Call in sick? - page 4

She did it again! We have this nurse who calls in sick so often! She will tell you right out, "I needed a mental health day", and smile! I think she should back off to a .8 if she is too... Read More

  1. by   NicuGal
    When someone calls off, it is none of my business to know why. If we call in on a weekend we get to make it up within the next 8 weeks, if we call in on a holiday or our scheduled day before or after a paid holiday or vacation day, we accrue double points. There really isn't anything you can do about it. We have a few people that abuse FMLA. Nothing we can do about it.
  2. by   KP RN
    I am appalled by so many of you feeling guilty about calling off sick when genuinely ill!!! Employers offer benefits like sick time and PTO for a reason!!
    Covering sick calls is absolutely a responsibility of the hospital or nurse manager. Y'all should feel guilty about coming to work sick and contaminating your coworkers and patients!!
  3. by   zumalong
    When I am sick--I am really sick. I have to agree with hapeewendy. I don't think everyone needs to know my business--but I also don;'t ask when I am charge and others call in sick. It is their business.

    When you have frequent abusers--it might help to quietly ask them if there is anything they want to talk about. (If you have a relationship open for discussion). People who are chronic abusers usually get weeded out on our unit.

    Is it weird or what, I counted almost half who call off and the rest call in. Is it related to area of country/world. We call in sick. Hmmm I think this could be a very interesting nursing study.
  4. by   Huganurse
    I rarely call in sick and it is usually b/c my kids are sick. In the past when I found myself calling in sick frequently for myself for mental health days, it was b/c I was burnt out at work. There is obviously a reason when a nurse calls in sick frequently. Why does our compassion go out the window when it concerns our fellow nurses? The nurse in question probably needs a long vacation and some TLC. And yes, she is entitled to the sick time that was earned. But, I also agree that it places a burden on the other nurses. The employer should be covering the shift with another nurse to fill in the void. That would take much of the burden off the nurses who are there working the shift and lessen the resentment.
  5. by   mother/babyRN
    If one earns sick days it is my opinion one has the right to use them, however, while this nurse shows poor judgement in telling others that she is taking a mental health day, it is the managers who are failing you. Attendance goes on record. At our lovely unionized institution, management will speak to you if you go over a designated amount of sick time. one day or seven in a row count as an occurrence and they follow up with a oral and then written warning with termination threatened shortly after that. The union won't touch it until someone has actually been threatened inappropriately with dismissal but the increased stress and incidence of people coming in sick does nothing for morale...Its your earned time and thats that....
  6. by   teeituptom
    Howdy Yall
    From deep in the heart of texas

    Well yall. sick days are there for a purpose. You can save them up for a major catastrophe or you can squander them as you see fit. We do have that choice to make on an Individual basis. Im not one who normally calls in ever. Ive been sent home more often than Ive called in. But I have also called in for a mental health day, rather than elaborate on some of the personal probs I was ahving at that time. My supervisor just asked if there was anyhting else I needed. She didnt try to make me feel worse by wanting to know what was going on. She just trusts all of us to be fair. And I wouldnt have been worth a hoot and a holler that night anyhow

    keep it in the short grass yall

  7. by   Sjackson983
    I think a sick policy with rewards rather than punishment would alleviate repeat offenders. Hospitals should give a person one added vacation day for every 3-6 months you go without calling in sick. Our hospital doesn't do this. Anyone work at a hospital with this type of system? Does it help cut down on sick calls?
  8. by   Jenny P
    After 33 years of working as an RN, my body doesn't tolerate my working more than .8 anymore. I deal with a chronic pain issue, and end up taking about 5-6 sick days a year. Sometimes it is necessary for me to take a mental health day also; and then if family memebers are ill I take a PLOA (and don't get paid for it). My nurse manager will talk to us if we seem to have a pattern of misusing our sick time (such as the nurse who called in sick whenever the Vikings played a few years ago, LOL!!); but we have a central staffing office and floats who can fill in for most of the sick calls each day. The hospital also uses agency nurses if necessary; we have to call in 2 hours before the shift starts for Days, and 4 hours ahead for Eves and Night shifts.

