Calling In Sick. - page 2
I seldom get sick, so you know that when I do, I really am sick. I am not the kind of person who just calls off for the sniffles or calls off just to call off. Yesterday, I called off. My head... Read More
Dec 10, '06Occupation: RN - TeleHealth Specialty: Foot Care ; From: CA ; Joined: May '04; Posts: 88; Likes: 142My policy is that if I'm sick, I'm sick. I'm around new moms and babies, and if it was me having a nurse look after me and my newborn with a cough and dripping nose, I'd be furious.
My co-workers feel the same way - I've seen one senior FT nurse telling off a junior casual for coming in sick. It sucks to lose a shift's pay because you're sick, but you aren't doing anyone any favors if you come in and spread your sickness to the entire staff.
In fact, I was available for an OT shift tonight and woke up with a sore throat and headache - didn't check my temp, but don't feel like I need to - and straight away called the floor and told them to cancel my availability. Yeah, the $800 would have been sweet to work tonight (and staffing did, in fact, call me a couple of hours later) but the last thing I want to do is get even more sick, or make my co-workers sick, or make one of my newborn patients sick.
Don't let the guilt trip get to you. That's exactly what it is that the DON is pulling. Turn your phone off, screen your calls, or just don't answer the phone. What is it that makes us feel compelled to answer the phone every time it rings?? If you get in trouble, say that you took some OTC meds and were sleeping soundly... didn't hear the phone. (PS you shouldn't be working if you need to take meds that make you drowsy anyway... same as with ETOH)
Dec 10, '06Occupation: LTC Nurse Specialty: Long Term Care ; Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 618; Likes: 42Thanks you all so much for the support. I was feeling guilty.
I am going to let my DON know when I go back to work what happened and how this ADON is never accepting of her turns to fill in.
Dec 10, '06Occupation: Medical Device co. Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in Critical care, cardiothoracics, VADs ; Joined: Nov '05; Posts: 1,470; Likes: 48Making staff feel guilty and expecting martyrdom when they are sick is how facilities get away with inadequate staffing. It's their problem, not yours.
Dec 10, '06Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 545; Likes: 302You should not feel guilty at all for calling in sick. Everybody gets sick. However, you should find out the call-out policy at your workplace. Where I work, if we call out on a weekend day, we have to have a doctor's note, or we will not get a paid sick day, and we could be disciplined. The policy could always support you. I hope you feel better.
Dec 10, '06Joined: Jun '01; Posts: 183; Likes: 15I saw on the Today show the other morning that most businesses have adopted policies that actually discourage ill employees from coming to work sick. There's even a term for going to work sick now, "presenteeism", which I've never heard before. Insurance industry and independent research studies have proven that the financial costs and lost "at work" productivity is more harmful from a "bottom line" perspective than employees actually staying home when they're sick.
It's just so ironic that the healthcare industry hasn't caught on to such a no-brainer concept...
The ADON is a witch.
Dec 10, '06Joined: Feb '06; Posts: 229; Likes: 55you do not have to tell them what is wrong. that is your business. if you were up all night with an ill child or have to be home with an ill child, you are sick and they do not need to know. if you are extrmely mentally distraught, and are not able to make sound decisions regarding nursing care, you probably should not go to work for the safety of your patients. its not always a physical reason. the manager here is out of line and if you do not have a habit of calling off, she should not question you. i hope you let her know that she will not be questioning you again.
Dec 10, '06Joined: Sep '03; Posts: 2,389; Likes: 2,881In my unit; we don't allow visitors with a temp >100 in the last 24hrs. Needless to say, employees are not welcome there with fever or symptoms of contagious illness. We do have a attendance point system but it's reasonable and absence points can be deducted (in part) with a doctor note.
I followed a nurse who committed a near fatal med error. She had come to work sick and was trying to stick it out. She was a good nurse, she was fired and had to explain herself to the board, don't know the final outcome. The patient was fine in a couple of days thankfully.
