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Really not sure how to handle this...

First Year   (3,866 Views 14 Comments)
by crj96 crj96 (Member) Member

crj96 has 4 years experience and specializes in Rehabilitation.

2,099 Profile Views; 37 Posts

I typically work Thursday/Friday/Saturday on a pretty tame floor, 2-3 nurses, 0-1 aide, nights. Thursday morning, I found out that my grandma had a massive stroke the night before and was in a hospital about 4 1/2 hours from my home. My husband works during the week, so it makes the most sense for us to take the kids out there as soon as I get off of work on Saturday. As soon as I found out and talked with my husband, I texted my boss and told her what was going on. She asked me if I had found a replacement for my Saturday night shift.

This is my first job out of nursing school but I'm almost 40 with four teenagers and a full life outside of work. I've already run into so many issues on this unit that makes me feel that I'm not at all valued. For example, mandatory overtime/on-call hours without overtime compensation (because I'm already making weekend premium), scheduled all three major holidays in such a way that I couldn't even work around them, put on random shift changes without notice (suddenly schedule for a Tuesday day shift), getting schedules days before they go "live", and it goes on. Basically, I've been white knuckling it for awhile.

So here I am trying to arrange how I'm going to get out to the hospital to see my grandma and I'm told I have to find a replacement. The pool I can choose from consists of four people. Of course, the new schedule goes live on Sunday and I didn't have it yet, so I couldn't even see who would be able to trade with me. I came in tonight and realized that no one will. My co-worker tells me that I should have just called in sick on Saturday, that they're going to "make" me come in or I'll get written up. Getting a write up means six months before I can transfer from this unit.

Here I am trying to do the right thing and I'm feeling completely deflated. I'm not coming to work on Saturday. This is a job, a career, but it is NOT my life. My grandma is dying and I need to say goodbye to her. My kids need to see her before she's completely gone.

What do I do? How can I save this mess? I honestly feel sick thinking about it. I feel like my only option is to be upfront, call out for a "family emergency", I don't know.

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THELIVINGWORST has 4 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Public Health.

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FMLA is your answer. This is an immediate family member so you should be covered for that. It will be counted as an absence but they shouldn't be able to write you up for an unavoidable family emergency.

It sucks to have an employer that isn't understanding enough to just take the hit to their staffing levels but this is precisely what FMLA is for.

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klone has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

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The poster is only eligible for FMLA if she has been with that employer for at least a year, and when used for family member illness, it's only if she is the family member's caregiver (and the leave is being used to take care of the grandmother). This would not qualify for a FMLA event, and it doesn't sound like this employee has been with the facility long enough to be eligible for FMLA.

Also, grandparents don't count under FMLA - it's spouse, child or parent.

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WookieeRN is a BSN, RN and specializes in PACU.

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FMLA is your answer. This is an immediate family member so you should be covered for that. It will be counted as an absence but they shouldn't be able to write you up for an unavoidable family emergency.

It sucks to have an employer that isn't understanding enough to just take the hit to their staffing levels but this is precisely what FMLA is for.

Grandparents aren't considered immediate family under FMLA in this instance. I think OP is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I hate to say this, but I almost agree with the coworker that said OP should've just called in sick Saturday, since it was probably too short to use PTO. This is a difficult decision, almost like her job wants her to decide either her career or her family. Tough decision.

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ktwlpn is a LPN, RN and specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

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Damned if you do,damned if you don't.I pride myself on my excellent attendance but I realize I am just a cog in the big machine and no one cares about my issues.Most facilities have policies regarding weekend obligations ,our nurses work every other and if you call out you must make it up.You can't find your own coverage,you tried and you won't be there.Go see your grandmom,take your write up and keep your head down over the next 6 months.You have learned a lesson about that unit-if something similar happens again you pack your bags and call off from the road...

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dexm specializes in ICU, ED.

