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Excessive Absenteeism in the Nursing Profession

Nurses Article   (8,102 Views 39 Comments)
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Is excessive absenteeism a problem at your current nursing position? This article discusses what excessive absenteeism is, characteristics of habitual callouts, causes of callouts, and the potential negative effects on the nursing work environment. The article also includes potential solutions to the problem and opens up a discussion on the issue. Go to First Page

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You shouldn't have to call in sick. You should get an allotted amount of short-notice time-off and that is it. I actually get a week of that at my current workplace and I love it, no excuses and no lies. I use it when I am sick, I use it when I need a mental health day, and I use it when I don't feel like wearing pants that day.

It used to be that Civil Service in New Jersey had 3 'Personal Days' per year in an employee's liberal PTO allowance.

You could call in and just declare the day as 'Personal Day' time. No reasons needed to be given and no advance notice was needed. It was intended for use for those unexpected times.

Those days were precious and guarded not to be wasted

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These articles..... they read like 5 paragraph essays my kids learned to do in junior high.

Excessive absenteeism is caused by crappy staffing decisions by management. Period. Fatigue, burnout, injuries, and even illness mostly stem from these staffing devisions. Stop screwing your floor nurses in the name of the Almighty Dollar and then berating them when their pillow-fluffing scores aren't high enough, and you'll see attendance improve. CNAs/techs too. You people are killing support staff with the patient loads and physical expectations you dump on them.

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These articles..... they read like 5 paragraph essays my kids learned to do in junior high.

Excessive absenteeism is caused by crappy staffing decisions by management. Period. Fatigue, burnout, injuries, and even illness mostly stem from these staffing devisions. Stop screwing your floor nurses in the name of the Almighty Dollar and then berating them when their pillow-fluffing scores aren't high enough, and you'll see attendance improve. CNAs/techs too. You people are killing support staff with the patient loads and physical expectations you dump on them.

The general purpose of articles is to stimulate discussion and absenteeism is a topic mentioned often on AN.

So - what would be your solution?

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"We are all aware of the global nursing shortage."

Sigh. The propaganda continues...

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The general purpose of articles is to stimulate discussion and absenteeism is a topic mentioned often on AN.

So - what would be your solution?

Already told you.

Stop screwing your floor nurses in the name of the Almighty Dollar and then berating them when their pillow-fluffing scores aren't high enough

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These articles..... they read like 5 paragraph essays my kids learned to do in junior high.

Excessive absenteeism is caused by crappy staffing decisions by management. Period. Fatigue, burnout, injuries, and even illness mostly stem from these staffing devisions. Stop screwing your floor nurses in the name of the Almighty Dollar and then berating them when their pillow-fluffing scores aren't high enough, and you'll see attendance improve. CNAs/techs too. You people are killing support staff with the patient loads and physical expectations you dump on them.

Unfortunately, your comment displays another problem in nursing, "no accountability" not to mention your attempt to insult my intelligence. Professional courtesy in nursing also a problem, I must decide which of these issues I should do a 5 paragraph essay on next.

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To Masterstreet you sound like one of the pearls and pump brigade who look down on the nurses who do the actual patient care. Your contempt and lack of respect for nurses is dripping in your comments. I imagine if someone is excessively absent as you describe they are smart enough to be using FMLA which legally protects them from the discipline and termination which you obviously favor. I imagine you are one of the leaders who are not hands on, who do not step in to help the team, just berate them and tell them it's their coworker's fault for calling in when you choose to short staff them rather than hire enough staff in the first place or have a contingency plan in place with float pool or agency to cover call offs as you should, as is your responsibility.

I'm so sick and tired of being told as a nurse I'm too important to dare to get sick or need a day off and too important to go home after 12 hours when they mandate us for 16 hours due to short staffing that is the fault of management refusing to hire adequate staff in the first place and not having contingency staff in place to save money. They know they can't keep us past 16 hours and will have to come up with another arrangement so they should be able to do the same in the first place!

I've been a nurse long enough to know that staffing ebbs and flows and there is always some degree of turnover. Management over the years has used many different methods to deal with staffing from mandation to agency, float pool, weekend program or not, travelers at times, nurses from India at times, to bonus and overtime to encourage staff to pick up. They have many options in their tool belt to cover staff shortages. Yet you want to wring your hands and blame the nurses for daring to get sick or having a family emergency. How dare you! Don't you know you are too important to call off for any reason! Like we are school children, such disrespect!

