COVID-19: How to handle working with staff who don't take precautions out of work

Posted
by cmcrawfo cmcrawfo (New) New Educator Nurse Student

Specializes in Labor and Delivery. Has 17 years experience.

It is a bit frustrating to work alongside staff who are continuing to socialize in groups outside of work (and post on social media).  Does anyone have work situations that are similar?  I don't want to be the social distancing police, but it makes me nervous that not only are we being exposed to so many now in our ED, but the staff around us might be behaving risky outside of work as well.  Any thoughts?  I love the people I work with and really don't want to judge what they do outside of work, but it is hard to not be a bit nervous when I stumble across it on their social media!

heron, ASN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 49 years experience.

1 hour ago, cmcrawfo said:

It is a bit frustrating to work alongside staff who are continuing to socialize in groups outside of work (and post on social media).  Does anyone have work situations that are similar?  I don't want to be the social distancing police, but it makes me nervous that not only are we being exposed to so many now in our ED, but the staff around us might be behaving risky outside of work as well.  Any thoughts?  I love the people I work with and really don't want to judge what they do outside of work, but it is hard to not be a bit nervous when I stumble across it on their social media!

Judge away. My LTC facility was Covid-free for 7 months at the beginning of the pandemic. Then one staff member took a vacation out of state, chose not to be tested before returning to work, then came to work sick. Within a week all 54 residents and most of our staff were sick. We lost 20 residents over the following month. I don’t know how to go about addressing your situation, but I don’t think you should feel the least bit guilty over your disapproval. 

 

Family members who work in retail say that now more than half of their coworkers are out with Covid, one coworker's spouse died.  One of them was told to quarantine after a recent positive test of a coworker who had a lot of contact around the business, but I don't recall the family member staying out of work more than four or five days.  Both are emotional over the death.  That person has not returned to work and is now a single parent to three young children.  It makes strangers cry.  The Health Department was supposed to go over there this week, to do what exactly?  They won't shut down the business.  At least those people who are able to work have a job.  Not saying much if you end up dead because of it.

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

We also have a couple staff members often posting pictures out in groups, no masks in sight. One was positive but asymptomatic, coinciding with other positive staff on our unit, no idea whether that person might have been responsible. Unfortunately, there's really not much we can do. Wearing your appropriate PPE at all times will hopefully keep you and other coworkers safe. There will always be people that don't do what they should. 

Missingyou, CNA

Specializes in Long term care. Has 20 years experience.

On 12/22/2020 at 11:11 AM, heron said:

Judge away. My LTC facility was Covid-free for 7 months at the beginning of the pandemic. Then one staff member took a vacation out of state, chose not to be tested before returning to work, then came to work sick. Within a week all 54 residents and most of our staff were sick. We lost 20 residents over the following month. I don’t know how to go about addressing your situation, but I don’t think you should feel the least bit guilty over your disapproval. 

 

Hmmm, at our LTC we get mandatory tested 2x a week. If miss even one test (regardless of reason) we get suspended, as in disciplinary action, until we have a test that returns negative. Each test not taken is considered as if it were a call out & 8 call outs in a year means termination. 

We lost 32 residents in 5 weeks this past Spring. Several staff were hospitalized, many more were out sick. One staff lost her husband shortly after having covid19 herself. If someone just sniffles they are put in quarantine for 14 days.

I know exactly how you feel. About a month ago I worked with a nurse who doesn't care at all about Covid guidelines. She constantly posts pictures of large gatherings at her house with no one socially distancing or wearing a mask. The night I worked with her, it was just the 2 of us on the unit since we work overnights. She kept pulling her mask down constantly and even did so when talking to residents (we work in a nursing home). I did let my supervisor know because her not wearing a mask was making me nervous and is not fair to the residents. Well the next day I got a call from HR because that nurse ended up getting a positive covid test result. We only get tested once a week and sometimes it can take 5 days to get the test result back which is why she was working the night before getting her result. Up until that point, our nursing home had been very lucky with no cases of Covid in the nursing home among any residents. But since her positive test, we have had 30 residents test positive in the last couple of weeks. Most of them on the unit we worked on. 3 of the residents have since died. Between last week and this week 19 aides and nurses working on the unit or float staff have now tested positive as well. Thankfully I tested negative after being around this nurse but personally I think she is the reason we had the outbreak. She was the one who was unknowingly positive at work but wouldn't keep her mask up and was in multiple residents faces with her mask down. She never got in trouble for not wearing a mask. She just had to do her 14 day quarantine and has since returned to work. 

Edited by aroberts1312

44 minutes ago, Missingyou said:

Hmmm, at our LTC we get mandatory tested 2x a week. If miss even one test (regardless of reason) we get suspended, as in disciplinary action, until we have a test that returns negative. Each test not taken is considered as if it were a call out & 8 call outs in a year means termination. 

We lost 32 residents in 5 weeks this past Spring. Several staff were hospitalized, many more were out sick. One staff lost her husband shortly after having covid19 herself. If someone just sniffles they are put in quarantine for 14 days.

Wow I kinda wish where I work was that cautious. I work in LTC also but we only have to get tested once a week. Where I work they don't care if you have symptoms or are sick at all you have to come to work or you lose any overtime pay or incentive pay for 2 weeks. They also don't send anyone home if they are sick which I think is ridiculous. Staff feel like they are forced to come to work even if they have symptoms otherwise they are punished for staying home. Somehow we 8 months without a single covid case among the residents. We just recently had an outbreak but so far 30 residents and 19 staff are down with Covid and the numbers are increasing daily.

saraleigh, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg/Telemetry. Has 9 years experience.

No testing of staff whatsoever in Southern California hospital. Two thirds of our patients are covid positive and we have been working out of ratio for at least a week. And yes, some of my fellow nurses continue to travel like the world isn't succumbing to a pandemic. Meanwhile, my request for a single day of PTO next month (almost 300 hours banked at this point) hasn't been approved...

The struggle is real y'all.

On 12/22/2020 at 9:50 AM, cmcrawfo said:

It is a bit frustrating to work alongside staff who are continuing to socialize in groups outside of work (and post on social media).  Does anyone have work situations that are similar?  I don't want to be the social distancing police, but it makes me nervous that not only are we being exposed to so many now in our ED, but the staff around us might be behaving risky outside of work as well.  Any thoughts?  I love the people I work with and really don't want to judge what they do outside of work, but it is hard to not be a bit nervous when I stumble across it on their social media!

Why don't you want to judge what they do outside of work?  
A- it may directly impact your health as well as the health of their patients.

B- People who have bad judgement outside of work have bad judgement.  

If somebody drinks to excess outside of work, but shows up sober and ready to work, hten their drinking is their business.  But, if they bring it in to work, altered or hung over, that is reckless.

Similarly, somebody who knowingly increases the risks of bringing Covid into a healthcare facility is reckless.  Posting it online for all to see is them straight up saying that they don't give a crap who knows it.

 

Edited by hherrn