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Just started job and I think I'm getting sick


Would love some advice. I'm a bit scared and alone with no family. I am a relatively new nurse and I started a new position a few months ago before all this craziness broke out. We have COVID patients in our facility. We have no PPE so I am bringing a mask from home, which we are asked to reuse every day for 30 days and stick in a paper bag. We are also wearing trash bags as gowns. HR is not taking the pandemic very seriously and calls us "heroes" and such but in the same breath say that we'll be fine if we just wash our hands. Many nurses have quit and I can see why.

I have asthma and a mild immune disorder. This evening, I was sitting on my couch eating dinner as usual and suddenly all at once started having a dry cough, sore throat, SOB (bronchodilator helped but didn't eliminate), runny nose, headache, and nausea. No fever. Starting to feel strangely fatigued and woozy. It could be a cold or perhaps really bad allergies, but my asthma does not typically cause me any problems as it is well-controlled even in the springtime. I have not had any other sx previously. My workplace has tightened their sick policy and I'm pretty sure if I call out sick now, they will either fire me or subject me to disciplinary action without pay. I need the money, to be honest. In addition, if I recover and return to work, I'm pretty sure my coworkers and patients will avoid me like the plague...

I don't know if I should just try to "tough it out" because I don't have a fever and am not sure I am sick. What would be the wisest action here for everybody?

NurseSpeedy, ADN, LPN, RN

Has 19 years experience.

You should stay home and get tested. You should not risk infecting everyone else and your patients.

Your employer may not agree. Many of them have proven their qualification for the A-hole employer of the year award but there’s not a lot you can do about that except for have documentation that you acquired medical care in your absence. Maybe having a legit written medical excuse will keep them from firing you for not wanting to spread this thing like wildfire.

Hope you feel better soon.


Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

Contact your PCP for advice and get a note for being out of work if needed by employer. This virus is significantly affecting Asthmatics with many winding up on vents. Please take care of yourself.


Has 7 years experience.

Get tested! Either way if you have Covid or not, this is certainly not the time to take getting sick lightly for the sake of your health and others..

p.s. chicken noodle soup and tea with ginger and lemon 😊

Feel better!