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Don’t want to work during Covid-19

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I work in an ER in a city with community spread. I am very high-risk for this illness and it’s complications and care for my 80 year old grandmother who is extremely high-risk. I have been out with pneumonia all week, tested negative for COVID. I had bronchitis last month. My job wants me to get a doctors note and return right away. We run a skeleton crew. I don’t want to work until this crisis is over, I don’t want to infect my grandmother and I don’t want to get infected either. It’s not worth it for my salary. Also, we don’t even have face shields and are re-using N95’s and I’m always up front in triage the first face you see as soon as you slide the glass open it creates a vacuum from the patient to me. Anyone else in this position and if so what are your plans? Quit? I don’t know if I could get FMLA for this. I would like to keep my job if possible and return to it later. There’s no where else in our hospital I can work right now.

No one wants to work in the middle of a pandemic. A good chunk of us are at risk and have elderly parents or young children. If your doctor writes you off then you can use your ill time but it's going to go fast and you won't have any left. I highly doubt you'll get FMLA for not wanting to work and even if you did they do not have to hold your exact job for you. It's unreasonable to think that you could just be off and expect to keep your job while everyone else who is the exact same position as you has to keep working. Again, nobody wants to get infected or bring it home. Your only option is to quit and if that's your choice that's your choice.

MeganMN

Specializes in Emergency Room. Has 15 years experience.

I am in a similar position. I am on FMLA for now. I am not sure what will happen after that. One day at a time. My priority right now is my kids and husband.

toomuchbaloney

Has 43 years experience.

On 3/26/2020 at 10:34 AM, boneknuckleskin said:

I work in an ER in a city with community spread. I am very high-risk for this illness and it’s complications and care for my 80 year old grandmother who is extremely high-risk. I have been out with pneumonia all week, tested negative for COVID. I had bronchitis last month. My job wants me to get a doctors note and return right away. We run a skeleton crew. I don’t want to work until this crisis is over, I don’t want to infect my grandmother and I don’t want to get infected either. It’s not worth it for my salary. Also, we don’t even have face shields and are re-using N95’s and I’m always up front in triage the first face you see as soon as you slide the glass open it creates a vacuum from the patient to me. Anyone else in this position and if so what are your plans? Quit? I don’t know if I could get FMLA for this. I would like to keep my job if possible and return to it later. There’s no where else in our hospital I can work right now.

You need to make the choices which have the possibility for fewest future regrets, right? Best wishes.

I quit April 4th so right in the very beginning. My son has bad asthma and we live with my mother in law who has colon cancer and multiple myeloma. I could not take any chances. I was heartbroken b/c I am new grad but being exposed to a new virus that is attacking the lungs was not in my career game plan. I worked mother baby for god's sake. Still--- we had no idea how this virus acted. I'm split 80/20 on whether it was the right thing to do. 80% fine with my decision and 20% overreaction. I have been trying to get a remote job but no luck. I qualify for unemployment b/c I had to take care of my son whose school was closed, but haven't seen a check yet. It's all been pretty depressing. But here we are!

toomuchbaloney

Has 43 years experience.

14 minutes ago, LawyerRN2b said:

I quit April 4th so right in the very beginning. My son has bad asthma and we live with my mother in law who has colon cancer and multiple myeloma. I could not take any chances. I was heartbroken b/c I am new grad but being exposed to a new virus that is attacking the lungs was not in my career game plan. I worked mother baby for god's sake. Still--- we had no idea how this virus acted. I'm split 80/20 on whether it was the right thing to do. 80% fine with my decision and 20% overreaction. I have been trying to get a remote job but no luck. I qualify for unemployment b/c I had to take care of my son whose school was closed, but haven't seen a check yet. It's all been pretty depressing. But here we are!

Please contact your state and national senators to request relief and assistance.

Do not feel bad about quitting. I also quit my nursing job due to having asthma and not being provided with proper and adequate PPE. It's not selfish for you to think about your life and the life of others you put at risk. Although I have quit, I have had to search for other jobs. You should look into Contact Tracer positions and see if you can get hired to work as that. You can work from home or consider applying to other remote jobs. COVID is everywhere so you really can't hide away from it but definitely working in the ER would put you at an increased risk of contracting it. I know its tough to quit and not have a job and search for jobs, but I know you'll be able to find a job(nonmedical or medical). Just have a plan on what you are going to do. Do what you think is best for you and your life. :)

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

On 3/26/2020 at 2:57 PM, Wuzzie said:

No one wants to work in the middle of a pandemic. A good chunk of us are at risk and have elderly parents or young children. If your doctor writes you off then you can use your ill time but it's going to go fast and you won't have any left. I highly doubt you'll get FMLA for not wanting to work and even if you did they do not have to hold your exact job for you. It's unreasonable to think that you could just be off and expect to keep your job while everyone else who is the exact same position as you has to keep working. Again, nobody wants to get infected or bring it home. Your only option is to quit and if that's your choice that's your choice.

