Infected staff

Posted
by Guest219794 Guest219794 (Member)

I tried doing a poll, but had some technical difficulty.

At my hospital, if you are infected with Covid 19, it is treated same as an appy, or a car accident. They have no responsibility, and how you fare depends on your PTO bank, insurance plan, etc..

I am trying to find both the norm, and the range of responses from various hospitals.

So- how is your employer treating infected staff?

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 17 years experience. 5 Articles; 11,132 Posts

Our only infected staff member (not really staff, has privileges but not actually employed by facility) so far is patient zero- the first one to test positive in our entire county. Picked it up while traveling to another state. There were multiple staff members who, while not being tested as they are not having symptoms, were sent home for 2 weeks to self isolate. They are being paid for these 2 weeks and not having to use vacation time.

There are some staff who are refusing to come to work in this situation. At this time, they are home either using vacation time or without pay. These staff did not come into contact with the infected person and started refusing to work prior to any patients being admitted. I'm honestly surprised they're being allowed to do this.

Other staff simply have no childcare. With schools and day cares closing, they just don't have anyone to cover them as their backups have closed as well. They are being allowed time off from vacation time, and after they've used a week of vacation time are being permitted to dip into extended illness time despite not being ill. The facility is also working with places to get childcare provided solely for healthcare and other essential staff.

For those who are self-isolating for an exposure that occurred outside of work, have childcare issues, have been told by their own healthcare provided that due to their risk status need to be removed from patient care, and other reasons with documented justification, they are also being allowed to have their vacation time go negative (the facility will pay them as though they are using it after they have none left). When they return to work and begin accruing vacation time again, they will have to pay back the time (not the money) the facility advanced them.

adventure_rn, BSN

Specializes in NICU, PICU. 1 Article; 1,540 Posts

11 hours ago, hherrn said:

At my hospital, if you are infected with Covid 19, it is treated same as an appy, or a car accident. They have no responsibility, and how you fare depends on your PTO bank, insurance plan, etc..

Earlier in the pandemic, some hospitals were offering paid leave (not PTO use) to nurses who were clearly infected at work.

Now that it's in the community, there's no way to prove they were infected at work (as opposed to standing in line at Costco), so employers don't want to take responsibility. It seems like many are just requiring nurses to use their regular PTO/sick leave (just like you would if you got the flu, even if you got it at work).

@Rose_Queen, I'm pretty astonished by those policies, especially the 'negative vacation time' one. It seems like people could abuse the system by getting an advance now and then quitting once this whole mess dies down. I wonder if the hospital would try to sue them if they don't pay back the vacation hours they were given.

Wuzzie

4,848 Posts

Our union negotiated 80 extra hours of sick time to be used only if we are required to be sent home on quarantine but are not sick. If we test positive we have to use our regular PTO because there is no way to prove we got it at work. We are currently dealing with a positive co-worker who was asymptomatic at work and inadvertently exposed pretty much all of us. If they quarantine everyone the entire department will have to shut down which is not possible. One nurse has decided to stay home because she was "exposed" but refuses to get swabbed and is asymptomatic. The rest of us are at work wearing masks and waiting. They will swab us and send us home if we start showing symptoms. Needless to say we are pretty cheesed off at our co-worker who is getting a self-imposed 2 week vacation. But Karma can be a bad thing. We have a handful of other nurses who are making ridiculous demands because of their "special circumstances". We ALL have circumstances. I expect we'll have a "Lord of the Flies" situation if this continues.

cubby777

cubby777

80 Posts

19 hours ago, hherrn said:

I tried doing a poll, but had some technical difficulty.

At my hospital, if you are infected with Covid 19, it is treated same as an appy, or a car accident. They have no responsibility, and how you fare depends on your PTO bank, insurance plan, etc..

I am trying to find both the norm, and the range of responses from various hospitals.

So- how is your employer treating infected staff?

Thank you for your post! It's good to see someone verbalizing the ongoing & inexcusable lack of supplies that medical personnel need right now!

cubby777

cubby777

80 Posts

8 hours ago, Wuzzie said:

Our union negotiated 80 extra hours of sick time to be used only if we are required to be sent home on quarantine but are not sick. If we test positive we have to use our regular PTO because there is no way to prove we got it at work. We are currently dealing with a positive co-worker who was asymptomatic at work and inadvertently exposed pretty much all of us. If they quarantine everyone the entire department will have to shut down which is not possible. One nurse has decided to stay home because she was "exposed" but refuses to get swabbed and is asymptomatic. The rest of us are at work wearing masks and waiting. They will swab us and send us home if we start showing symptoms. Needless to say we are pretty cheesed off at our co-worker who is getting a self-imposed 2 week vacation. But Karma can be a bad thing. We have a handful of other nurses who are making ridiculous demands because of their "special circumstances". We ALL have circumstances. I expect we'll have a "Lord of the Flies" situation if this continues.

