please help....did I do the right thing

Nurses General Nursing


Did I do the right thing???

Here is what happened - it is sort of a long story so...please bear with...I'll make it as short as possible

On the night of Dec 3-4 my neighbors (above me) were having a loud party so I called the cops - someone ran out and jumped off the balcony and they found marijuana on him and I think arrested him....the party quieted down since it was dissipated but then the two girls that lived there argued all night and then got into a screaming match

Last night (Dec 5-6) I called the apartment manager - they were being noisy again - this was around 1230 - things didnt get quiet after this - she told me to call the cops after 20/30 minutes, well I called them around 300 in the morning when I heard the second fight of the night and someone saying "let me go" a couple times and what sounded like things be thrown

When the police arrived they wouldnt open the door - kept knocking for about an hour then finally - used forced entry


I had to work Today 9a-10p - I work in a group home and I would have had to drive them places

I also have epilepsy and know I shouldnt be this sleep deprived - when I called the scheduler though and explained

I got

"Well, you shouldnt do this your first week on the job"

Yes, it is my first week on the job - and I NEVER would have done this - but I dont think putting myself at risk or the lives of five of your clients is a good thing....

I dont want to get fired - but -

Did I do the right thing calling in "sick"???

Specializes in Critical Care, ER.

Your health and safety ALWAYS come first. Period.

You did the right thing.

I have worked in hospitals for many years where I have been open about my condition. I have never had a problem when I have called in sick because I haven't had enough sleep- the managers know my story. Plus, it's only happened maybe 3 or so times in 5+ years.

Had to learn the lesson the hard way when almost 4 yrs ago I had a seizure while driving to school (pre-med at the time) with no sleep and had a seizure, flipped and totalled the car and could have died. Thank god no other cars were involved.

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,525 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

You know your body. What was said above was excellent. Don't put yourself and the clients in danger.

Too bad they can't understand that, first week or no.

You did the right thing. Best wishes.


38 Posts

You did the right thing by calling in to work and keeping yourself and clients safe. I guarantee you if you hadn't called in and had had a problem you would have no question that you had made the wrong decision. Isn't it wonderful when we can actually manage some 20/20 foresight instead of just having that perfect vision in hindsight.

You also did the right thing by calling the police regarding your neighbors. When there are arguments that are escalating it is always best to call and perhaps prevent a tragedy.

Hopefully your employer will look at things from a practical and legal standpoint. Think how bad it would be for them legally if you had had an accident and someone was hurt.


754 Posts

Specializes in Everything but psych!.

You DEFINITELY made the right decision. If they decide they are unhappy with you because of that, it is not the right employer for you. Sorry to hear about your unsettling living condition. I lived in areas like that too, primarily in Oahu. I was working night shift. It was terrible! Good luck. Have you ever tried ear plugs? Or is it even too noisy for that? My hubby wears ear plugs all the time. I pull them out in my sleep. :confused:

Big Bab's

161 Posts

You did the right thing.....and if they can't see that then maybe they're not the right employer for you........I have some idea how you feel....the hospital that I used to work for had a policy right in the emplyee handbook stating that if an employee has a fever of 100.5 or higher, they "are not allowed to come to work" until they have documentation from our doctor stating that they have been examined and have been deemed "OK" to go back to work.....I woke up one morning with a temp of 102.5, I really didn't feel bad but I knew the policy so I called in, and the superviser laid on this HUGE "guilt trip" about it....Now, if they REALLY want people to work even with these symptoms that's fine by me, but take it out of the book, so we're not liable for it if something goes wrong.


139 Posts

Thank you all for your support - I just couldnt believe when I called and the scheduler hung up on was so rude....

It was like she thought I could take some Mtrin and shake it off or something - yeah....I can shake it off but not how you want me to...sorry

Well, I guess they didnt fire me since I am still going in tomorrow...

As for the apartment - well, we went and talked to the asst. mgr today and they have had quite enough with them too...she said to just call her and if they are doing anything she will call the police that I wont even have to...

At this point, as far as their door - which wont shut...with all the splintered wood and plaster in the stairway since it was busted in - they're going to have to pay for it...(metal door, wood frame)

However, the manager might decide to impose a harsher penalty than the written one they got...

Oh and yeah, I have tried those earplugs - last night I was wearing gun muffs...I was out of earplugs but those ear plugs do usually work pretty well....

I keep joking that my life has turned into an soap opera episode of Cops - :chuckle

I'll keep everyone posted - I'm sure my neighbors cant be good for long...

btw - the cops were nice and didnt cite them all for MIP's (minors in possession last night)


11 Posts

Sometimes it's hard to do what you know is right. The ultimate test is whether or not you can live with yourself. Your decision to not sacrifice the safety of yourself or others should be unquestioned, but even if it is, you can still feel good about yourself. You may find a new job, but you can never find a new you.


423 Posts

Specializes in Gerontological Nursing, Acute Rehab.

I can sympathize, when I lived in an apt. we had neighbors that partied loud all night and I had to call the cops several times. At that time I was working 12 hr weekend shifts in a facility 45 mins away. It was really rough until they moved out.

You certainly did the right thing. I know it's uncomfortable to call out on your first week of work, but you kept the safety of your patients first in your mind. God forbid something did happen, and you'd have to answer for why you were driving while exhausted. I hear they might make it a law that you can't drive while sleep deprived, because studies show it's the same as being drunk.

Explain to your boss why you did what you did, and keep on the apt. manager. Keep calling the cops whenever things get loud, they will eventually be evicted (that's what happened to my old neighbors).

If this keeps happening you may just need to get earplugs until they are out of there!:p

You did the right and safe thing!


128 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics.

I'm sorry you have such ignorant neighbors. I hope you were able to get some sleep and that this isn't a frequent occurrance. I had a similar experience when I was a nursing student and it was three times in one week. :(

You did the right thing by calling out from work. Your health and safety and the clients' health and safety are equally important. And btw, schedulers are most times not nurses and have no idea (or care) what ails you and the proper treatment. All they are concerned with is making sure the shift is filled. I work in homecare and had the "common cold" and called out on a day that I was assigned to a little girl who is on a vent and has an immune deficiency. She asked me if I couldn't "just take Robitussin or something..." HELLO!?!?!?


799 Posts

Specializes in Step down, ICU, ER, PACU, Amb. Surg.
Originally posted by jkaee

I hear they might make it a law that you can't drive while sleep deprived, because studies show it's the same as being drunk.

It is already a law in New Jersey that you can be ticketed for driving when sleepy.

I doubt that your new employer could fire you anyway. It would suck to be them to fire you because they discriminated against you due to your medical condition, huh?

I agree you did the right thing and you have my sympathy and empathy on the noisey neighbors. Best of luck in that situation.

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,525 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Another piece of advice. Next time just call in sick. Don't bother with lengthy explanations like you're sleep deprived. Really it's none of your business. Just say you have the runs and leave it at that. :)

Sometimes the truth gets you in more trouble than it's worth.:D

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X