Work ethic, what's your take on it all - page 4

Well, I work on a busy cardiac floor. It seems to me too many people call in sick. One girl she calls in at least once a week. Why the hec is management allowing this? I feel it's really non of my... Read More

  1. by   KelRN215
    Ok, so I almost never call out. I mean, I can count on my hands the number of times I have called out in 5 years. I didn't call out the day after I was told my brain tumor was possibly back nor did I at all 2 years ago when I was diagnosed with 2 [more] chronic conditions and I have worked several days before/after having minor surgeries/procedures. That said, I don't begrudge my co-workers when they do call out. People have things going on in their lives and if, for some reason or another, they cannot come to work, so be it. Actually, I would prefer these people stay home if they have something contagious or if they are so overwhelmed by things at home that they cannot do the job.

    There are also situations that happen time and time again when someone will request a day off when we are making our schedule and end up scheduled to work that day. If they informed the employer that they were unable to work that day and got scheduled anyway, I think it's unreasonable for the employer to say "find a switch" when they should have never been scheduled for that day in the first place. I'd have no problem calling out if I requested a single day off and said, "I am going to be out of town this weekend so I need Friday off" and they put me on it anyway. As someone else stated, why should I feel any loyalty towards them when they treat me like sh&* day in and day out?

    @ tokmom, what kind of system do you have at work where you can "request" to be the first called off?
  2. by   tokmom

    Our system is simple. If there is going to be a possible overage of nurses, you can request to be the first one called off. This keeps the other nurse that might be on the top of the list to not be called off. There is no limit on how many times you write your name down in a month.
    You still accrue your vacation and sick and can use PTO to cover.
  3. by   KelRN215
    That doesn't really seem like a fair system. What if multiple people want to be called off? Whoever signs up first gets preference? Although if other people don't want it off, I don't see why it would upset someone that this Suzy person always requests to be the first off. If she wants to use her PTO to stay home on a random Wednesday, that's her problem. Then she'll be the one without a summer vacation when she has no vacation time left.

    It goes by date in my facility. If I haven't taken the day off due to over-staffing in a year and everyone else has, I'm at the top of the list. If I take it, then my date gets written down and I go to the bottom of the list. Though I got 2 days off within a week a few weeks ago because no one else wanted it.

    When we are overstaffed, people willing to "fill a hole" (as in come off this day and work another day when we are understaffed) are the first to be called, as the hospital would prefer to pay them to work and not to stay home. If no one is willing to do that, people are offered PTO. There are occasionally times where the same person gets multiple days off because other people don't want it. If no one is willing to do either, we work overstaffed and deal with the evil looks from management all day long. One of the few things I like about my facility is that the DON does not allow managers to "force" people off/force them to use their PTO when we are overstaffed.
  4. by   QI/QM
    I'm going to have to agree with you. I have been a nurse for 20 years and over the last few I have noticed a increase in call ins and a decrease in over all work ethic. Even when the nurses that call-in frequently do come to work they dont do much
  5. by   Morainey
    I notice that when employees are unhappy, there are more call-outs.
  6. by   caliotter3
    Quote from Flo.
    If you are lucky enough to be in excellent health be aware of the fact that some of your coworkers are not. They may not have discussed their health problems with you. If management is aware and not acting on it, then let it go.

    It is managements duty to ensure that the floor is staffed even with call outs. That may mean a float pool, per diems, or the use of a staffing agency. If management is forcing you to work short staffed that is their fault not the nurse who called out.
    Agree with this whether the nurse called out for a legitimate reason or was just goofing off. It is still management's responsibility to staff the facility.
  7. by   DixieRedHead
    I love it, I love it, I love it.
  8. by   Morainey
    FWIW I called out on my weekend last week for the first time in a year. I know how bad it looks to call out on a weekend, but I doubt the hospital wanted a nurse with sore throat, coughing, sneezing, endless runny nose, fever, and body aches taking care of their fresh post ops.
  9. by   DixieRedHead
    Quote from PintheD
    CapeCodMermaid I'm assuming you're a Nurse Manager based on the above. I can't understand your position here. You want your staff nurses to hold each other accountable for attendance? That's rich! I would love to see the cat fights that would ensue when nursing peers start playing "attendance police" with one another.

