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Is it wrong to turn down a shift?

Posted

Specializes in CCRN, Geriatrics.

For the past few weeks my shift at work have been canceled due to the recent pandemic. A few days ago I was asked to work but unfortunately turned it down because we have a entire unit of Covid-19 patients.

Heres the thing I have a toddler with asthma. Who is currently experiencing difficulties with her asthma due to the weather changes. In the past she has been hospitalized for 4 times for rsv causing low 02 levels resulting in more than a weeks stay.

While I would love to be on the frontline saving live I afraid to compromise my child. I dont have anywhere else to send her. Her pulmonologist told me to stay away from anyone suspected of having it.

My job feels as though I'm being selfish because they say its what I signed up for. I honestly would work if I had support.

What are your thoughts?

p.s. several workers have tested positive. The facility is using contact/droplet precautions.

Edited by Lovethenurse2b25

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

Maybe I'm the wrong person to ask, because I've been turning down shifts since way before covid-19. Was this extra work, or your regularly scheduled gig? Why are you even answering the phone?

That being said, if you can't do your regular job because of your daughter (or for any other reason), you should quit.

What Sour Lemon said. For all intents and purposes, from your post, it is obvious you can't do this job. You need to find another job and leave this one with proper notice.

Lovethenurse2b25, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in CCRN, Geriatrics.

37 minutes ago, Sour Lemon said:

Maybe I'm the wrong person to ask, because I've been turning down shifts since way before covid-19. Was this extra work, or your regularly scheduled gig? Why are you even answering the phone?

That being said, if you can't do your regular job because of your daughter (or for any other reason), you should quit.

It was extra shifts not scheduled.

Edited by Lovethenurse2b25

Lovethenurse2b25, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in CCRN, Geriatrics.

32 minutes ago, caliotter3 said:

What Sour Lemon said. For all intents and purposes, from your post, it is obvious you can't do this job. You need to find another job and leave this one with proper notice.

I turned down extra shifts not scheduled shifts. My facility is short staff and pressuring everyone to work more hours. Unfortunately at this current time I'm afraid of doing so. I'm sorry if my concern angers you.

Edited by Lovethenurse2b25

Naturally Brilliant, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience.

You're certainly doing the right thing in prioritizing your child over your job. Family is forever. A job is merely a fiduciary relationship, and your loyalty to your job only extends up to the job description. If I were in your position I would have no qualms about quitting or even getting fired (though the former is preferable over the latter).

Develop a mercenary attitude about your labor. Realize that (unless you're in a union-linked facility) you are almost certainly an at-will employee and can be let go for any reason - or no reason at all - by the hospital administrators. They will not care one bit about what is morally right or wrong. They will only care about their own interests. Do the same with your own life.

Here in America, the media and the elites running this country have a vested interest in manipulating you into loyalty without ever being equally as loyal to you.

Edited by Naturally Brilliant

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

It's always your prerogative to turn down extra shifts. Management will always try to portray that as morally reprehensible.

Who will be looking out for your daughter's life if not you? Her doctor gave you clear instructions. Could you live with the consequences of putting your job first?

Lovethenurse2b25, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in CCRN, Geriatrics.

6 minutes ago, TriciaJ said:

It's always your prerogative to turn down extra shifts. Management will always try to portray that as morally reprehensible.

Who will be looking out for your daughter's life if not you? Her doctor gave you clear instructions. Could you live with the consequences of putting your job first?

No I could not live with it. I love being a nurse and helping others. But at some point in time I think we have to be nurses to our families and protect them.

1 hour ago, Lovethenurse2b25 said:

I turned down extra shifts not scheduled shifts. My facility is short staff and pressuring everyone to work more hours. Unfortunately at this current time I'm afraid of doing so. I'm sorry if my concern angers you.

Where did you say in your original post that you were turning down extra shifts? Where in my post did I say that I am angry?Another example of people posting and then attacking others who respond based on what is written, not what is originally withheld information, that "magically" becomes pertinent when it is convenient. You are just as exposed on extra shifts as you are on scheduled shifts, so your argument is based on faulty reasoning. If your child's welfare were uppermost in your mind you would not be working on that floor for any shifts. After reading your subsequent talk backs, I am angry. Angry that you are exposing your child as much as you are.

Scrunchkin78, ADN, BSN, MSN

Has 22 years experience.

4 hours ago, Lovethenurse2b25 said:

For the past few weeks my shift at work have been canceled due to the recent pandemic. A few days ago I was asked to work but unfortunately turned it down because we have a entire unit of Covid-19 patients.

Heres the thing I have a toddler with asthma. Who is currently experiencing difficulties with her asthma due to the weather changes. In the past she has been hospitalized for 4 times for rsv causing low 02 levels resulting in more than a weeks stay.

