Calling in....

  1. so i am a little perturbed and just wondered what others experience is about this.... i called in the other night d/t not feeling well and gave the supervisor on duty 5 1/2 hours notice that i would not be in. i called in and stated i was feeling ill and did not believe it would be a good idea for me to come in. rather then getting an "sorry your not feeling well or hope you feel better soon" the reply i got was "i am going to need some symptoms" what?!?!?! i am sorry but i never call in sick ever, am never late to work, and on average put in at least 15-20 hours ot per week. all i am asking for is one night. i explained to him that my dog had passed away that morning and due to her being ill the last few days had gone 48hours without sleep and was beginning to feel like i was getting the flu, finally with that he agreed to take me off the schedule but even then it seemed like he was fairly reluctant. am i being a too sensitive and is this normal, i just felt like i was being called out on trying to play hookie when i really did have a legit reason to not be there. i am sorry but i would not want someone passing meds who had not been to bed for 2 days.
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    About SweetLemon

    Joined: Jul '08; Posts: 217; Likes: 169
    Psych Nurse
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in Psychiatric Nursing

    48 Comments

  3. by   justiceforjoy
    You had a completely valid reason to call in. Nothing bothers me more than when people do that -- act as if calling in sick is on par with just not showing up or quitting without warning.

    You work in a HEALTH field. It baffles me how little nurses (and related professionals) cannot get a guilt-free sick day when it's NEEDED.
  4. by   lunden
    I think becuz the med. Field seems so short and once someone calls n then all hell is going 2 break loose.
  5. by   cherrybreeze
    Quote from lunden
    I think becuz the med. Field seems so short and once someone calls n then all hell is going 2 break loose.

    If I am understanding what you are saying (which wasn't easy to do), ... that doesn't matter. Obviously a shift will be busy if there's a call in, but too dang bad, that's life. ANYWHERE is busier if someone calls in sick, even Wal Mart. That doesn't give them the right to grill you about your symptoms or make you feel badly because you can't work. I don't know if there are actual laws regarding this, but most places do not ask for specifics, and can't. Where I work, a sick day is a sick day and it doesn't matter why, you can be playing hooky if you want to, oh well....if you aren't over the number of allowed occurances in a year, you're within your rights.

    OP, I'm sorry you had to deal with that. I've had that happen when I've called in, too, not so much of them asking why (too often I offer too much info without being asked, anyway!) but get that TOTAL attitude that you KNOW you're screwing them...as if you didn't already feel guilty enough.
  6. by   oramar
    Some places have had to put policies limiting what management is permitted to ask under these circumstances. This being due to the fact that demanding more info on one person and letting another slide could be construed as discrimination. All I can say is they better be asking EVERYONE for symptoms.
  7. by   nerdtonurse?
    Back when I still worked in a cubicle farm, I had a boss that was that way -- well, why can't you come in, we've got deadlines, we're going to lose a contract, yada yada, if you're throwing up, take some pepto, if you've got the 'rhea, take some imodium.

    I'm like the OP, it's rare that I call in, and if I do, believe me, I'm sick. I called this jerk to tell him I'm sick on a Saturday morning, and I'm coughing and gagging like I've got whooping cough. He tells me to take a cold med and come on in. About that time, I cough up something and go...."oh, that ain't good, I gotta call the doc, bye." I call my doc, who tells me to meet him at the ER. Turns out I had walking pneumonia. They're taking xrays, giving me a neb treatment, etc., and the doc keeps looking at my purse, which is ringing off the hook. I pull out my cellphone, and I'm really not able to talk. I tell Dr. A it's my boss, then go back to gagging and coughing.

    Dr. A introduces himself, listens about 30 seconds, and then proceeds to rip my boss a new one. I wish I was able to remember it word for word, but I remember it being priceless, and apparently the idiot told the doc to give me a cold pill or something and send me in, because I do remember him yelling, "and where did you go to medical school? And what is your DEA number, because you sound like you're trying to tell me how to practice medicine? She is sick, she is being admitted, and I don't want you to call her again until I have discharged this young woman." Dr. A was so mad, he asked me how many days off I wanted so I could get a vacation from this moron.
  8. by   roser13
    In my experience, it totally depends upon the personality of the manager taking the call-in. If you are unlucky enough to get the nurse manager who proudly (and often) states "I've never called in sick a day in my life....even came to work when I had a 105 degree fever and was vomiting!" then you'll most likely get attitude of some sort. And unfortunately, I think those types are quite prevalent in nursing management.

