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Covid-19: Would you ever hire me if you saw I quit during this crisis?

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My hospital is almost entirely Covid-19 patients. If I were to resign now, after being out sick with Coronavirus, would you even consider my resume let alone hire me after seeing that I left my job during this crisis?

by ScrubberDucky ScrubberDucky (New)

Specializes in Cardiac. Has 2 years experience.

Scared to Return to Work

Covid-19: Would you ever hire me if you saw I quit during this crisis?

Sorry and thank you in advance for the long read.

My Story - At Home with Coronavirus

I have been out sick from work for several weeks due to the coronavirus. I am in my mid 20's, extremely healthy, no comorbidities. My symptoms progressed slowly but were severe for a time. There were nights I would wake up multiple times soaked in sweat, alternating between uncontrollable shivering and feeling freezing and like I was melting. Temps in the 103's and some time loss/hallucination. All of these experiences have been coming back to me as if I were blackout drunk for two weeks and the details are just slowly filling themselves in.

Now that I am capable of once again thinking logically, I know I should have gone to the ER, but I didn't and I got lucky. While all of my other symptoms are gone my exhaustion, cough, chest tightness, and shortness of breath remain. I know that there is likely damage to my lungs that needs to heal, and I know that I won't be able to make it through a shift in my current state, let alone breathing through a mask the entire time. However, I am now expected to return to work.

Return to Work?

The ever loosening restrictions coming from the upper echelons on returning to work have been drastically dwindled down to only being free of fever for 3 days and all other symptoms are "improving". I sought out advice from my PCP, who works for my healthcare system, and the response was the same. I burned through my paid vacation time early on in my absence and it is currently only costing my employer their part of my insurance copays while I am out.

I work in a large and currently very hard-hit city, and my hospital is almost entirely Covid-19 patients. We were not expecting it to ever get this bad here. I live with my elderly parents who are high risk. By the grace of God and my extreme self-isolation precautions, I did not spread it to them. I am worried about returning to work and bringing it home to them. They are retired and taking isolation very seriously, making me their biggest risk factor. I am (supposedly) immune now, but I know they would not survive if their symptoms were as bad as my own were, and IF I were to be reinfected somehow I'm not sure I would make it through again, especially with my lungs still healing.

Scared

For professional context, I am 13 months into my nursing career. I have been nominated for and received awards, received constant praise from my coworkers, and "exceeding expectations" performance reviews from my bosses. I am a darn good nurse, and burnout might be playing a part given I'm only a year into the job, but I'm not sure I can return to work. I'm scared to return to work, and given that no other options are available through my employer, I am thinking about quitting.

*** THE QUESTION***

To those of you in management or who were once in management. If I were to resign now would you even consider my resume let alone hire me after seeing that I left my job during this crisis? Would you bring me in for an interview, hear me out, and consider my circumstances?

I've given up so much, spent time and money I didn't have to get where I am. I don't want to become some unhireable pariah and have it all go to waste. Most of all I don't want to have to start over from scratch in a different profession or be forced to put my license at risk in some bottom of the barrel nursing home where my morals and ethics will be put at odds with my employment. Which is unfortunately extremely similar to where I currently stand, my family's health vs my career and future.

Thank you again for your time and consideration towards my dilemma.
Gratefully yours,
ScrubberDucky

ScrubberDucky has 1 year of experience and specializes in Cardiac.

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22 Comment(s)

I am not in management but I think very poorly of a management team that forced you to use your vacation time to recover from an illness you apparently got while on the job.

Also, it is conceivable that you could have a worker's compensation claim for COVID-19 acquired on the job; I can't give legal advice but here is an article on this subject. https://www.govtech.com/em/safety/Hospital-Workers-Getting-Coronavirus-on-the-job-as-Hospitals-Push-Back.html

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

The way they treated you is terrible. My hospital is a county hospital so not sure if that's why but for any employee who contracted the virus they don't question whether they got it at work, and let the employee stay home until they are fully recovered while receiving full pay. They have given every single employee 144 extra hours of sick time to use as needed for illness or even just mental health. Granted we haven't been hit hard by the virus.

But if you are still pretty sick/weak I don't think they should not expect you to return to work. There is not even enough long-term research to determine when the virus stops being contagious. Some of our covid pts are still testing positive weeks after symptoms resolved. Infection control says they are likely shedding the dead virus and not contagious anymore, but they can't know for certain due to lack of long-term studies since it's a novel virus. Maybe you can look into FMLA or workers comp although it won't pay your full salary. I don't think it should hurt your chances of getting a new job as long as you explain the gap in employment. I'm sorry for your situation and I hope you feel better soon.

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 3 years experience.

I am very sorry you went through this. Quitting should not impact your ability to find other work. Frankly, given the way you've been treated, this appears to be a bad workplace.

If asked, just explain that you live with your elderly parents and could not take the risk of infecting them.

Best wishes.

I agree with FullGlass’s comment. I would suggest spend the money for an out of network provider who is not obliged to tow the company line. Take of yourself and family first. Life is short and work will replace you the same day you drop.

