Call in sick, or risk getting patients sick? - page 3

by stelarRN

17,387 Views | 34 Comments

My boss reamed me for calling in sick for my shift tonight. I had the flu last week (called in 2 shifts), felt better, went back to work, and now have a respiratory thing going on, so I called in. My thought process is, why put a... Read More


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    My concern is that my hospital only allows us 2 days- they will count a day that you leave throwing up as an incomplete shift and whatever you do- don't be sick on a major holiday. I can't help but wonder - do we bring our sick kids in and have them stay in a room, what if a child of ours is having surgery? how about strep- the first 24 hours. We can not take off time- as sick time- for risk of being terminated. So- I can't wait until my next bout of strep- I will gladly go and work the local ER, with golfballs for glands and the inablity to speak. What will it take for my hospital to open up it's eyes are realize that staff gets sick?????
    I worked on night- where I became sick and was throwing up in the garbage can- could not make it to the bathrroom when it started) One other nurse and myself in an ER. It is time to tell administration enough already
    ChiTownRN5 and joanna73 like this.
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    This is an ethical dilemma. Instead of studying Terri Schiavo in ethics class we should be talking about this. Yes, I'm serious. This is something that will eventually affect each of us. We put our co-workers and our patients at risk when we show up ill (either directly by transmission of infectious disease or due to diminished work capacity - often both).

    To say "suck it up and work" is short sighted, selfish, and potentially unethical. To come in, with the intention of getting sent home is close to the same.

    Unfortunately the way most systems are set up they encourage this. I would love to see some sort of utilization of staff when they are too sick for direct patient care, but still want to work and are able to work - such as phone work. Perhaps insurance verification?? Of course it is really hard to isolate someone and utilize them at the same time. But I wish there was something of this sort that could be developed.
    jtm11, monkeybug, CareQueen, and 1 other like this.
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    I am reading over this now because i'm having a sick-dilema. I am a new nurse on orientation on a labor and delivery unit. I have strep throat and feel that it is not right to work with newborn babies while i'm sick. Trying to figure out what to do!!? Guess i'll go in tomorrow and see what they want me to do!! I didnt realize it was such a problem for sick nurses- sounds terrible!
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    Our policy is Fever free and or on antibiotics for 24 hours. Of course if we go over our allotted points we are allowed they will still fire us.
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    This is ridiculous! Getting in trouble for missing when you're sick! They act like everyone is little kids trying to play hooky all the time! We had one employee that had been there only a few months and had to miss like 3 weeks because she had an emergency appendectomy and they wanted to fire her. Luckily the manager talked them out of it! There are many times I get sick more than 4X/yr and heaven forbid your child gets sick too-you better not stay home to take care of them! Teachers here get 15 sick days a year and 3 personal days a year for whatever they want. This is in addition to their entire summer off. No one bats an eye if they say they're child is sick so they're staying home. Almost all the nurses I know have gotten a verbal warning for being sick 4X/yr-even if they have dr excuses for every single one. How dare we be human! Then the hospital management wonders why they have such problem with employee retention!!
    ChiTownRN5, CareQueen, and Orion81 like this.
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    Personally, I cannot stand it when nurses; or any other staff for that matter, come into work sick. ( my definition of sick.. you have a fever, cold symptoms cannot be reduced with otc meds, vomiting, or anything that prevents you from doing your work) I do not want to get sick because someone else felt guilty about calling in. Stay home please
  7. 0
    Quote from stelarRN
    I thought about going in and letting them send me home. I should have just done that.
    In other fields this would be easier to do. In nursing its harder to find someone last minute so that you can leave. In a recent post, someone went to work sick, supervisor said she should leave, then the nurse ended up being accused of patient abandonment. That being said if I have a fever, I'd stay home. And you said you had slight chills? That's NOT safe to be working. I'm jaded and have the belief management doesn't give a crap if we have fever, chills and vomiting, they are going to be mad. Upper respiratory, no fever, I go to work. Its embarrassing though when patients look at you like "ughh, you're sick, I don't want you as my nurse."
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    This is always going to be an issue that involves some judgment, interpretation, and unfortunately, some second-guessing. In most places I've worked, management gets a little irritated by having to replace a nurse who has come in to prove a point. I also know that that's a reality for people who are trying not to violate an attendance policy.
    jtm11 likes this.
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    Even if we get sent home we still get sick points. I love that they punish us for being legit sick with docs notes that we had the flu.
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    This can be so tricky sometimes. Right at this moment, I have practically no voice-can literally say two words before I'm forced to whisper. Other than this, I feel okay. Part of me really wants to call off for tomorrow-haven't taken a sick day in over 2 yrs, it's obviously going to be annoying/difficult to whisper all day, and of course there is the issue of me exposing patients/coworkers to this virus that I probably have. On the other hand, I DO hate to call in sick, especially when I don't feel like death warmed over. And our unit doesn't decide to send people home in the middle of the shift, so if I'm there, I'm there.

    At this point I'm leaning toward going in. Maybe the voice will be better overnight-or else, I'll just wake up with it the same (or worse!) tomorrow. <sigh>


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