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Calling in sick too late...feeling horrible about it.

Nurses   (15,782 Views 9 Comments)
by Katie_Bell Katie_Bell (New Member) New Member

889 Visitors; 3 Posts

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I am a RN in the hospital and two days ago I had a shift that was to start at 1500. I called in sick at 1415. Our policy is two hours notice for sick calls, minimum. I didn't know what to do. Around 1345, I had some personal issues that came up that left me in severe emotional distress. I couldn't stop crying, couldn't think straight, and just felt like everything was collapsing. My hysteria gave me a horrific headache and I even began vomiting. I didn't call in at that point because I knew I couldn't - it was too late. One of my family members came over at 1400 and saw the condition I was in and said there was NO WAY I could try to take care of patients like that. I called the unit sobbing at 1415 and said I couldn't come in.

I feel so horrible about it now. I haven't been back to work since then, because I've yet to be scheduled, but I'm so afraid I am going to get in major trouble. And if I don't get in official trouble, I just feel so bad about the position I put everyone in with no notice. I could have shown up at work and had them send me home, but then I would have had to display my behavior in person to all of my co-workers and I fail to see how that would have been any better except that I would have been following policy? Did I do the wrong thing? What should I have done?

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2,729 Visitors; 161 Posts

While not ideal, you did what you had to do. I guarante you are not the first person to have called in late. Just don't make a habit of it.

Sometimes things happen - I would focus more on figuring out why whatever happened to you personally left you such a mess. Hysteria is not helpful, no matter what the crisis. In fact, just the way you are obsessing about going back to work sounds like you need some helpful insight. Just food for thought.

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Pepper The Cat has 33 years experience and works as a RN.

1 Follower; 24,332 Visitors; 1,692 Posts

Better to stay home than go to work in the shape you were in.

Ask yourself this: Could you have functioned in the shape you were in? Would you have been save to work?

Would you have even been safe to drive/take transit/whatever/ to get to work?

I'm betting the answers to all 3 are a huge NO.

Don't beat yourself up over this. And don't make a big deal about it the next time you are in. If anyone says anything, apologize and just state that you got some very upsetting news and could not safely come into work. The only person who needs more info this is your manager.

Going into work and being sent home is of course an option - but again would you have been safe on the roads?

I hope you are feeling better.

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dthfytr has 30 years experience as a ADN, LPN, LVN, RN, EMT-B, EMT-I and works as a Disabled.

12,222 Visitors; 1,159 Posts

Life and the world aren't machines. They're not predictable. It would be nice if life would always give us 2 hours notice of anything, or even 2 minutes! Think of how many accidents and disasters wouldn't happen if we all could see just 2 minutes into the future. Stop beating yourself up, analyze what happened, take what lessons you can from it, and move on. Feeling guilty for calling in is probably the most universal feeling that nurses share.

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llg has 40 years experience as a PhD, RN and works as a Nursing Professional Development + Academic Facult.

5 Followers; 57,847 Visitors; 13,021 Posts

Sometimes I feel better about screwing up when I apologize and get forgiven. Maybe you should write a brief letter to your manager and ask her to place it in your file. Don't give any details about your personal life, but simply explain that you became ill suddenly after the call-in deadline and felt you would not be safe had you come in. State in the letter that apologize and will do your best to see that it doesn't happen again.

If the details of your personal problem are the type of thing that you could share without it reflecting negative on you in any way (such as a death in the family, serious accident of a friend or family member, etc.) then I would consider sharing it with her. That's not always the best thing to do, but sometimes, it's OK to do that and might help.

Sometimes, managers will go easier on you if you apologize and show them that you understand the problems you caused.

Then you need to follow up by being a good employee and staying out of trouble for a while. As time passes, this one "black mark" on your record will become insignificant as you usual good work performance dominates her impressions of you.

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LucasRN has 15 years experience and works as a Nursing Instructor.

5,064 Visitors; 172 Posts

Your health and your family always comes first. I respect how you feel, and understand your commitment to your job and your co-workers. But, remember you can not take care of your patients if you are not well. you did the right thing.

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5,533 Visitors; 517 Posts

I just want to chime in and say that I would much prefer a coworker call off late than show up on time only to go home. We've had people not want to call off late so they show up for work and then have to leave an hour in and that's not better! At least if you call off 15 minutes before the shift starts they can ask if someone wants to stay over, if you wait till everyone is gone and leave the rest of us are simply stuck.

As for calling off late in general, don't sweat it as long as it's just the once. Sometimes we think we're going to feel better once we get up and moving but turns out we don't or we don't start puking till we're in the car headed to work. If the sitter calls you at 2:40 and the shift starts at 3:00 you may not have another option (but better be getting a more reliable sitter for next time!). I think most of us have been there and while we may not like it, we recognize that life happens. Next shift, come bearing chocolate and all will be forgiven ;)

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pagandeva2000 works as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

25,656 Visitors; 7,984 Posts

Things happen. I would call and sincerely apologise, while stating that you know that this set staffing in a tailspin. Most times, if you are perceived as a reliable person, you're forgiven.

Are YOU okay, now...that is the question. Have you settled your situation? Are you calmer, and have you rested? Hope things get better.

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53,514 Visitors; 11,191 Posts

Are YOU okay, now...that is the question. Have you settled your situation? Are you calmer, and have you rested? Hope things get better.

agree about apologizing.

definitely.

while none of us have any control over bad situations in our lives, we cannot let them overpower us on a habitual basis.

short of a death, there really isn't much that is 'forgivable' if it happens more than once.

i hope all is well with you , kb.

leslie

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