HandsOffMySteth

Has 3 years experience.

Different facilities will look on this differently. Some will say no without looking into why. Others will weigh the circumstances. If you current facility says no to you without considering your record, you probably don't want to work for them anyway.

Good luck.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

1. I'd find another PCP for the long term. You don't want to go to someone who would not back you up that you are still too sick to work.

2. In the immediate future, I would consider going to another physician, specialist, urgent care center -- whatever -- to get support/validation of your symptoms. Get the paperwork you might need later to show that you are still actually sick and not yet sufficiently recovered to return to work.

3. I might consider making an appointment to talk to someone at work who has some authority. And while there, I would be the most pathetic creature I could possibly be. I would cough a whole lot -- and look weak -- breathe rapidly whenever I walked, etc. In other words, appear so sick that they don't want you to come back yet.

My mother always told us when we were kids that if a teacher ever hit us, we had her blessing to fall on the floor and make the teacher question whether or not we were injured. I'm not saying everyone should fake being sick at this time, but you sound actually sick. I'd make sure they saw that quite clearly. Maybe ... stand close to them ... extend your hand to shake hands ... remove your mask so that you can blow your nose ... etc.

OK ... maybe that last paragraph has crossed the line into fantasy a bit ... but maybe I'd do a little of that stuff to make them hesitant to be around me -- and not wanting me at work.

I am in management and would absolutely hear you out. I think everyone deserves a shot to explain their situation, as everyone has different reasons for voluntarily leaving a job. Some places may not give you that benefit, but those jobs are the ones for whom you would not want to work for anyway. They will treat you just as your current employer does, and you ultimately may find yourself in a similar situation with different factors, and unhappy. I say do what you feel is right in your gut. I truly believe you will be able to find another job nursing. Good luck, stay safe!

Closed Account 12345

Has 14 years experience.

I just want to give you a hug because the situation just stinks. I'm sorry you're in this boat.

My first recommendation would be see if you can find a provider who will help you get FMLA. It sounds like that won't be your current PCP. FMLA isn't paid, but it would at least buy you 12 weeks to think about your next steps.

Either way, it doesn't sound wise or like you're able to return to 12 hour hospital shifts right now. Physically and mentally heal.

Yes, you will be able to get a job later. Get a copy of your performance review and any written praise.

When you're ready, consider options. I imagine there will be a significant need for more home health nurses in the near future as many covid patients slowly recover with lasting effects. That may be a gentle way to work yourself back into patient care- could limit your hours of availability to 4-6 hr days at first and would certainly minimize (but not eliminate) your exposure risks.

I don't think you'll have a problem returning to acute care in the future. You may find that you don't even want to! Think of it this way; you do not want to work for any manager or organization that frowns upon you taking care of your health.

I wish you a quick and smooth recovery. Your career is going to be OK, but in the end, it's only a career. Your life matters.

Edited by FacultyRN

You got sick on the job and have a long recovery ahead of you. Contact Human Resources and begin the process of applying for FMLA relief, and short term disability if you guys have a plan. Also look into workman’s comp. depending on the severity of the damage in your lungs you may qualify for temporary ssdi. They can’t fire you for getting treatment. I did this as a correctional officer after exposure to chemicals resulted in lung damage. I waited too long to get help and now I have long term lung damage. Don’t make my mistake.

FMLA and or workman’s comp looks better than quitting.

my family was sick 30 or so days and had presumptive symptoms of covid19 and self isolated, we too probably should have been hospitalized it’s been another 1.5 weeks and my lungs still hurt like crazy, I’m exhausted, and very weak don’t be a superhero, apply for the benefits you’ve earned as an employee

AnonymousSuper

Specializes in Supervisor. Has 9 years experience.

On 4/14/2020 at 10:34 AM, ScrubberDucky said:

*** THE QUESTION***

To those of you in management or who were once in management. If I were to resign now would you even consider my resume let alone hire me after seeing that I left my job during this crisis? Would you bring me in for an interview, hear me out, and consider my circumstances? 

Short Answer: Yes.

Long Answer: See below.

I am a nursing supervisor. My evaluation of your resume and interview drastically affects your chances of entering our team.

My advice: There are many reasons why a person leaves their job. But, the crafting of that reason why you leave your job is a skill and an art.

It's all in your presentation.

You didn't leave because, "I was scared to return because XYZ..." OR "I left because I didn't like my leaders because they were incompetent and didn't care about my safety."

You didn't leave because, "Nurse Jamie is a huge B****** and she constantly back stabs people and she's a big bully. She's a terrible nurse and I couldn't work with her anymore."

You actually left because, "I was ready for a new challenge. I am grateful for my previous team and my manager because of XYZ... However, one reason I became a nurse is because I love the variety of specialties and job opportunities. I was ready to try a new specialty/unit/field/etc. I'm really passionate about this specialty/nursing field/blah blah blah."

Make sure you can spit that information out during an interview so it sounds genuine, authentic, and unrehearsed (even though you know you actually invested time in thinking about your responses prior to the interview).