Since the current corporate takeover staffing has been worse than over because management is staffing for "average" census, not for a full census, which leaves half the night shift mandated if we are full! This is utterly ridiculous! Also, they are extremely slow to hire replacements for all the nurses who have left in droves since Wrongway Regional Medical Center took over. The ICU is in shatters, to the point where the tele floor is routinely getting ICU patients as they don't have nurses in the ICU. I recently had a patient with a glucose almost 1,000! Totally unsafe!

There is no reason management can't hire enough nurses and staff with enough nurses to run a hospital and have a contingency in place for call-offs and people off on FLMA. Let's face it, it is a female-dominated job and many women routinely take 3 months off when they have their children so management should have contingency plans in place already. Don't blame the nurses because you are running too lean and mean and too cheap to hire adequate staff and too haughty to step in and take an assignment!

Edited by brandy1017

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You sound like one of the pearls and pump brigade who look down on the nurses who do the actual patient care. Your contempt and lack of respect for nurses is dripping in your comments. I imagine if someone is excessively absent as you describe they are smart enough to be using FMLA which legally protects them from discipline and termination which you obviously favor. I imagine you are one of the leaders who are not hands on, who do not step in to help the team, just berate them and tell them it's their coworker's fault for calling in when you choose to short staff them rather than hire enough staff in the first place or have a contingency plan in place with float pool or agency to cover call offs as you should, as is your responsibility. I'm so sick and tired of being told as a nurse I'm too important to dare to get sick or need a day off and too important to go home after 12 hours when they mandate us for 16 hours due to short staffing that is the fault of management refusing to hire adequate staff in the first place and not having contingency staff in place to save money. They know they can't keep us past 16 hours and will have to come up with another arrangement so they should be able to do the same in the first place!

I've been a nurse long enough to know that staffing ebbs and flows and there is always some degree of turnover. Management over the years has used many different methods to deal with staffing from mandation to agency, float pool, weekend program or not, travelers at times, nurses from India at times, to bonus and overtime to encourage staff to pick up. They have many options in their tool belt to cover staff shortages. Yet you want to wring your hands and blame the nurses for daring to get sick or having a family emergency. How dare you! Don't you know you are too important to call off for any reason! Like we are school children, such disrespect!

Since the current corporate takeover staffing has been worse than over because management is staffing for "average" census, not for full census, which leaves half the night shift mandated if we are full! This is utterly ridiculous! Also extremely slow to hire replacements for all the nurses who have left in droves since Wrongway Regional Medical Center took over. The ICU is in shatters, to the point where the tele floor is routinely getting ICU patients as they don't have nurses in the ICU. I recently had a patient with a glucose almost 1,000! Totally unsafe!

There is no reason management can't hire enough nurses and staff enough nurses to run a hospital and have a contigency in place for calloffs and people off on FLMA. Let's face it, it is a female dominated job and many women routinely take 3 months off when they have their children so management should have contingency plans in place already. Don't blame the nurses because you are running too lean and mean and too cheap to hire adequate staff and too haughty to step in and take an assignment!

No actually, I am one of the bedside nurses who provides hands-on patient care who's tired of picking up the slack for nurses who are habitually absent without FMLA. Thank you

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Unfortunately, your comment displays another problem in nursing, "no accountability" not to mention your attempt to insult my intelligence.

Let's be clear: I insulted your writing ability, not your intelligence. As to accountability, I'd say brandy here addressed that. Pretty sure her post represents both barrels.

You sound like one of the pearls and pump brigade who look down on the nurses who do the actual patient care. Your contempt and lack of respect for nurses is dripping in your comments........

Don't blame the nurses because you are running too lean and mean and too cheap to hire adequate staff and too haughty to step in and take an assignment!

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No actually, I am one of the bedside nurses who provides hands-on patient care who's tired of picking up the slack for nurses who are habitually absent without FMLA. Thank you

You are blaming the wrong people for the short staffing. Management has plenty of options they simply have to hire and spend the money. Truth is it is cheaper to short staff, blame the coworker who calls out, keep the budget low, and cash in their bonus at the end of the year! That is the truth!

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No actually, I am one of the bedside nurses who provides hands-on patient care who's tired of picking up the slack for nurses who are habitually absent without FMLA. Thank you

That's still a management problem. If they gave a crap about attendance, they'd discipline absentee nurses, up to and including termination. I've seen some insane attendance policies and overly punitive will backfire, but people shouldn't be comfortable with just calling off whenever they feel like it. You're never going to change low quality people, you can only run them off and work on hiring higher quality people.

I still maintain, though, that most employees are good ones and want to be so, but chronic short staffing burns people out and they will call out due to not being able to take it anymore.

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Pfffff! Piece of cake! When there's short staff, make the ADMINISTRATORS run the floor!

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