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Am I a coward for going on FMLA due to COVID?

Disasters   (128,913 Views | 92 Replies)

ML1376 has 3 years experience and specializes in ICU.

582 Profile Views; 23 Posts

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis.

3,152 Posts; 30,302 Profile Views

2 hours ago, ML1376 said:

Thank you everyone for the much needed and insightful feedback.

Let me change the point of view.. from the teams perspective.

if you had a co-worker abruptly put two weeks in, A teammate with asthma, chronic bronchitis, and anxiety and he didn't catch anything yet but was leaving the team for fear of getting it (the team is getting crushed daily with these cases and dealing with the same lack of ppe and safety protocols every shift). If he requested FMLA, then requested indefinite reasonable accommodations all reaching dead ends, so he said fine and quit, what would your thought/opinion be of him. As a nurse manager, charge RN, fellow RN, or even lab or resp tech, attending, or specialist. Just curious..

Personally, as a fellow RN and charge nurse I would wonder why you even bothered with the two week notice given the combination of being in a high risk group and lack of appropriate PPE. I sure wouldn't fault you for refusing to work under those conditions.

That being said, while I do commend you for being concerned about leaving your team why are you that concerned with they think? Even if you are a tight group at work, it's still your co-workers and not you or your family.

It's OK to feel a little bad about leaving your team short handed during a crisis but do not give yourself a major guilt trip for protecting yourself and your family. Your co-workers will get though this without your help if needed. Management might have a bit of a fit knowing they'll either have to replace you or work short but it's not your job to fill the schedule. Administration won't give a single care about you leaving so you certainly don't need to be concerned with pleasing them.

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Gingerpup has 36 years experience and specializes in Hospital Employee Health.

1 Follower; 18 Posts; 53 Profile Views

ML - You seem to be extremely concerned about your co-workers judging you and many have given you excellent advice as to how to cope with that. I totally understand your feelings, and all this says to me is that you are at the core a dedicated, caring person who wants the best for your team and patients, but find yourself in an impossible situation. You have tried your best to come up with reasonable solutions, but admin is not working with you. Now, make a promise to your self that you have made the decision, make peace with it, and let this s*#t go. Be kind to yourself. We all need to be.

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Gingerpup has 36 years experience and specializes in Hospital Employee Health.

1 Follower; 18 Posts; 53 Profile Views

Also, we might be seeing in the media nurses across the nation saying "this is what I signed up for". Keep in mind, this is a great media story, and they want to put these warriors on the 5 o'clock news. BUT, there are a ton of other nurses who are thinking the opposite - thinking when this gets to be too much, I'm outta here ---but they are not going to make it on TV. Solidarity ML- you are not alone.

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ML1376 has 3 years experience and specializes in ICU.

23 Posts; 582 Profile Views

Yeah. Was just getting an update from 2 on the ICU status today. It’s pretty bleak. But I understand. Looking at different opportunities I can find.

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MeganMN has 14 years experience and specializes in Emergency Room.

15 Posts; 79 Profile Views

In a few years, the employees will say, "remember that nurse that used to work here, the one who quit?" . Your family will say, "I love you and am glad you put yourself and us first." Which is more important to you? Again, I reiterate, there is no good decision. There is no winner and loser. We are all losing in this mess no matter what we decide to do. Hopefully there can be some sort of decent outcome. I wish we could stop attacking each other and just remember that we all are trying to do the best that we can with what we have. All of us. Regardless of what any of us do, we are just trying to survive this madness.

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1 Follower; 22 Posts; 368 Profile Views

23 hours ago, ML1376 said:

Thank you everyone for the much needed and insightful feedback.

Let me change the point of view.. from the teams perspective.

if you had a co-worker abruptly put two weeks in, A teammate with asthma, chronic bronchitis, and anxiety and he didn't catch anything yet but was leaving the team for fear of getting it (the team is getting crushed daily with these cases and dealing with the same lack of ppe and safety protocols every shift). If he requested FMLA, then requested indefinite reasonable accommodations all reaching dead ends, so he said fine and quit, what would your thought/opinion be of him. As a nurse manager, charge RN, fellow RN, or even lab or resp tech, attending, or specialist. Just curious..

Someone shared a piece of wisdom with me and it might apply to your situation. What other people think of you is none of your business. If you are satisfied with your decision and feel confident you are doing the best to protect your LIFE, then you are OK. For what its worth, I quit my job too, for similar reasons. And COVID hadn't even really hit my hospital yet. Just a couple r/o that I know of. One I took care of but nobody told us they were r/o, WOW!!?

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spotangel has 31 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds.

28 Articles; 262 Posts; 34,110 Profile Views

OP-Stay home.

Build up your immunity.

Sign up to do tele health/telephone triage so that your valuable skillset helps others. You are not deserting your team. You are no good to your team if you are sick or on a ventilator. It is crystal clear by now that hospitals and management are unprepared and clueless to help their nurses, so you need to protect yourself. Nurses at the bedside as usual will have to roll up their sleeves, be innovate to protect themselves and their patients. Working at the bedside now with COVID-19 patients, I know for a fact that the PPE protocols will not protect any of us.We need to follow common sense protocols and build our immunity to fight this virus. All luck, God's blessings on all and stay safe and healthy!

We know who actually runs healthcare and keep our patients safe-We Do!

Peace to all!

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agiboma has 18 years experience as a BSN, MSN, NP and specializes in ER, Public Health, Community, PMHNP.

106 Posts; 2,963 Profile Views

You are doing the right thing. I have left the bedside a few years ago. I wish you well.

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27 Posts; 875 Profile Views

You are absolutely not a coward and don’t let anyone make you feel that way. I’m glad you have a good team, but at the end of the day no one else is gonna look out for you. You are not benefiting your team if you end up sick and taking up another ventilator. Sit this one out, and you can come back and continue to be a great nurse. You have nothing to be ashamed of.

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Rogue1 has 4 years experience and specializes in Pediatrics.

15 Posts; 48 Profile Views

You are NOT a coward--you are being really smart. Take the FMLA if you can (it is your right), but protect yourself because in this situation no one else is going to protect you.

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by mykr New

6 Posts; 288 Profile Views

NO! You are not a coward. You have to do what's best for you and your family. It's sad to say this but many health care facilities think nurses are disposable. If one of us drops dead, they'll just find someone else to replace us.

Best of Luck!

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BlessYourHeartt has 12 years experience and specializes in adult ICU.

20 Posts; 264 Profile Views

O.P., the writing's on the wall: given your medical history, you have to prioritize your survival. Reasonable colleagues will understand. The others would probably judge you anyway, if not for one thing, then for another. I have stopped working to protect my family (high-risk spouse, young kids with noone else to care for them). I feel a sense of loss, grief and guilt, but I also firmly believe that I cannot martyr my family in this fight. I'm sure I've been judged by some fellow RNs, so be it. You shouldn't martyr yourself either. Ideally, COVID beds should be staffed by low-risk volunteers in hazmat-style PPE who receive hazard pay for their work.

Edited by BlessYourHeartt

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