Does anyone ever feel guilty about calling off?


First, I'm not one to call off. The last time I called off was July of last year. I truly feel guilty calling off.

I had to take a mental health day. Of course I lied and said I was physically sick. I felt so bad going through the process. This job has gotten to a point where I feel like they're trying to set me up.

I've never in my life been apart of so many investigations (all obviously came out good, but the stress remains). The last investigation involved a resident (I work at a SNF), who accused staff of being rude and mean to him. Irregardless of doing everything this man asked, he lied and said no one touched him, or helped him all night. He lies to his family about our care. 

Now mind you, I documented EVERYTHING. What happened, what was said, what we did, what time we did it, and how we did it. I left more than 6 detailed nursing notes in the records.

Yet the next day, my immediate supervisor, the DON, and the head RN called me in a conference call asking about what happened. Mind you, this call was at 10 am and I work 6p-6a. So I was awakened, and scared by this conference call.

They wanted me to come into the office. I told them I was out of town, so they asked me "what happened last night". Really?? You want me to come into work, after working a 12 hour shift? For that? When it's throughly documented and the doctor was on board with proper med changes???

I get a call back 2 days later saying they found nothing in the investigation.

I'm sick of it. The paranoia is too much for me. So I called off for a day. I feel guilty but I really cannot face that place right now.

My contract is almost up there. Good thing I already got my evaluations done because they might hate me now. 

I still feel guilty however 😞

Specializes in LPN. Has 5 years experience.

I feel guilty for 1 second then I feel relieved that I can go workout out, grab a coffee, then lay back in bed and relax. I usually mainly feel guilty about not going when I know I have bills to pay. I don't care about the facility itself because there is always a nurse available. I only care about the patients, like I said, there is always a nurse available. 

Based on your post, I would probably never go back. Once they start involving you in investigations, they are probably building a case against you to potentially use you as a scape goat for litigation they are aware their facility might already be apart of in the future. don't' go back there. I would do agency nursing in the mean time. You can pick up shifts daily or take mental health breaks without having to schedule a shift or call off. 

Specializes in ICU. Has 7 years experience.

When I was novice nurse I definitely felt more guilty about calling off. However, while I do feel guilt at times - I know that I know call out for more necessities. The hospitals have excess staff and support (hopefully) put in place to assist with unexpected call-outs.

As long as you are not abusing the call-out protocol and giving the hospital system enough notice - I would feel less guilt and more refreshed to go in to work the next day and conquer the next day.

Specializes in LPN. Has 8 years experience.

How can you take care of someone else if you're not taking care of yourself? That's what I ask myself.  If you're sick, burnt out, having family issues, etc... always put those things first and don't feel guilty about it 


13 Posts

I wouldn't go as far as saying guilty. They give us 13 days of paid sick leave yearly. You can carry over around 25 days. It's my right to use it when needed. 

I do feel bad for my co workers that I know will suffer given that were short staffed even when most people show up. Due to that I minimize the amount that I call in.