Nurses calling out

  1. Just a quick background on myself. I have very little hospital experience, I volunteered in an ED for a few months, and as of today I am a new nursing student. In my limited time in the ED I often heard nurses mention/complain about other nurses calling out for their shift. Also I have a friend recently tell me about a bad few days at work over the weekend when each day had 3-4 nurses call out. My question is do nurses seem to call out more than others or is this problem elevated because of the limited nurses on the floor or in a certain department?
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    About WWTucker

    Joined: Oct '12; Posts: 10; Likes: 1


  3. by   eatmysoxRN
    Have you heard about the flu? Many hospitals have policies regarding employees coming in with the flu and I know where I am you cannot come to work with it. It's possible that many nurses have it.

    ~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~
  4. by   Marston3s
    We have shift work, no per diem or on call nurses, no use of agency so if someone calls off then guess what? You are doing a 16! That is unless you can split the call off nurse's shift with the next shift. I have done way to many of these. CNAs call off more than anyone here. I get called all the time at 4am saying someone called off can you come in. I used to say yes but now I tell them no way in hell. They need to hire per diem. We have so many nurses apply here and they say, "Sorry, no spots." I have worked while being ill multiple times because no one could come in for me. One of twenty reasons I am trying to find a new job. I can tolerate a lot, but I can't tolerate 60+ hours a week.
    Last edit by Marston3s on Jan 16, '13 : Reason: Spelling
  5. by   jadelpn
    There are rules in place that if you are ill, (flu, temp, that type of thing) that you can not come into work. In the case of a temp for 24 hours after you are temp free. So if you get a touch of the bug, you can not come in.

    It is frustrating when nurses are applying right and left and lo and behold there are "no spots" when perdiems would be ideal in these kind of circumstances. In an ideal work place, there would be a large pool of perdiems.

    Good luck in nursing school!! And remember not every hospital is the same as far as how many nurses are on at a time. It just seems quite bad this winter because the flu is at an all time high, and most come into the ER coughing all over the place.....
  6. by   RNperdiem
    Nursing is a job where you cannot "coast" through when you are not feeling well.
    If you are too sick to be on your feet for 12 hours putting forth the energy needed for patient care, then you might as well stay at home.
    Calling out is usually not a problem in a hospital like mine where there is a large float pool. Where staffing is short, a float nurse is sent to take patients.
    That said, excessive call-outs can also be a sign of poor morale in a department.
  7. by   AnonRNC
    When I used to work in an office and someone called out, their work sat there and waited for them until they felt better. Productivity numbers suffered a bit and callers might have had to wait a little longer to get their questions answered, but the call out didn't really affect me or my day.

    As a nurse, if someone calls out, their work still has to be done. You don't stop people at the door of the ED and say: "We're down a nurse today, so we're only accepting so many patients." As a coworker, if people call off, MY day and MY work are markedly affected. All of us might be working tight assignments or staying extra hours. If we're lucky enough to get a float, we may spend our day helping them.

    In nursing, one "feels" those call outs more than in some other professions.
  8. by   Blindsided
    Yes, I can relate to this topic. I have to pick up a shift today because someone called in sick AGAIN! People get away with murder at my place. Fight with your mom? Call in sick. Dog ill? Call in sick. Child has a sniffle? Call in sick. Guess what? This will probably set some people off, but when my children were ill, I still got someone to stay with them and went to work. I never called in for stupid reasons. I have always been loyal to my co-workers, and worried about them working short, which is why I'm going in today.
  9. by   dah doh
    If you are sick, call off. I usually call out when my kids are sick because I can't send them to school sick and either my spouse or I have to call off. However, some staff call off for parties, "mental health days", sporting events, concerts, unapproved vacation shifts. It depends on the person's work ethic and personal responsibilities. Employers will usually have a sick policy, but as long as the employee doesn't violate that policy, what can they do? Oh yeah, I just finished doing a double shift because of multiple sick calls...
  10. by   sandyfeet
    I'm not sure if this is the case in all ER's, but in mine if someone calls out sick, we have to beg an ER nurse to come in on their day off or make do with less. I always thought that had something to do with the ER specialty--it would be crazy to ask a Critical Care RN to take an ER nurse spot because they are not familiar with turning over 4 ER patients all day long. So in that sense, calling out from the ER can be a huge pain in the @ss for your fellow co-workers.
  11. by   rngolfer53
    In nursing, any shortage of staff is immediately felt by everyone. The sick people can't get better or need less care because Nurse X is out.

    Every workplace, not just health care, has people who are chronic call-outs. Some legitimate, many not. For the good of the whole a tight leash is necessary on these people. Their repeated absences cost other staff dearly.

    Every workplace experiences runs of higher-than-normal call outs because of URIs, flu, etc making the rounds. They are, after all, contagious diseases. Sometimes, random chance dictates that several people get serious diseases or injuries over a short time.

    Workplaces with poor morale--and that often means poor management at some level--tend to have more sick and injured people. Unhappy people are distracted and mood has a demonstrated effect on the immune system, too.

    It's hard to balance the number of per diem hires. It costs to hire and train them. If the pool is too big, people don't get enough hours and go somewhere else. Then, you go through the time and monetary expense of hiring and training more. Wash, rinse, repeat.
  12. by   lemmyg
    It does seem like there are alot. But, like it was stated above nurses can't come in if sick. Also Nursing is still very female dominated, this means that it might not be the nurse that is sick but a sick kid that causes absences. Just a theory and in no way an insult, just a reality.