Guilt about using sick time

Nurses General Nursing

Published

Okay friends I am laying on the couch missing my 3rd and final shift this week and feel SOOO GUILTY!!!!

I fractured a root in my upper molar and it abscessed up into my jaw bone. I have been prescribed high levels of antibiotics and Vicoden. Since I don't routinely take pain meds, I feel uncomfortable working while taking the meds. HECK, I haven't driven my car in days!!!!

Would you work???

Cherybaby

385 Posts

Specializes in Derm/Wound Care/OP Surgery/LTC.

Nope.

You lay on that couch and heal. Don't feel guilty about taking the time off. What kind of nurse would you be if you walked into work impaired and accidentally harmed a patient? What about the risk you are taking with your license? Deep down, you know this already. You just want some reassurance. I'm giving it to you.:) You did the right thing.

Feel better!

Be_Moore

264 Posts

Specializes in Pulmonary, MICU.

Nope. Plain and simple. Either you would be working impaired by narcotics or distracted by pain. Either way isn't safe. You made the right decision!

ffweste

105 Posts

Cherybaby - U r right, I did. I am just not that kind of person to call in sick to work.

Thank u!

pagandeva2000, LPN

7,984 Posts

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

If you go in, they'll blame you if you make a mistake, if you stay home, they'll blame you because they are short. You can't win, so, get better and be happy...:D.

On a serious note, as the previous posters said, this can be harmful to both, the patients as well as your career and even your conscience if you did cause harm, so, be home, heal and be happy.

ArwenEvenstar

308 Posts

Specializes in med-surg, teaching, cardiac, priv. duty.

I hope my reply is not to blunt. But I can not even understand the mentality of feeling guilty about using sick time. If you are sick, you are sick. Sick time is there to be used. Too many nurses seem to have issues with co-dependency or have a martyr complex.

Specializes in Psych, Med/Surg, Home Health, Oncology.

When you are ill and/or impaired with pain meds, you need not feel guilty about calling-in sick;

When people call-in sick every week with one complaint after another, that's another matter.

Please listen to the above posters, you really don't want to work impaired--you put your license in jeapardy and also, since I assume you would be driving to work, you also run the risk of driving while impaired.

Vicodin is a very powerful drug & certainly can impair you; I remember (with a smile) the first time I took Vicodin--also for a tooth related problem. It was bed time & I couldn't get to sleep b/c of the pain; So what did I do, but got up & took a second pill. The next thing I knew (or didn't know) I was up at my computer & went on-line & ordered ALL KINDS of makeup from somewhere!! About $500.00 or so dollars worth!! Then I went to sleep like a baby!! I woke the next AM in a panic----------OMG!!!! Did I really do this???????? I quickly went on that site & was able to cancel the order!!! THANK THE LORD!!!

I became a whole lot more respectful of Vicodin. It is humorous., but you really can be impaired with this drug.

mary Ann

ffweste

105 Posts

Thank you everyone for your responses. I obviously am not working while I am on the medication (can't wait for the extraction on Monday - but the infection has to be resolved first per my oral surgeon). I know that people call in, but like I said this totally against my work ethic. In my innermost gut I know that I am making the right decision. I just hate leaving my co-workers short (knowing full well that I am not capable of working at the moment - like I said, I won't even drive my car!).

I just feel bad calling in for "just a toothache". Knowing the nurses that I work with, there are judgments being made. Having not been on the unit for very long, I know that they don't know me well enough to know that this is not normal for me to miss a week of work.

So, thank you everyone for taking the time to help me resolve my inner-guilt and reassure me that I am doing the right thing. :)

FLArn

503 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, LTC, Rehab, Home Health.

But it's not "just a toothache" -- You have an infection (granted not contagious) and are on pain meds you are not used to taking and have not developed a tolerance for. So you are more impaired than someone taking the same meds for chronic pain issues. As said by previous posters -- STAY Home and get better! IMHO working with an impaired nurse (sick or otherwise) is almost worse than working short!

pagandeva2000, LPN

7,984 Posts

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.
When you are ill and/or impaired with pain meds, you need not feel guilty about calling-in sick;

When people call-in sick every week with one complaint after another, that's another matter.

Please listen to the above posters, you really don't want to work impaired--you put your license in jeapardy and also, since I assume you would be driving to work, you also run the risk of driving while impaired.

Vicodin is a very powerful drug & certainly can impair you; I remember (with a smile) the first time I took Vicodin--also for a tooth related problem. It was bed time & I couldn't get to sleep b/c of the pain; So what did I do, but got up & took a second pill. The next thing I knew (or didn't know) I was up at my computer & went on-line & ordered ALL KINDS of makeup from somewhere!! About $500.00 or so dollars worth!! Then I went to sleep like a baby!! I woke the next AM in a panic----------OMG!!!! Did I really do this???????? I quickly went on that site & was able to cancel the order!!! THANK THE LORD!!!

I became a whole lot more respectful of Vicodin. It is humorous., but you really can be impaired with this drug.

mary Ann

You really ordered stuff on line?! I never knew Vicodin can get you that impaired! Yes, oh, Yes, OP, STAY HOME!

bingesu

10 Posts

Thank you everyone for your responses. I obviously am not working while I am on the medication (can't wait for the extraction on Monday - but the infection has to be resolved first per my oral surgeon). I know that people call in, but like I said this totally against my work ethic. In my innermost gut I know that I am making the right decision. I just hate leaving my co-workers short (knowing full well that I am not capable of working at the moment - like I said, I won't even drive my car!).

I just feel bad calling in for "just a toothache". Knowing the nurses that I work with, there are judgments being made. Having not been on the unit for very long, I know that they don't know me well enough to know that this is not normal for me to miss a week of work.

So, thank you everyone for taking the time to help me resolve my inner-guilt and reassure me that I am doing the right thing. :)

It's not just a toothache its an infection. Obviously ur in pain to get vicoden, and for you to even feel guilty, unless you are faking it...

shiccy

379 Posts

I hope my reply is not to blunt. But I can not even understand the mentality of feeling guilty about using sick time. If you are sick, you are sick. Sick time is there to be used. Too many nurses seem to have issues with co-dependency or have a martyr complex.

It defintiely has something to do with work ethic and the way you were raised, HOWEVER, if you look at the larger picture they have a central staff in most hospitals / on call staff for just such an occasion. Also, if you are thinking in the back of your head "I'M SHORTING THE UNIT AND THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE MORE PATIENTS!!" If you think about it, any of your other coworkers would do the same if they were in pain and/or laid up. Don't put a second thought to it.

Also if you over exert yourself, you actually decrease your immune response (as all nurses know) so in essence you will be getting your rear back to work FASTER if you stay home appropriately!

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