Dec 10, '06Occupation: ER Nurse - Pedi and Adult Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in Tele, ICU, ER ; From: US ; Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 502; Likes: 96I consider myself VERY lucky. We call into the Sup and say we can't come in... that's it. They say OK thanks for calling (unless it's really late, then you don't get the thanks), and that's IT. No one gives you crap about it. Of course, we all try very hard to only call out if we really HAVE to, so we do our part too.
On the other side, there's always that one person somewhere, who calls out excessively. Most of the time, we can get someone to cover, or an agency... most of the time. Today, the day shift (I work nights) was so short due to call ins and no agency, that they had to close some ER zones. Can't imagine how backed up they'll be when I get in there tonite. I really felt for those nurses when I left today.
Dec 10, '06Joined: Sep '05; Posts: 1,277; Likes: 359Quote from WhimsieRNWhimsie - that's the nature of some LTC beasts, I guess. It's one of the reasons I just left the one place, and went to another.I seldom get sick, so you know that when I do, I really am sick. I am not the kind of person who just calls off for the sniffles or calls off just to call off.
Yesterday, I called off. My head was pounding, my whole body is still really aching, my stomach is rebelling at even the suggestion of food and my 1001 bm's are mostly water now. My temp was 99.2. Axillary.
My ADON (acting DON) called me because it is her weekend on call. She asked me what is wrong with me and being the good soldier I am, I tell her. She was absolutely unsympathetic. She said to pull myself together. That 99.2 is not a temp. She demanded that I come into work. That I was responsible for finding coverage because I traded with someone so that they could have a weekend away with their boyfriend. I told her that if I felt I could drag myself out of bed to work that I would.
I am still burning over that conversation. I pick up a good number of extra shifts that I really don't have to and she is FOREVER yelling at me if I am five minutes late getting off the clock. I am considering contacting the state labor board. Anyone have any similar experiences? Any suggestions?
While I was still there, a CNA came in sick one weekend. Yep, within a week, I was throwing up and felt like crap.
I'd seen other employees coming in to work there, sick, and the DON would do nothing about it!! Just, too bad, find a replacement. Well, in my way of thinking the role of a DON is to have a plan in place for all situations.
Well, I made up my mind I WASN'T going in (I'd already given notice) called the administrator, and she handled it! Funny thing, tho, within a couple of days, half the residents had the same thing, a couple of them had to be transferred to the hospital. Because one CNA was too terrified to call off, and no one would work for her.
Dec 10, '06Occupation: Nursing isn't a job--its a calling! Joined: May '05; Posts: 1,356; Likes: 40I have just recovered from that awful awful stomach thing. Erk. I found out at 4am Thursday that I was sick and called in at 5am for my 11am shift. Just told charge I was sick and wouldn't be in. She said she was sorry to hear it and hoped I was better. The next night, still no better. At 6am I called in for my 11am shift (tried to see if I'd be better but no luck!) Talked to that morning's charge, she said she was sorry I wasn't feel well, and get well soon. That was it.
As it should be. Sick is sick and we *are* at the front lines. I don't think that handwashing can prevent every little germ from making its way in and I think that we should be provided with more sick days. Heck, isn't that why we take call anyway? To cover when short staffed? I tell ya, I've got no trouble covering for someone out sick if it means they don't come in and give it to me. My unit seems very supportive although I think we do get repercussions if we have more than five occurances. Meaning separate illnesses, not individual call-ins.
The n/v/d going around the hospital is bad where I work; read a memo that said a whole floor of nurses (or most of a floor) had it and were out at once. I figured I am doing them a favor by staying home. Yes, I used up 24 of my 40h of sick time, and yes I just became eligible for it a couple days before.
I just hope that I didn't give it to my patients or their babies the day before I got sick.
I don't know if I was supposed to call anyone other than charge...I had the last two days scheduled off and go back tomorrow...I guess I'll find out if I did it wrong!