4today
    originally posted by kmchugh
    as i read through this thread, i realized that the only thing left in nursing that suprises me it that there are people who cannot understand why there is a shortage of nurses. people who cannot fathom why young men and women in college are choosing other professions. people who cannot comprehend why nurses are leaving the profession in droves. enough reason is right here, in this thread, in a nice neat package.

    the fundamental question is "how do i punish my employees for having the temerity to be ill on a weekend? certainly they can plan better than that!" look at what you all, who are nurses, for god's sake, have said:

    "at our facility, if staff calls in sick on the weekend, they have to work the next weekend, which would be their days off. we still have trouble with call-ins, but i don't know of anything that would cure that."

    "we instituted the weekend call off rule about a year ago. it has been very effective, however, call offs happen."

    "we also use the "if you call in sick on the weekend you are required to work the next weekend" policy. the catch is that the staff are informed upon hire that when they work the following weekend- it is on the shift where they are needed most- not necessarily the shift they usually work. there is no excuses accepted (i.e. "i don't have a second shift babysitter, etc....). this has helped with call ins."

    apparently, you all are proud of the fact that your draconian policies are forcing nurses to work when sick, and consequences to the nurses, their families, or even the patients be damned. you are apparently proceeding from the assumption that all weekend call ins are bogus. in fact, some might be, but that in no way excuses your behavior. if you can prove a nurse has called off sick fraudulently, then punish that nurse. but proactive punishment of all nurses?

    i am sure you are not, but all of you should be ashamed to claim the title "nurse."

    kevin mchugh, crna
    where are the "clapping hands" when i need them? (clapping and standing ovation here, kevin)

    i couldn't have "felt" this speech better! amen to every word! :hatparty:
  3. by   moonrose2u
    how about this one? i am a weekender...work 24 get paid for 36...i accumulate sick time as well as pto...but as a weekender, am not allowed to use the sick time, as one must be off sick at least three days to use it...so if i have a really bad cold and need to be off one or two days, god forbid, i would be given the occurance, without pay, as i can't use the sick time...weekenders are not allowed to call in ill, and if we do and do not want an occurance, must use fmla,and lose one of our 3 vacation days...and that requires at least a four day absence..which if we need only day, we are docked four of fmla...so either way, we w/e get screwed
  4. by   Zinnia
    My hospital has the ,if you get sick on a weekend you have to sign up for extra weekend hours, policy. We had to do this because managers couldn't make their chronic 'call-ins' behave. Also ,we have a sick time policy that states you can't use sick time for only one day off unless you are maxed out on sick time. The chronic abusers,of course are not maxed out on sick time! If you call in for two days you can use sick time for both days and it is only one occurance against your record. so this encourages everyone to call in for at least two days in a row.
    Is this stupid or what?
  5. by   Heartsofangels
    I have to say that when I was a CNA, we always had people that called in on the weekends, so they had a policy that said you had to work the next weekend and if they didn't need you they kept a list of how many days you were out on the weekend and filled you in where ever they needed you. When I first became a nurse I remember another nurse being in the hospital during her weekend on and they made her make it up. I don't think they should make anyone make up their weekends unless it becomes a habit. It's not fair to the people who do go in on their weekends then they become sick and have to call in and they are expected to make it up. It's not like they were out partying. I told my last DNS that I didn't agree with that policy.
  6. by   pussycat66
    Quote from kmchugh
    As I read through this thread, I realized that the only thing left in nursing that suprises me it that there are people who cannot understand why there is a shortage of nurses. People who cannot fathom why young men and women in college are choosing other professions. People who cannot comprehend why nurses are leaving the profession in droves. Enough reason is right here, in this thread, in a nice neat package.

    The fundamental question is "how do I punish my employees for having the temerity to be ill on a weekend? Certainly they can plan better than that!" Look at what you all, who are nurses, for God's sake, have said:

    "At our facility, if staff calls in sick on the weekend, they have to work the next weekend, which would be their days off. We still have trouble with call-ins, but I don't know of anything that would cure that."

    "We instituted the weekend call off rule about a year ago. It has been very effective, however, call offs happen."

    "We also use the "if you call in sick on the weekend you are required to work the next weekend" policy. The catch is that the staff are informed upon hire that when they work the following weekend- it is on the shift where they are needed most- not necessarily the shift they usually work. There is no excuses accepted (i.e. "I don't have a second shift babysitter, etc....). This has helped with call ins."

    Apparently, you all are proud of the fact that your draconian policies are forcing nurses to work when sick, and consequences to the nurses, their families, or even the patients be damned. You are apparently proceeding from the assumption that all weekend call ins are bogus. In fact, some might be, but that in no way excuses your behavior. If you can prove a nurse has called off sick fraudulently, then punish that nurse. But proactive punishment of ALL nurses?

    I am sure you are not, but all of you should be ashamed to claim the title "nurse."

    Kevin McHugh, CRNA
    YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD! GREAT STUFF Kevin, I applaud you !
  7. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I am with Kevin! I can scarcely believe my eyes here. I have a few questions for you managers:

    Do any of you have young children? Do any of your facilities provide onsite day care/nightcare? How about for SICK KIDS? If you had a sick kid, would you stick him/her in a daycare situation? (I would NOT). Has any of you not been able to make it to work for ANY REASON AT ALL? ANY reason? Was IT legitimate, really??? DO ANY OF YOU HAVE LIVES?

    These are sincere questions, though they may SOUND tongue-in-cheek. Questions from a staffer who works almost exclusively weekends and is married to military. Cause things happen. I rarely call in sick, but when I DO you BEST BELIEVE IT IS LEGIT. My husband deploys, my kids get sick....who watches kids from 6p to 8a on WEEKENDS????

