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How do you address co workers that are not adhering to social distancing - then coming to work?


The majority of my coworkers are adhering to social distancing - taking it very seriously including not eating out, not having meals delivered at work, only going to work and back home.

But we found out that a small group is out socializing during this time. Ignoring all the guidelines. Peer pressure doesn't seem to work. Admin does not feel they can enforce what employees do outside of work. I feel like they are putting all of us at risk.

Has anyone else experienced this? Any suggestions?

Edited by foragreatergood

tfleuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 10 years experience.

What level of isolation has your local government enforced? If these coworkers are not actually breaking any current ordinances what can anyone do? All one can do is encourage social distancing outside of work and after that it is out of your hands. Focus on what you can control because whether or not these coworkers are putting others at risk all you can do is protect yourself and your patients to the best of your ability.

Naturally Brilliant, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience.

I'm not here to be anyone's mother. And this isn't Nazi Germany. This is a free country. You cannot control others' actions - you can only control your own. If you stay 6+ feet away from such people you'll be alright.


Specializes in emergency dept. Has 4 years experience.

No its not Nazi Germany? But it would be assumed that healthcare workers should be morally/ethically responsible by practicing social distancing in

order to keep their coworkers and patients safe. I do think we are held to a different standard.

mom_e_bizcut, LPN

Specializes in Jack of all trades, master of...a few ;). Has 24 years experience.

most cities have shut down any bars or "eat in' areas of restaurants or cafes so I assume you mean socializing at a private residence? Which is allowed in small groups. Truthfully its probably needed especially with nurses, we spend hours every day comforting, holding hands, holding our bladders, wiping tears, debunking myths and teaching truths, running from one end to another, getting yelled at and dumped on, then come home to do homework our kids or clean our houses so we need a little fun time, social distancing is important and it works but I do fear the emotional issues that come with isolation, loneliness, boredom...just as our bodies effect our minds, our minds can effect our bodies making it more difficult to fight off illness. personally having 1 friend coming to my house seemed scary but after a night of mystery science theater and laughing ourselves into stupidity, I felt better than I had in weeks so I think it was needed. we can hope that anyone socializing outside of work is using common sense and staying vigilant in the fight against covid-19, I'm sure thats possible even with a small group of friends.

Naturally Brilliant, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience.

4 hours ago, pastudent said:

No its not Nazi Germany? But it would be assumed that healthcare workers should be morally/ethically responsible by practicing social distancing in

order to keep their coworkers and patients safe. I do think we are held to a different standard.

When those doctors Fauci and Birx are on the podium with Trump in the White House Press Briefing Room, are they wearing masks? Are they standing six feet apart from each other? It's do as I say, not as I do.

Healthcare workers are people first and foremost. We have a wide range of views and beliefs, some of which are mutually contradictory.

My hunch is that in a month, Americans are going to get burnt out hearing about Corona Corona Corona all the time (not to mention desperate for cash and ready to go back to work) and will simply stop caring about the social distancing altogether. Everyone has a limit.

In answer to the question- No suggestions Nothing can be done unless what they do is truly egregious.

We all try to find balance. I went down to the store the other day to pick up beer, despite having some in the fridge. But, I really like Dogfish 90 minute IPA. The store is 5 minutes away, I wore a mask, alcohol rubbed before and after, and payed with a card.

Some would find that OK, some would not.

If I had topped off my tank, maybe it might have been a bit more acceptable. Definitely more acceptable if I was picking up milk and eggs for the kids, instead of yummy 9% abv goodness.

But, if they are doing stuff that is truly high risk, I question their judgement, and the judgement they use while at work.

ICUnurse990, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 7 years experience.

It doesn’t seem like the best idea. But are they any less socially distanced while hanging out than all of you are while at work? During a typical shift in my unit, there’s 18-20 nurses and 4 techs working, and there’s no way to stay six feet from other people at all times. These people (and you) are already together for 36ish hours a week anyway.

At the end of the day, you have to focus on what you can control and let go of what you can’t. And admin is correct- Unless your coworkers are breaking laws, they (and you) can’t control what employees do on their own time.

Edited by ICUnurse990