    As the spouse of a chronic lung patient, I have serious issues with those who come to work while ill. Particularly when your job involves close contact with the public as most of ours do. Trust me, I do not go to work when febrile, coughing uncontrollably or with serious G.I. issues. Because of that, I'm positive that I have the reputation among management for being slightly hypochondriacal. Whatever. It works for me. I have PTO for a reason.
  9. by   psalm
    Lack of sleep makes you impaired to working, so you did the correct thing in calling off. Mourning can cause us to be impaired as well. Add both of them together and you definately were not a good risk for patient care.

    I am so sorry you had to go through that on top of losing your critter. You have lots of us praying for you.
  10. by   ohmeowzer RN
    you had a vaild reason to call in. when m my cat kizzy passed away i called off. i was exhausted and broken hearted and from crying i was so sad and i told them that. they said okay and let it go.... i cannot believe how crass they are to you... i send you prayers and hugs and i am sorry you are going through this. just chalk it up to the way things are in the world of nursing. just remember you beloved dog is at the rainbow bridge with many other pets who have passed over. he or she is feeling no pain now and is happy. he's probably playing with kizzykat right now... i'm sorry for your loss..
  11. by   NurseCard
    Argh, I hate that. I don't even like it when they ask "What's going on with you?", let alone asking me to LIST SYMPTOMS. Whatever!!! "I don't feel well, I won't be coming in tonight" should be more than enough.
  12. by   Midwest4me
    Well, SweetLemon, I feel for you; what your supervisor did to you was a load of horse-droppings! Unfortunately, in nursing homes that is common practice(in my past experience) for supervisors to act that way. In our hospital only the RNs can answer then document the sick calls but no questions can be asked as to symptoms(due to HIPPA and it's in the union contract). We earn 8 hours' sick time each month; it's amazing the # of sick calls you get the first week of the month--people set a pattern(i.e., same day each month or in the same week each month or the call in is on that person's Monday or Friday) of doing it which then makes it difficult to believe them at all.
    Like others, I rarely call in for myself; I do use sick time due to my husband's health issues but I've never been in "lost time", having 150+ hours of sick time on the books. In my view, one should have 240 hours of sick time at all times if possible since a surgery or some other serious injuy may place the person off work for a minimum of 6 weeks......and short-term disability only pays 60-66% of your gross, depending on where you work. OK...I'm off my soapbox!
  13. by   Vito Andolini
    You are not obligated to say anything more than that you are ill and will not be in. you can express sympathy for them being left shortstaffed and say you'll be back ASAP.

    In real life, it's probably not the smartest thing to say that your dog died, sad though that is. Your boss is staffing for people, not for dogs.

    Don't expect bosses to be sympathetic and kind. They are responsible for staffing.

    Just keep it business-like.

    Hope you feel better, sorry about your dog.
  14. by   2BSure
    Quote from nerdtonurse?
    Back when I still worked in a cubicle farm, I had a boss that was that way -- well, why can't you come in, we've got deadlines, we're going to lose a contract, yada yada, if you're throwing up, take some pepto, if you've got the 'rhea, take some imodium.

    I'm like the OP, it's rare that I call in, and if I do, believe me, I'm sick. I called this jerk to tell him I'm sick on a Saturday morning, and I'm coughing and gagging like I've got whooping cough. He tells me to take a cold med and come on in. About that time, I cough up something and go...."oh, that ain't good, I gotta call the doc, bye." I call my doc, who tells me to meet him at the ER. Turns out I had walking pneumonia. They're taking xrays, giving me a neb treatment, etc., and the doc keeps looking at my purse, which is ringing off the hook. I pull out my cellphone, and I'm really not able to talk. I tell Dr. A it's my boss, then go back to gagging and coughing.

    Dr. A introduces himself, listens about 30 seconds, and then proceeds to rip my boss a new one. I wish I was able to remember it word for word, but I remember it being priceless, and apparently the idiot told the doc to give me a cold pill or something and send me in, because I do remember him yelling, "and where did you go to medical school? And what is your DEA number, because you sound like you're trying to tell me how to practice medicine? She is sick, she is being admitted, and I don't want you to call her again until I have discharged this young woman." Dr. A was so mad, he asked me how many days off I wanted so I could get a vacation from this moron.
    I am in love with him!

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