Seems like hospitals are always making demands that nurses show up no matter what and show their lack of appreciation by making them pay for trying to save their own lives!

JohnyPapr

JohnyPapr

Specializes in Med Surg. Has 9 years experience. 14 Posts

Our union negotiated 120 hrs of Covid PTO that doesn't count against our sick hours or PTO if we get infected and have to self quarantine.

Nurselexii

Nurselexii

Specializes in Non judgmental advisor. 152 Posts

22 hours ago, Rose_Queen said:

Our only infected staff member (not really staff, has privileges but not actually employed by facility) so far is patient zero- the first one to test positive in our entire county. Picked it up while traveling to another state. There were multiple staff members who, while not being tested as they are not having symptoms, were sent home for 2 weeks to self isolate. They are being paid for these 2 weeks and not having to use vacation time.

There are some staff who are refusing to come to work in this situation. At this time, they are home either using vacation time or without pay. These staff did not come into contact with the infected person and started refusing to work prior to any patients being admitted. I'm honestly surprised they're being allowed to do this.

Other staff simply have no childcare. With schools and day cares closing, they just don't have anyone to cover them as their backups have closed as well. They are being allowed time off from vacation time, and after they've used a week of vacation time are being permitted to dip into extended illness time despite not being ill. The facility is also working with places to get childcare provided solely for healthcare and other essential staff.

For those who are self-isolating for an exposure that occurred outside of work, have childcare issues, have been told by their own healthcare provided that due to their risk status need to be removed from patient care, and other reasons with documented justification, they are also being allowed to have their vacation time go negative (the facility will pay them as though they are using it after they have none left). When they return to work and begin accruing vacation time again, they will have to pay back the time (not the money) the facility advanced them.

That is the palace of hospitals WOW!

Nurselexii

Nurselexii

Specializes in Non judgmental advisor. 152 Posts

11 hours ago, adventure_rn said:

Earlier in the pandemic, some hospitals were offering paid leave (not PTO use) to nurses who were clearly infected at work.

Now that it's in the community, there's no way to prove they were infected at work (as opposed to standing in line at Costco), so employers don't want to take responsibility. It seems like many are just requiring nurses to use their regular PTO/sick leave (just like you would if you got the flu, even if you got it at work).

@Rose_Queen, I'm pretty astonished by those policies, especially the 'negative vacation time' one. It seems like people could abuse the system by getting an advance now and then quitting once this whole mess dies down. I wonder if the hospital would try to sue them if they don't pay back the vacation hours they were given.

I think negative vacation time is fair I think hospitals are avoiding larger lawsuits by doing this, hospitals can maybe put ineligible to rehire if nurse quits. which can damage a nurse ability to find new work, I think it is a wonderful change that a hospital is doing this for their nurses:)

DeeAngel

DeeAngel

826 Posts

I’m hoping to see a mass exodus from the medical and nursing fields after this. Life is too short to work in healthcare.

ML1376

ML1376

Specializes in ICU. Has 5 years experience. 25 Posts

"Needless to say we are pretty cheesed off at our co-worker who is getting a self-imposed 2 week vacation. But Karma can be a bad thing. We have a handful of other nurses who are making ridiculous demands because of their "special circumstances". We ALL have circumstances. I expect we'll have a "Lord of the Flies" situation if this continues."

Easy on the judgement and retribution talk. Yes we ALL have circumstances.. some more legitimate than others. I don't know hers, but it's that kind of "Lord of the Flies" environment that is unnecessary and makes it bad for everyone.. co-workers, management, etc. If you can work in this and are not part of an at risk group, great. Others aren't able to, be it for physical or psychological reasons. This is an unprecedented crisis (that shouldn't be nearly this bad if pre-planning and current handling weren't done in such an asinine manner). We'll get through it and Karma aside, hopefully learn valuable lessons as a result.

Nurselexii

Nurselexii

Specializes in Non judgmental advisor. 152 Posts

On 3/29/2020 at 5:12 PM, DeeAngel said:

I’m hoping to see a mass exodus from the medical and nursing fields after this. Life is too short to work in healthcare.

LOL , well hopefully some stay ? and they get treated better, I was thinking this crisis may make more HCW seek non bedside options