Calling in sick: how do you decide?

Nurses General Nursing


I have been feeling absolute s**t for the past 3 days, woke up with it on Thursday, came home after 2 hours. Called off Friday and went to the Doc and ended up with abx bronchitis (duh, 2 ppd smoker), today I feel marginally better.

I work split duties at my job- 28-30 hrs/wk admin, in an office, 10-12 hrs/wk doing shifts. I stayed home because I felt crummy, plain and simple.

What I want to know is: how do ya'll decide weither to call in or work when sick? I am not talking about taking mental health days when sick of work, but when you are infected with a "real" bug.

Minor cold that is more annoying than anything...but you feel OK. Work or not?

Sick as a dog, feel quite a bit better than you did but are not 100% yet...but are not contageous (been on abx >24 hrs). Work or not?

Feel like crud but are not contageous (hay fever kicks my a$$). Work of not?


215 Posts

Specializes in OB, M/S, ICU, Neurosciences.

I have to be either at the point that I can't get my head up off the pillow or running a fever--one usually goes with the other for me. Occasionally I just feel really bad (allergies, etc.....), and I ask myself if I feel that I am capable of performing my essential functions at work. If not, then I stay home and sleep, and I don't feel guilty about it one bit. I figure if I can't even get myself functional, then how safe am I going to be doing patient care? I don't call off a lot, but when I do, I don't feel guilty at all.


754 Posts

Specializes in Everything but psych!.

If I feel okay, I go to work, regardless of what I might sound like. It's probably not comforting to others, but I tend to keep my distance from others, as much as I can, and do my work. Maybe not the wrong or right answer, but it is my answer. The way I see it, there are a million things floating around at one time. As long as you are feeling good and practice meticulous handwashing and cold care practices, why stay home?

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

I am one of those people hate to come to work. If I can stand up like faint or alot of barfing I go in........................


renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

OMG what a crappy post.................I meant I can't stand up and people don't like me cause I come to work sick.



10 Posts

If you are sick you should stay home. The patients and your fellow workers will aprreciate not picking up your germs.


3,932 Posts

Specializes in LTC, ER, ICU,.

i have gone to work sick and had to leave and then there are those times i just can't make in it. i do call within the desired time frame or possibly before. i wait as long as i can before calling in to see if i feel somewhat better.

i have been sick lately, however, i feel better today. i pray you continue to improve.


1,961 Posts

Sorry you're feeling like crap Nancy. If it were me, I would take another day or 2 to make sure I'm completely rested and recovered. Nothing like jumping back in too soon and prolonging what you've got.



1 Article; 2,334 Posts

Thank you for all of the get well wishes every one.

I feel crappy but a contimplaiting a trip to Costco.

I don't go back to work until Sunday night. I'll end up going in even if I feel like poo...PDN peds is one of those areas that is especiall hard hit by the shortage...if someone calls off sick the family often goes without a Nurse...25% of "my" Nurses are out sick right now...every one of us has a connection to kids in public school so it's pretty typical for this time of year. Fortunately only 1 of our 14 kids is sick right now.

I guess I should answer the question I asked in the first place:

I call off sick when I just feel to crappy to function. Sometimes if it is office hours I'll go in for as long as I can stand it. I am by no means indespensable but when I am out there is no replacement and some things just have to be done on time. If it is a shift I base my decision on a) how much is actually involved in the shift and b) is the kid 100% vented or is it an open trach. If it a night shift on a healthy vented kid I'll is an easy shift and the kid gets very little 'room' air in (I mask to suction).


109 Posts

hello - i have always followed the tried and true advice of - if you'r e sick - you're sick. i stopped feeling guilty about staying home with a temp, or vomiting, or some other probably contageos illness. It is not in the best interest of the patient. I used to work, when I was a manager - if i had temp or diarrhea, but now i have direct pt care - immune compromised pt, PICC insertions - not wise to spread germs. and i hate when the staff comes in sick - and every one get the bug - frankie


1 Article; 2,394 Posts

Specializes in Everything except surgery.

Hard question to answer, as I'm rarely sick...but I have been at work, and had to go lay down for a break! One nite at work I came in feeling crappy, and then someone had a strong odored dinner, and that sent me heaving! But they got me some meds, and I made it! I wasn't contagious...just sick to my stomach, and proceed to have diarrhea! Hung in there, and no one had to take up the slack for me, as my meds were passed, and pain meds given, rounds made...and no one called on the light...until I was feeling better..:cool:

Bu if you feel you're not going to be able to do the work...I would stay home. Here's hoping you're better before you have to make that decision..:)

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

Kidrfun are you in California? When I went out there in May my brother and I went there.....


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