    My hospital staffs according to patient acuity instead of just numbers and this makes all of the difference in the world, not only in the units but also on the floors. I think in this day and age it would be mpossible to staff by numbers only; no wonder ppl call in sick!
  9. by   DARLENEDOT
    i had surgery on my wrist a bit back it was workmens comp. well not only did i have to use my personal vacation time for the first two days i had to use it twice since the surgery was rescheduled and i had to go through preadmit all over again with bloodwork etc it was terrrible i didn't even get a vacation that year on top of suffering with the pain and loss of full mobility now so as for using or having a combined bank forget take it from someone who has been there it really stinks!!!
    originally posted by hogan4736
    put all time off into one and sick time come out of the same pool...

    at our hospital in south texas they have all holiday,sick time vacation combined into one bank,the catch is you have to use two vacation days before you can use any sick in essence it encourages the nurse to take off at least 3 days since since lost her vacation when she was ill.
  10. by   gauge14iv
    It isn't the fact that she is using the time she is entitled to that is really at issue - what IS the issue is that she does this unscheduled and unplanned. That makes it rough on the people who work with her. Maybe management should let her schedule her time off every week or two instead of having policies in place that require that she call in in order to use the time.
  11. by   emrettig
    On my last job I found myself using quite a few "mental health" days off. Some of it was stress related...not enough nurses doing the job...But last year I had a hysterectomy that turned into a disaster because that "not feeling quite right" was chronic diverticulitis w/ multiple microperforations of the bowel against the wall of the uterus. Had a colectomy in September and now am doing very well.
    We don't take good care of ourselves, and we need to. Next time I have that "draggy" feeling and start taking time off for health reasons that are not clear I will talk to my internist.

    Keep the Faith,
  12. by   RNforLongTime
    My hospital has PTO. In my opinon, if there is no incentive for good attendance then why NOT call in sick even if you're not.

    We are allowed 6 "occurrences" per 12 months. If we go over that then we get a written warning. After that, I am not sure what happens.

    I have called out sick when I wasn't. Did I feel guilty about it? Heck no. Did the hospital feel guilty when they mandated me twice in three days? They sure the heck didn't. I worked 40 hours in 3 days. Was that safe? I don't think so.

    I have 132 hours of PTO, I think I need a mental health day!
  13. by   NurseDennie
    I think Gomer was a charge nurse/interim nurse manager I worked for once! SHEEEEESH

    Someone else said:
    This was done in an effort to curb call offs. Not only did it not reduce the number of call offs, but now we are sure that someone will call of for at least 2 or 3 days.
    Good point! The hospital I was last doing bedside care had PTO - they changed from vacation/sickleave/holidays to PTO. Of course during the change, the total number of days "off" decreased by four.

    The other thing there was they counted absences per "occurrence." An occurrence was a call out, but if you were out two or more days in a row, then that was one occurrence. There were nominally 10 days of sick leave. But if you had four occurrences in a year (or maybe it was three), then you got some verbal warning. I saw one of the verbal warnings *written out*, discarded in the break room!!

    If you were off more than three days in any one occurrence, then you had to have a doc's note. Again that guaranteed that 99% of all sicknesses took exactly three days to get over!

    Where I was, you had to call staffing, 3 hours in advance of when you were to start working, and tell them you can't come in. I once tried just stating that I didn't feel well enough to work, and a description of my illness was demanded. Can that be legal???

    The other thing that I think discourages people from scheduling "mental health days" a reasonable time in advance is the practice of the boss saying you can only have the day off if you can find somebody to change days for you. Why should I have to do my job and staffing's or management's job, too?


    Last edit by NurseDennie on Jun 5, '02