    You need to rethink your punitive policies if you expect to retain quality regular staff, let alone recruit BACKUP! Shame on all of you! I would be gone before the next weekend if you treated ME that way, honestly. Just my 0.2 from an ordinary staff R.N. with a LIFE.
    You must have some advance notice when your husband is going to deploy. You need to have 3 sitters lined up for those times. How can you think you would never need a sitter?

    How can you not care or realize that, just as caring for your children is 24/7, so is the facility's requirement to care for residents or patients 24/7? What are they supposed to do at the job?

    I'm not saying they should believe every weekend call off is bogus or that the staff who are ill should have to work anyway or should be punished for getting sick. But both parties, you and the facility need to plan better and be more prepared. I know it's hard, please understand.

    But what if you were at work during a blizzard or hurricane or other disaster and your relief didn't make it in? Would you walk out and go home to your kids? Or would you expect the sitter to stay with them a few more hours so you could stay, as you should, with your patients?

    I know it's painful, I know it hurts. I have lived it so I do know what you're up against. Still, this is the situation.
  8. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from used and abused
    i have experienced those that needed "mental health days" and they usually fall on a weekend...but hey! we are nurses and human beings and we do get ill just like our patients! i think an ideal staff would pull to gether and help eachother. i have done that, worked to help cover shifts and given up my weekends to help out. what i found out tho, the management that i worked for didnt give a hoot.
    so i use that as an example now that i am a manager and remember how i felt . i am new at this but boy, kind words and thank yous go a long way. it is good to respect the people you manage and good to get respect back. that's the only way it works. occasionally you will have one that doesnt give respect but coworkers learn fast . evaluations are good for that subject.
    don't wait til eval time. that's not fair. talk to the ingrate now in a way that could help open her eyes, so she can start being more cognizant regarding teamwork and being respectful.

    spell out for her what the trouble is. maybe she really doesn't understand. i know i was very naive in my younger days and didn't understand much of anything.

    also, when you hire, discuss this area and get a feel for the applicants' view of it all. you can't legally ask about kids or sitters but you could ask how they view their role in providing ongoing care in a weather or other disaster, or in the event that, for whatever reason (illness, accident, death) their relief doesn't arrive to relieve them.

    but as a manager, you need to manage this area proactively. educate and lead, don't lie in wait to snipe out like a retaliatory viper at evaluation time.

    a supervisor who i really liked did this to me one time. i was shocked to see that she had things against me, that, in her view, i was barely scraping by, as she had never talked to me about them. she had always been really nice to me but then hit me with a bad eval.

    naturally, i had to challenge it and she did wind up changing it for the better, after i reminded her of all the good things i had done - things the other nurses were also required to do but had not, things i had instituted for safety and educational purposes, my good attendance, my volunteering for ot. and i reminded her that she had never said anything to me about the other areas, never had given me a chance to improve in those areas. so, don't do that to your employee. it's not good leadership.

    and it really hurt and scared me to see how much she truly did dislike me. made me realize, once again, how 2 faced people are, how no one can ever fully be trusted. her behavior was seriously destructive.

    i understand she didn't want to confront me or stir a hornet's nest but what does she think supervision or management is about? that's a big, big part of it. it isn't just staffing, obtaining missing supplies, or dealing with families. it involves a lot of coaching or correcting staff, too.

    so if you are someone who didn't realize you'd be confronting staff, however constructively, please realize it now and start dealing more effectively with your staff every day, not lying in wait to trap them at eval time. this would be true leadership, true staff development.
    Last edit by Kooky Korky on Mar 28, '10
  9. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from maple
    I work as an LPN in a rural area,we have only 4 full timers,one part timer and one casual. Ihad a lumpectomy one day and 2 days later had to work because no one would cover me! Thats staff for you!But to call in sick-hey nurses have cruddy jobs it's no picnic being a nurse - has its rewards of course, but no picnic many times, if we're sick, we're sick! Give us a break. !maple
    Maple, that's riduculous. You should have had your doctor write a Return To Work slip for you, stating that you could return to full duty on ______ date that would have given you the right number of days off.

    And if your HR or staffing coordinator or manager told you you had to get your own coverage, you just tell them that you tried and could not and it is not your job to have to do that anyway and you will return on ____ the date your surgeon says you can return. I always wondered how I was supposed to call someone to work for me if I didn't have their phone number. HR and Nursing wouldn't give the numbers and I didn't buddy up too much with others, so how was I supposed to call them?

    Better yet, don't tell anyone you're having surgery. Just have it, call off and say your doctor says you can return on ____ date. do not say you had surgery, do not say what's wrong, only that you're ill, and the doc says RTW on ____ date. Your job does not need to know what your med condition is, has no right to know.
  10. by   staceyp413
    Our policy (new in the past year or so) doesn't focus on the sick call at the time but a yearly evaluation that we do consistently that manages call ins. For example, after the 4th occurrence the manager is responsible to talk to the colleague and bring it to their attention and then it moves thru the corrective action process.

    It has been quite helpful for my unit and myself as a leader. I even had some staff who were surprised at their own call ins and those were mainly the mom's who took off first or only vs. the dads but now are sharing the duty.
  11. by   caroladybelle
    Please note the thread is from 2002-2003, and some of the posters that are being addressed are no longer here.
  12. by   Kooky Korky
    Whoops! Oh well, it's still good advice not to wait til eval time to talk to employees about problems.
  13. by   elizabeth321
    Only in nursing would staff be treated this way.....can't believe it.....if there are people abusing sick time....deal with them.....don't punish the entire staff

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