It's all in your presentation.

Layer 1. Your ability to craft a visually digestible, ideally one page resume, and your phone interview skills get you through HR and into the door.

Layer 2. Your soft interview skills, your ability to describe your skill set, professional lessons you've learned, your ability to articulate your judgement with vivid examples, and your desire to learn and grow keep you in the door.

Both my wife and I are nurses. If there is one skill I'm good at is the ability to craft highly attractive resumes and market ourselves. I've attached a resume file you can use and edit as needed (Anonymous Super Resume Example 2020.docx).

I've changed details for anonymity but the formatting is there. You have to use Microsoft Word to appropriately format/edit. Make sure when you save it, that you "save it as a PDF." When you upload it to the employers website, it won't lose it's formatting as a PDF.

Good luck!

Edited by AnonymousSuper
Because my brain is crap sometimes.

CrunchRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience.

If you feel to sick to work safely keep calling in sick until you are better. If they fire you then I would think you would have a case for unemployment. Also, in interviews you would be able to honestly state that you stayed out until you had recovered sufficiently. I think people will understaand that.

ProfessorNurseRN, MSN

Specializes in Intensive Care, Cardiology, Education, Leadership. Has 11 years experience.

Yes, in my opinion I would hire you. No need to make it overly complicated. You became sick with COVID and due to extended recovery needs you had to leave your position. Put in the appropriate notice and work with HR and don’t burn your bridges if you truly feel you need to leave. You need to give yourself oxygen first. Then, when you are all recovered and able to get back into the swing of things, reapply. And just tell the truth if you are ever asked about it. You can’t help that you got sick, and you need to take care of yourself. And the truth is, this pandemic could last a long time. There will be a lot of job changes in many industries in the upcoming months. Best wishes.

Edited by SarahLeeRN

ladycody, BSN, RN

Specializes in CWON. Has 9 years experience.

I would look at you without consideration of your quitting yourcurrent job. Just got into a "discussion" about this today. Nurses don't commit to working in a pandemic environment when they go into nursing. Some love med surge, others are educators, some informatics...but very few sign on to risk their own lives or the lives of their families.

I had someone say "it's a national emergency and your qualified to potentially save lives!...like the draft! You HAVE to be OK with that."

The reality is : if you have a medical or psych condition that hinders your ability to go to war...you wouldn't be asked to serve. Nor would you be asked to serve if you were a single parent or care-taker for a disabled or dependent family member. You might be claustrophobic and unable to handle the PPE required for covid pts...or maybe a single mom with 2 little ones who has nobody else to provide for them.....or the caretaker of your 90 yo dad with COPD, DM, and Anemia. Who am I to judge?

But I won't lie...I've heard the shaming...that it's an "embarassment to the profession" when a nurse refuses to work with covid patients.

The embarassment to the profession for ME.... is listening to that sort of shaming. We all have stuff...and NOBODY signs a "willingness to give life or limb" clause to get their nursing license.

Short answer. I'd give you a fair shot. (And I was in mgt for years)

angeloublue22, BSN, RN

Specializes in Addictions, psych, and corrections. Has 11 years experience.

I have been a hiring manager and I can say it would not effect if you are hired or not. You are trying to be responsible and you seem to know your limits well. I'm sorry you even have to worry about this at all. I hope you recover fully soon. I'm not sure why hospitals, including mine, are not counting this as an on the job work injury and paying you without using your PTO. My hospital's protocol is if you have any of the symptoms you have to quarantine for 2 weeks and you you have to use your PTO unless you have proof of a positive result but it's hard to even get tested here and the test is not as accurate as we would like. But hey, they have signs hung up that say thank you to us for working so there's that.

Fed Up And Done

Specializes in Emergency Care/ Step Down. Has 21 years experience.

It's time for nurses to take control of our profession. Stop worrying about losing your job we all need to strike until things are fixed. Why are we without PPE right now. Does anyone care about the well being of staff, no. Anyone who is a veteran and a nurse knows biological warfare is one of the biggest threats we face. Why are the hospitals as well as the states not prepared for what we're going through right now. We should not have to depend on the feral government to take care of what is the hospital and states duty. Each and every nurse in this country deserves what they get because they don't stand up for themselves.

Think about this, you are being told to work without the proper equipment and you'll get nothing in return.

Edited by Fed Up And Done

Before you got sick. You were taking care of Covid19 patients. That makes you a HERO. If you were n the army. They would give you a purple heart. Stay home until you feel well enough to return to work. Find a Dr. Who will support you, not one paid by your employer. You will find a job after all this is over. There's still a nursing shortage. I was told by a wise person once,"You have to take care of yourself, before you can help others." Many nurses forget this and it leads to their downfall.

I really feel for you. You need to stay home and recover. And you need an independent PCP, as others have advised. You truly are one of the amazing front line workers and you need to take as much time as you need. I do not see why this would harm your chances of obtaining a new job. Best of luck for a full recovery.