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This is my first job out of nursing school but I'm almost 40 with four teenagers and a full life outside of work. I've already run into so many issues on this unit that makes me feel that I'm not at all valued. For example, mandatory overtime/on-call hours without overtime compensation (because I'm already making weekend premium), scheduled all three major holidays in such a way that I couldn't even work around them, put on random shift changes without notice (suddenly schedule for a Tuesday day shift), getting schedules days before they go "live", and it goes on. Basically, I've been white knuckling it for awhile.

This right here says to me that this unit/facility doesn't value their employees. Maybe I'm "spoiled" by working in a large hospital that has a lot of resources, but I think it's ridiculous for you to have to find a replacement for your shift under these circumstances. Especially because you notified your boss of the situation as early as you possibly could - like, you could have just called in sick, but you let them know what was going on like I'm sure you're encouraged to do.

Don't go to work and go see your grandmother. You made an effort to find someone to cover your shift, but you couldn't. Like a PP said, take the write up and keep your head down for a couple months. Family comes first. It sucks that this unit/facility isn't more understanding of situations like this, but I would rather get written up than miss being with my dying family member.

I don't know what the job market is like in your area or if this type of behavior is typical of hospitals/etc. in your area, but I would start looking for a new job.

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WookieeRN is a BSN, RN and specializes in PACU.

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This right here says to me that this unit/facility doesn't value their employees. Maybe I'm "spoiled" by working in a large hospital that has a lot of resources, but I think it's ridiculous for you to have to find a replacement for your shift under these circumstances. Especially because you notified your boss of the situation as early as you possibly could - like, you could have just called in sick, but you let them know what was going on like I'm sure you're encouraged to do.

Yes. It was raising giant red flags the whole time I read it. The fact that all her superior had to say in the matter was whether or not she got her shift covered was was a big indicator of the kind of culture they have in that facility/on that floor.

I 100% would take the write up and go see my family. Family will always trump a job for me.

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icuRNmaggie has 24 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU.

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Fifteen years ago, my parent was in CVICU 400 miles away, the day before Christmas. My manager was ballistic and demanded proof when I said I would not be able to work Christmas. I said I will not be here. He actually said bring me the armband. The surgeon wrote me a brief note on a prescription pad. I never heard a word about it. In retrospect, hey couldn't afford to lose me anyway.

Go do what you have to do. It's a family emergency and none of their business.

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THELIVINGWORST has 4 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Public Health.

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Well my hospital counts it if it's a grandparent and it doesn't matter to them if you're the caregiver or not. Makes me grateful for my job. I had to use PTO when my great aunt died but they gave me the whole funeral weekend off but I only took two days.

This is why employees aren't loyal to employers anymore.

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Saiderap has 25 years experience and specializes in retired from healthcare.

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My old workplaces also were abusive to their employees by making them come in or stay on the floor when they had deaths in the family. Even when you have toddlers, they expect you to put your patients first. Legally, they need X number of employees on the floor. They might have an easier time with this if they were not walking all over them.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

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Well my hospital counts it if it's a grandparent and it doesn't matter to them if you're the caregiver or not. Makes me grateful for my job. I had to use PTO when my great aunt died but they gave me the whole funeral weekend off but I only took two days.

This is why employees aren't loyal to employers anymore.

Compassionate leave (for a death in the family) is different from FMLA.

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crj96 has 4 years experience and specializes in Rehabilitation.

37 Posts; 2,099 Profile Views

Thank you for the encouragement and advice! Just as soon as I posted the original post, I felt peace about what I had to do. When my boss came in the following morning, she asked if I had found a replacement and I told her no. She then asked if I was going to call out, and I told her yes. I drove home, showered, and hopped in the car (hubby was driving!) to go see my grandma. I slept for several hours, woke up, and called the nursing supervisor from another state. Told her that there was an illness in the family and I had to leave town.

It all worked out in the end and I didn't end up getting written up. But it was one of the final items that made me very aware of how unhappy I am in this job. The final straw was yesterday when I started my shift being called into a meeting where I was spoken to like an idiot child.

Thank you for helping confirm that I'm not where I'm supposed to be! :)

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