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Calling out sick on orientation



I am new to Labor and Delivery, I recently switched units (from ER) within the same hospital amd am in my 8th week of orientation. I am scheduled at 7 am and woke up at midnight vomiting and with diarrhea. I have Zofran that has been prescribed for my migraines, so I tried taking that and going back to sleep but I proceeded to wake up 2 more times vomiting despite the meds.

My facility has a policy that you cannot call out less than 4 hours to your shift, so I called out the last time I vomited rather than wait to see how I feel in the morning. I thought this was an appropriate thing to do, since if this is contagious I dont want to be around newborn babies. I am not in the "danger zone" for call outs (I have worked at this hospital for years, I only just switched units) The nursing supervisor (of the whole hospital, not my unit manager) sounded incredulous on the phone "youre calling out on orientation??" And now I'm freaking out wondering if I am going to get fired. I can't sleep.

What would you do in my situation? Get a doctor's note? Email my manager?

It didn't occur to me that this might be against policy but I cannot access our online policies from home. I'm very worried.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

Meh. Your manager doesn't want you there puking. Hers is the only opinion that counts.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 14 years experience.

Good lord, no. If you're puking, stay home. Your manager will be fine with it. And if she isn't, you may want to reconsider working for her.

If you are vomiting and have diarrhea you may well have been exposed to norovirus. I guarantee none of your patients want you spreading that around.

I completely agree. I have no doubt that calling out was the right thing to do by my patients. Unfortunately I have heard stories of people being fired for getting sick on orientation, so I am still nervous.

Charge200J, BSN

Has 4 years experience.

If they give you any crap (pun intended) about it just throw around the words: "projectile vomiting, explosive diarrhea, contagious, and patient safety" around a little and that will shut them up real quick. Hope you feel better.

psu_213, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant. Has 6 years experience.

The nursing supervisor may have just seen/heard "orientation" and did not realize you were NOT new to the hospital. FWIW, even someone new to the hospital is justified in calling off with the above S/S.

Get better and don't worry yourself with what the supervisor is saying.