    Attendance is a management issue. An employee abusing an attendance policy needs to be managed. No, it's not your fault, it's your job! And don't even get me started on your derogatory comment regarding agency nurses.
    Not so. In my LTC, I had three nurses on three halls. They would rotate weekly calling in. They worked our liberal call out policy to death. We would run around trying to call people in, and working the on call person to death.

    So, we said when one of them calls out and we can't get anyone to cover the other two nurses split the halls. They have 30 residents instead of 20. They answer to each other for calling out. Problem solved.
  10. by   brownbook
    Yes it is management's problem. Yes employees in any and every occupation call in sick for frivolous reasons. Yes it is very appropriate for people with a strong work ethic to get annoyed even though it may not be their problem.

    Many employment policies state if an employee calls in sick for x number of days in a pay period the management may ask for a doctor's excuse, thus asking Suzy why she is calling in sick again can be appropriate.

    I fortunately never get sick. My work ethic problem is my husband who cannot understand why I don't don't agree with his whining when he occasionally asks me, "why don't you call in sick today!"

    I am a non-assertive push over but that line I do not cross. I have never called in sick for a "mental health" day or any other frivolous excuse.
  11. by   Ruby Vee
    like you, i've worked with people who call in sick weekly (or more often) with seemingly bogus complaints, and i've wondered why management tolerates it. and while it's true that some folks just lack a work ethic, here are some other things you might consider:

    my colleague who had a drug/alcohol problem called in sick when she was too impaired to work safely. while it was annoying to work short staffed, it's worse to work with someone who is too impaired to be safe. sometimes they hide it so well you don't really know how bad off they are.

    i've had colleagues who were involved in abusive relationships. one woman's husband would get liquored up and go after her with an axe handle. she'd lock herself in the basement until he passed out, and would often have to call in sick because she was afraid to leave her safe room . . . .

    there was the colleague whose father had cancer and would have bad days necessitating that someone stay home with him, the colleague whose mother had a stroke and who would have to stay home if the caregiver didn't show up and the colleague whose mother had alzheimer's who called in when her siblings, father, children or caregiver didn't show up to take their shift with mom.

    there was the colleague who bravely worked through breast cancer treatment and then colon cancer . . . she called in sick a lot. some of us knew what was going on, others didn't.

    then there's the fact that management may have your colleague in some sort of disciplinary status. if your manager is doing her job, you wouldn't know about that. you're not supposed to.
  12. by   hiddencatRN
    I don't make a habit of calling off, but if I'm sick I am not going to play the martyr and come in anyway. First of all, not resting enough makes it more likely that whatever is making me sick will hang around longer and possibly get worse, secondly, I don't want to spread my germs around and thirdly, if I'm feeling really bad, it interferes with my ability to do my job well. Self care is important, and I don't think that reflects poorly on my work ethic at all.

    People like to deal in absolutes: you're either a work through it all type or you call out weekly. I think most people fall somewhere in between those extremes.
  13. by   uRNmyway
    I was taught to call in sick if feverish and contagious, nothing else. Although once I had to call in because I got into a car accident on my way to work. I was not injured, luckily, but my car was very damaged. It was a half hour drive and there was no way I was going to make it in. I had to stay and wait for the police, fill out reports, etc. Plus I was understandably very shaken up and would probably have been pretty useless.
    I think people need to use their judgment a bit more. But I will agree that when you feel management abuses you, you are a lot less likely to care about how much trouble you give them finding you a replacement.

    Also, to the poster who spoke about agency nurses...I have been an agency nurse almost since my graduation. We actually ARE accountable. First off, we are accountable to the same nursing orders as hospital nurses. If we are accused of neglect, harm a patient, etc, we can lose our licence. If we call off too often, then whatever facility we are working at will stop hiring us. If facilities do not want us, that puts a black mark on our employee file, and then our agency is less willing to stick their necks out submitting us for jobs. In fact, I think we may be MORE accountable in some ways, because by not being employees of the facility, we are often under more scrutiny by the rest of the staff as well as by management. Jus' sayin'...