Is anyones facility so short staffed that they feel guilty calling in sick? - page 4

:rolleyes: I never call in sick no matter what. Even if I were dying I would probably never call in sick (lol). I am so sick and tired of these people that call in sick because they have a hang... Read More

  1. by   dianacs
    Wendy, love that Drew Carey quote. Too funny! And I agree with what you said too.
  2. by   eddy
    Well, I'll throw a twist into this thread. I am an agency nurse. This makes things a bit more complicated.

    Some of you who have never worked agency have a bad opinion of us darned agency folks. Not showing up, being lazy, being late, etc. etc. etc. Well.... here is my own personal take.

    I NEVER EVER call in sick. For one, if I do there is likely no way that my shift will be covered. The facilities using agency aren't doing it for their health. It is because they simply CAN'T beg, bully or (cough) hire a nurse to cover the shift(s). In other words, if I'm not there 9 times out of 10 no one is. If they could replace my shift with a cheaper in-house person, they would have already done so. If I don't go, they go short, and usually dangerously short as they only use enough agency people to bring ratios to a mildly rediculous level as opossed to insanely so. I simply can't allow that ethically. I know I know, you could bring something in and harm patients. If it's a resp thing wear a mask! I do if and when I get sick. It's stupid, slightly embarassing and far from 100% effective, but it helps. I also wash my hands even more so rediculously than normal. And in my opinion the risks of my infecting someone are far less than the risk of not having me (or someone) at all.

    An agency person is the facilities last and only remaining option. I can't let people suffer. I take my duty as a caregiver much too seriously for such a thing.
  3. by   donmurray
    I do not see that how you are employed changes the hazard presented to vulnerable patients by an infectious nurse coming on duty. Staffing is management's duty, not the nurse's
  4. by   Vsummer1
    Originally posted by donmurray
    I do not see that how you are employed changes the hazard presented to vulnerable patients by an infectious nurse coming on duty. Staffing is management's duty, not the nurse's
    DITTO -- with one addition: you are agency, you could have turned down the assignment if sick? Why would you accept it sick?
  5. by   Youda
    new guidelines from the cdc for healthcare workers

    please stop your martyrdom in the name of patient care! you are harming more than you could imagine, and doing no one any good!

    12 steps to prevent antimicrobial resistance among hospitalized adults

    prevent infection

    step 1. vaccinate
    -get influenza vaccine.
    -give influenza vaccine and s. pneumoniae vaccine to at-risk patients before discharge.

    step 2. get the catheters out
    -use catheters only when essential.
    -use the correct catheter.
    -use proper insertion and catheter-care protocols.
    -remove catheters when they are no longer essential.

    diagnose and treat infection effectively

    step 3. target the pathogen
    -target empiric therapy to likely pathogens.
    -culture the patient.
    -target definitive therapy to known pathogens.
    -optimize timing, regimen, dose, route, and duration.
    -monitor response and adjust treatment when needed.

    step 4. access the experts
    -consult infectious diseases experts for patients with serious infections.

    use antimicrobials wisely

    step 5. practice antimicrobial control
    -engage in local antimicrobial appropriate-use programs.

    step 6. use local data
    -know your antibiogram.
    -know your formulary.
    -know your patient population.

    step 7. treat infection, not contamination
    -use proper antisepsis for blood cultures.
    -avoid culturing vascular catheter tips.
    -avoid culturing through temporary vascular catheters.

    step 8. treat infection, not colonization
    -treat pneumonia, not the tracheal aspirate.
    -treat urinary tract infection, not the indwelling catheter.
    -treat bacteremia, not the catheter tip or hub.
    -treat bone infection, not the skin flora.

    step 9. know when to say "no" to vanco
    -fever and an iv is not routinely an indication for vancomycin.
    -mrsa may be sensitive to other antimicrobials.
    -treat staphylococcal infection, not contaminants or colonization.

    step 10. stop antimicrobial treatment:
    -when infection is treated.
    -when infection is not diagnosed.
    -when infection is unlikely.

    prevent transmission

    step 11. isolate the pathogen
    -use standard infection control precautions.
    -contain infectious body fluids. (follow airborne, droplet, and contact precautions.)
    -when in doubt, consult infection control experts.

