Fellow nurses, I have worked at the same hospital for 10 years, same company 17 years. I've spent 15 years as a bedside nurse because I still like it. I am considered one of the "stronger RN's"....get called for IV starts, NG placements, POC care, float to ER when necessary. I have an awesome relationship with the hospitalists, who trust my assessment and critical thinking skills.
Let's get to the point....first of all my mom passed away in 1999. I was actually 8 months pregnant with my first child. My 78 yr old father lives close by with my older brother and sister (both adopted). My brother has cerebral palsy and confined to a wheelchair and my sister has schizophrenia......an absolutely horrible mental illness and I freaking hate it for her and I hate the disease. It's can be horrid especially when medications are changed or not taken. Well last year, while her MD was trying to adjust medications, due to increases hallucinations, my sister was involuntary committed to a psychiatric facility on 3 separate occasions over a 5 month period. The events that happneed are too hard to discuss. ....but one us example us her calling 911 in the middle of the night saying my ailing father was Hitler and trying to kill her.
Anyway, I missed several days of work.....actually 8 when a verbal warning occurs after 5 occurrences. After getting the verbal warning, I knew I could NOT miss any more days. A week or so later, I get a call from my father that my sister asked him in the morning to go to ER......she had slit her wrists ( because she just wanted to sleep) and was in emergency surgery. Mind you, my dad is 78 years old and is required to In and Out catheterize himself to empty his bladder and had no supplies with him. Needless to say I was unable to leave due to absences and was told that sometimes it's necessary to choose our family over over jobs. Yeah....not an option.
I look back now and totally should have applied for FMLA but I was such a wreck I didn't even think about it. The only other time I ever used FMLA was for one week when my daughter had a complete posterior back fusion due to her scoliosis. This has also been a reason for a couple call ins because she does get severe back pain at times. Okay so I guess I really just wish my leadership would have backed me up a little bit
Dec 12, '17
Take a breath. Sounds very stressful.
So, uh, did you get fired or what? Or you got fired in 1999? Needed to vent?
What's going on?
Dec 12, '17
Not sure if your position was terminated but even with large companies it's not always concrete what is written as the absentee policy. I was told when going over pre-employment paperwork that we were allowed six occurrences per year and then termination. Now, that seems pretty generous to me but I don't have what's going on in your life. However, the HR representative also kept adding at the end of each time she mentioned this, "if you have a problem and it might be an issue, just speak to your director and they can work around it if necessary". Basically, unexpected or difficult situations could be handled on a case by case basis.
Yes, this is the type of thing that FMLA should have been utilized but, again, easier to see that now than in the moment of crisis. Other options are PRN, Flex Pool, agency per diem, etc where you can pick up work on a day to day basis, although if you need benefits they usually don't come with these positions (or are sky high in cost if offered).
Please excuse any typos-sent from iPhone.
Dec 12, '17
Unless your situation has changed, you should consider requesting intermittent FMLA just in case something comes up again (from what you described, it isn't a question of IF but more of WHEN you will need to miss work to assist your family). Intermittent FMLA will allow you to take protected leave as needed without having to apply for FMLA each time. Talk to your HR department about what you need to do to get it set up.
Dec 12, '17
No, I did not get fired. Been working since 1999
Dec 12, '17
Yes....I have since been approved for intermittent FMLA. But here's the deal. THIS rolling calendar I have had 5 call-ins, which calls for a verbal warning. (One of which was going to drop off in 5 days, but IT IS policy) 2 days were when my dr put me on metformin and it made me very sick. 2 for my daughter's back and 1 when my 11 yr old was vomiting and his dad was in a meeting an hour away and unreachable. However, instead of the verbal warning ( that fellow staff members have received for 5 absences) I received a "write -up". Not good. I was told "I could have been fired last year and that one of my call ins was on a holiday. January 2nd. I have never called in a real holiday in 18 years. But she apparently had to staff for a few hours and she remembers it well.
Dec 13, '17
Where I work, our "verbal warning" is actually in writing (both supervisor and employee sign that a verbal warning was given). It counts as a "verbal" as far as our progressive discipline policy goes.
I am sorry that you were written up. Is there any way to change departments/supervisors?
Dec 15, '17
I still wouldn't worry so much- sometimes a call in is unavoidable. Life happens.
You still have a job. You don't call in for stuff unless it's a big deal. You have the FMLA. Just move past these busy times and go forward.
Honestly, if an employer is as rigid as they sound with policy in what's been happening in your life, I wouldn't really like to work for them. That's my secret way of saying I'd be looking to see what other jobs are out there. hint hint
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