This is very true. Many of us are high risk. I am one that can not afford to go without a job either though. If you can afford to not work and feel it is in your best interest to go on leave or resign, then go for it. I was also out of work for several weeks because of possible covid but had to return to work when I recovered because I have bills to pay.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

I had a nurse quit at the beginning of the CV-19 outbreak. I replaced her, as I had to. Patients on dialysis continue to need dialysis. It doesn't stop because of a pandemic. Now, the nurse who quit is calling and demanding her job back because she can't find one. I had to tell her sorry, her position has already been filled, and no openings now. I wouldn't hire her back anyway, quit without notice because she wasn't "taking germs home to her family"-at least we know about this risk, how many unknowns do we face daily-in any setting? Hardly anyone is hiring, and those who are want someone who is going to work, not quit when hard times pop up. I don't have an easy answer, but do wish you well on your decision

Edited by Hoosier_RN

Hoosier, you have no obligation to this person, she made her decision.

On the other hand, there is little excuse for any company (not saying yours necessarily) who right away made no pretenses about not being able to provide appropriate PPE, regardless whether things had yet gotten bad in their area. It would have been more understandable if they ran out some months (or even weeks) into this, but no...what happened is that they had been knowingly skating without being remotely prepared for anything other than a couple of patients with airborne illness now and then. It was the trend in my area 5+ years ago to suddenly stop fit testing because PAPRs. What was substituted was putting a few PAPRs literally here and there. One doesn't need to be much of a thinker to understand that is not actual preparation for anything more than a patient or two, or 1-2 nurses needing a PAPR at a time.

For these reasons, I don't feel too hostile about the people who quit, with or without notice. I think it was BS to be put in the position to begin with. Although you don't have an obligation to someone who wants their job back after a panic-quit, it royally sucks that people had good reason to become legitimately fearful in the particular ways that were happening earlier in the year, when right off the bat decision-makers just shrugged with impunity.

toomuchbaloney

Has 43 years experience.

1 hour ago, JKL33 said:

Hoosier, you have no obligation to this person, she made her decision.

On the other hand, there is little excuse for any company (not saying yours necessarily) who right away made no pretenses about not being able to provide appropriate PPE, regardless whether things had yet gotten bad in their area. It would have been more understandable if they ran out some months (or even weeks) into this, but no...what happened is that they had been knowingly skating without being remotely prepared for anything other than a couple of patients with airborne illness now and then. It was the trend in my area 5+ years ago to suddenly stop fit testing because PAPRs. What was substituted was putting a few PAPRs literally here and there. One doesn't need to be much of a thinker to understand that is not actual preparation for anything more than a patient or two, or 1-2 nurses needing a PAPR at a time.

For these reasons, I don't feel too hostile about the people who quit, with or without notice. I think it was BS to be put in the position to begin with. Although you don't have an obligation to someone who wants their job back after a panic-quit, it royally sucks that people had good reason to become legitimately fearful in the particular ways that were happening earlier in the year, when right off the bat decision-makers just shrugged with impunity.

In fact, we can thank the current administration for green lighting exactly that absence of preparedness.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

2 hours ago, JKL33 said:

Hoosier, you have no obligation to this person, she made her decision.

On the other hand, there is little excuse for any company (not saying yours necessarily) who right away made no pretenses about not being able to provide appropriate PPE, regardless whether things had yet gotten bad in their area. It would have been more understandable if they ran out some months (or even weeks) into this, but no...what happened is that they had been knowingly skating without being remotely prepared for anything other than a couple of patients with airborne illness now and then. It was the trend in my area 5+ years ago to suddenly stop fit testing because PAPRs. What was substituted was putting a few PAPRs literally here and there. One doesn't need to be much of a thinker to understand that is not actual preparation for anything more than a patient or two, or 1-2 nurses needing a PAPR at a time.

For these reasons, I don't feel too hostile about the people who quit, with or without notice. I think it was BS to be put in the position to begin with. Although you don't have an obligation to someone who wants their job back after a panic-quit, it royally sucks that people had good reason to become legitimately fearful in the particular ways that were happening earlier in the year, when right off the bat decision-makers just shrugged with impunity.

Luckily, in dialysis we had the PPE, and I was assured multiple times that we weren't in danger of running out. Unfortunately, there were other issues with this nurse. This was just the nail in her coffin.

I was just trying to offer up what may become an issue for some. I know that the experience will vary by location