    step 12. break the chain of contagion
    -stay home when you are sick.
    -keep your hands clean.
    -set an example.
  6. by   KaroSnowQueen
    I used to come to work no matter what. Three days after surgery. Day after a major car wreck. Day after dr's appt with two antibiotic shots and a hundred bucks worth of medicine. Came in and worked like a dog and felt like leftover hell the entire day and night after. Did anyone in the facility appreciate me? Did that keep the powers that be from screwing me royally every chance they got? NO!
    I will NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER do that again. They use your dependability and abuse it, and you. I have missed more sick days in the last two years than I did in the sixteen previous to it, and my mental and physical health is immeasurably better for it.
    We are always short staffed no matter what. I will not feel guilty again, and will not go to work sick anymore!!!!!!
  7. by   tattooednursie
    Ok. I know I am a bad CNA, and I made a bad impression by posting this. I am sorry.
  8. by   whipping girl in 07
    Mandi, you are not a BAD CNA, for heaven's sake. We've all done it at some point, worked when we really shouldn't have. You have to know whether you can make it through the shift at 100%. What's bad is when you get sick in the middle of a shift. I've had stomach upset after eating during a shift on more than one occasion and just had to deal with it. Fortunately we weren't too busy. I've also worked with bladder infections, running back and forth to the BR and forcing myself to guzzle water, even though it makes me pee and it hurts to pee.

    Most important thing to do is take care of yourself. If you're truly sick and just can't do it today, call in sick. If you're contagious, call in sick, even if you really feel like working. Can't be too careful.
  9. by   eddy
    I would like to add that I book my shifts up to a month in advance. When a sickness comes on and it's rare (been sick maybe 5 times in 5 years), I will work if there is no way for my agency to find a replacement, but I don't just go to be a hero... and I don't pick up extra shifts when sick either. I guess for me it is a self-evaluation thing too. I decide if I am a high infection risk to patients, and if I am I'd call off. However, it is usually not the case that I am that bad. Like I said previously, I take as much precaution as possible.

    I guess the difference I am trying to make clear is that when a facility is relying on agency, they VERY rarely using agency to staff up to a normal ratio. They are short already even with me there 99 times out of 100. Dollars and cents is their concern. Granted that's their problem not mine, but I do feel a strong obligation to the pts that are depending on me being there. With me the staff is weak, without me generally critical.

    In terms of infection risk, I worry SOOOOO much more about non-sterile techniques I see practiced almost everywhere I go, and by STAFF NURSES who should just plain know better. From people "just sneaking in to grab something" without gowning in an isolation room to just the general lack of proper handwashing... my concerns lie much more on this issue.

    I agree it's a bad idea to go to work sick, but it's also a bad idea not to be there. Sometimes you have to look at it with the approach of "least risk". Bottom line though, common sense goes a long way too. Be smart, not a hero.
    Last edit by eddy on Oct 15, '02
  10. by   Vsummer1
    My bad then, sorry. I didn't know that agency nurses booked assignments that far ahead. That is why I love this site, I learn so much here!
  11. by   alwaysthere
    I come in when I am scheduled...I will not subject my pt's to my communicable illnesses...I do this because I DO care...I come in OT if I want to or need the money....if i burn myself out i will not be able to care for my patients facility is short ...they always will be short because they treat their staff
    like uneducated children, instead of capable skilled adults who are not only quite proficient at taking care of them selves but others as of course they will attract uneducated unskilled workers who have no work ethics to speak of even when they decide to come in....
  12. by   bagladyrn
    The last time an administrator tried to make me come in when I had called in sick was a DON who called back after I had called in with dysentery! She told me to come in, get some kaopectate and compazine and work anyway - get this - in the newborn nursery! As the only nurse! I came in all right - straight to the ER, where after talking to the doc, he called her and told her that as a matter of public health, no way was I working.
    Since that day 14 yrs. ago, if I am sick, I call in, no excuses, no "I'm really sorry", no explanations. Just "I'm sick and won't be in today" No guilt either!
  13. by   nimbex
    Just called in this past monday night. the assistant manager called me at home to inquire just how sick I was....

    You see there is an emergent heart, two patients on IABP on and on.

    I responded, in no way did that information CURE ME.... I AM just as sick as I was BEFORE you called.

    THE fricken nerve of these people, it's because I am one of those IDIOTS, sorry to those of you like me, who come in ill all the time, come in whenever management calls whinning.

    THey couldn't believe I wouldn't do it..... I changed my priorities the first of this year, FAMILY, ME, JOB....

    On each yearly eval, never thanked for the effort, but BOY do they track the call in's!

    otay, done pounding on the keyboard

    No, I call in whenever I need to, even taking a mental health day or two a year, MONDAY was one of them:roll