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Am I too sick to work?


Specializes in LTC. Has 3 years experience.

I work in a long-term care facility with a very strict call-out policy. But two days ago I began feeling sick with nausea and a temp of 99.8. My temp's about the same, but now I have diarrhea as well as nausea, bodyaches, a headache, my throat's swollen, my nose is stuffed, chills and I slept almost 16 hours today (day off).

I plan on seeing a doctor tomorrow, but should I call off before then? I haven't called out in almost three months, but the staffing coordinator will definitely reprimand me.


Specializes in Hospice, LTC, Rehab, Home Health. Has 20 years experience.

Definitely call off, nausea and diarrhea are signs of something that could be contagious--your patients certainly don't need that! Refer to your employment manual for the policy for call offs. The key is to give as much notice as possible so they can find coverage.


Specializes in ICU, Tele, M/S, Psych, Rehab. Has 22 years experience.

Who cares about the staffing coodinator? You deal with elderly patients who can't fight off germs...plus, how can you do your job well if you're sick? You also expose co-workers to any illness that you might have. (Sounds viral!)

PostOpPrincess, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU. Has 19 years experience.

Stay home.

tewdles, RN

Specializes in PICU, NICU, L&D, Public Health, Hospice. Has 31 years experience.

The staffing coordinator may reprimand you, that is easier to take than spreading a virus to a patient and having them die from the dehydration of the GI symptoms!

Call them, outline your symptom constellation, refer them to the policy which discourages staff from working while ill and exposing the residents to infectious diseases. If the staffing coordinator insists that you work try this plan...do not shower or bathe before reporting directly to her office...sit very near her and be sure to touch as many things on her desk as you can...ask to use her phone and make sure to snuffle snot loudly before you do. If this coordinator wants sick people to work she needs to share the exposure...in fact, she should be first in line...cuz your co-workers would probably prefer you stay home.

u must go on off n get urself checked.

u cant give ur infection tour patients.

so better u inform n get urself checked.


Specializes in LTC, Memory loss, PDN. Has 23 years experience.

Call off and tell them your ill. If asked for details, tell them you'll have your doctor's office send a fax. A staff coordinator's job directly affects the operation of the facility and, like anyone else, they may have a hard time seeing beyond their immediate agenda so don't worry about a little 'tude, but look at it from a they really need you perspective.


Specializes in ER, OR, PACU, TELE, CATH LAB, OPEN HEART. Has 33 years experience.

Except fort he "low grade" fever, you have "CLASSIC" flu symptoms. We should not be working with diarrhea, fever, or other contagious symptoms. DO NOT go to work, no explanation other than "SICK" is required by law. Your physician should write a note not giving details about your conditions, just limitations on work and when you are clear to return. There are privacy laws that apply to us as well as our patients. However, employers feel like they can "bully" us. DO NOT let that happen. FEEL BETTER.

jessiern, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg.

An instructor told us when we were in school that if you have to ask the question "am I too sick to work" then chances are good that the answer is yes.

May be nothing to someone health, but nothing to an enfeebled, elderly patient can be pretty serious.

Otessa, BSN, RN

Has 19 years experience.

If you have all of those symptoms PLEASE don't come in and give it to your co-workers and others....



Specializes in vascular, med surg, home health , rehab,. Has 30 years experience.

Refer yor staffing nazi to the CDC recommendations, your symptoms might be flu or at least a bug you can pass on; they are telling you don't go to work sick. Stay home. Look after yourself, on this she can't fault you.