While I would love to be on the frontline saving live I afraid to compromise my child. I dont have anywhere else to send her. Her pulmonologist told me to stay away from anyone suspected of having it.

My job feels as though I'm being selfish because they say its what I signed up for. I honestly would work if I had support.

What are your thoughts?

p.s. several workers have tested positive. The facility is using contact/droplet precautions.

No, it’s not wrong. What’s wrong is making you feel more obligated to your job than your family. Would it be wrong to go in for your scheduled shift and then walk out because you have a C-19 pt assigned, probably. Ultimately, nursing is a job. While we signed up, and signed on, to do a LOT of things that most can’t, or won’t, do. We did not sign up, nor are we obligated, to die for our occupation. We are nurses, not soldiers, and we didn’t sign the rights to our lives away when we took our oaths. I understand your situation, I have a special-needs son with asthma and a husband with cardiomyopathy and CHF. They depend on me, and there isn’t anyone else that’s going to jump in and take care of my family if I get sick or die. A nurse can be replaced, a wife and mother cannot. The same is true for family...you can get another job, your son can’t be replaced. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for putting your family first.

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

2 hours ago, Lovethenurse2b25 said:

It was extra shifts not scheduled.

In that case, I think it's perfectly fine to refuse. I would resist the urge to over-explain, though. It doesn't make sense to say you can't work Monday because you fear exposure, but to have no problem with working on Tuesday. Just say no, or don't answer.

Regarding quitting, that may be something you need to consider if your daughter's doctor suggests no covid patients and your unit is full of them. Although your circumstances are concerning, I don't think there's anyone who doesn't have some sort of concern for someone in their family. They may not be able to give you non-covid patients, only. And if they are willing and able, it's almost a certainty that the rest of the staff will get really angry and make short work of the situation.

Nunya, BSN

Specializes in NICU/Mother-Baby/Peds/Mgmt. Has 39 years experience.

You need to learn to not answer your phone when you're not scheduled to work. I wouldn't even answer if I've just left work, if it's important (like asking if you did or didn't do something) they'll leave a message. Your phone is for your convenience, not theirs.

Lovethenurse2b25, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in CCRN, Geriatrics.

13 hours ago, Sour Lemon said:

In that case, I think it's perfectly fine to refuse. I would resist the urge to over-explain, though. It doesn't make sense to say you can't work Monday because you fear exposure, but to have no problem with working on Tuesday. Just say no, or don't answer.

Regarding quitting, that may be something you need to consider if your daughter's doctor suggests no covid patients and your unit is full of them. Although your circumstances are concerning, I don't think there's anyone who doesn't have some sort of concern for someone in their family. They may not be able to give you non-covid patients, only. And if they are willing and able, it's almost a certainty that the rest of the staff will get really angry and make short work of the situation.

Its my per diem job. They canceled my shifts for 3 weeks straight due to a low census. So I have not been exposed to anyone with Covid 19. The census is still low and now we are short staffed which I feel is kind of sketchy for them to call me after cancelling. Turns out employees have been testing positive.

Lovethenurse2b25, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in CCRN, Geriatrics.

14 hours ago, caliotter3 said:

Where did you say in your original post that you were turning down extra shifts? Where in my post did I say that I am angry?Another example of people posting and then attacking others who respond based on what is written, not what is originally withheld information, that "magically" becomes pertinent when it is convenient. You are just as exposed on extra shifts as you are on scheduled shifts, so your argument is based on faulty reasoning. If your child's welfare were uppermost in your mind you would not be working on that floor for any shifts. After reading your subsequent talk backs, I am angry. Angry that you are exposing your child as much as you are.

Sorry for not elaborating more on the current situation. My child has not been exposed. In fact, I have not been to work in three weeks due to them canceling my shifts for a low census. When the facility called I was so eager to get back to work only to find out that the unit is all covid & numerous employees and new patients have tested positive. My supervisor stated they had covid patients for over two weeks. The census is currently still low and now employees are not showing up to work or either getting sick. Hence, why are deciding to call me into work now. I also don’t think droplet precaution is enough when we are expected to use the same blue mask.

Edited by Lovethenurse2b25

lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

Your little girl's life comes first. You're not wrong for turning down the shift. What unit do you usually work?

I would consider asking for FMLA to protect your daughter through this time, if you can afford it.

100% your choice if you want extra shift or not and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

OUxPhys, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiology. Has 4 years experience.

You are doing the right thing. No one signed up to care for infectious patients without proper PPE. You have every right to turn them down since you have a toddler with respiratory issues. Upper management can pound sand. They are mad because nurses are finally giving them the middle finger and telling them enough is enough.