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Sick Days?

Nurses   (1,759 Views 30 Comments)
by newbienurse97 newbienurse97 (New Member) New Member Nurse

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I'm worried that I have been calling in sick too often to work. For background I am a new nurse, and have only been working on the floor I am at for around 3 months. In those 3 months I have called in three times, technically four as I was sick for an orientation day but not yet working on the floor so there wasn't an impact on staffing. All three times were fairly legitimate times for calling in. Could I have maybe sucked it up and made it through the day one time? Maybe..but I felt at the time I had to call in. Im just worried that other staff on the floor and/or my manager are noticing this and it is making a negative impact on how they see me. I try and be helpful to other staff while i'm working, although as I am still quite new my level of help isn't the most. Am I over thinking this or should I really try to not have to call in for a long while? I know I can't help it if i'm sick but I can try and pull through so that I am more of a team player.

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well one time I called in because the night before I couldn't get a wink of sleep, and so I called in around 4 when I hadn't slept yet. The other times I had a bad cold that I stuck through for a shift the day before, but I could barely get through that shift and I knew if I went in again it would be miserable, let alone contagious so I called in. And then recently I woke up sick to my stomach and throwing up so I definitely couldn't come in that day

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verene specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

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I'd do your best to stay healthy and well and avoid calling in for a long-period of time.  Also for a head cold or not sleeping, yes it is completely miserable to come in, but probably better to come in and let your manager see you are ill and send you home, rather than call in again, and have them think you are skiving off shifts.  I'd also double-check policy, it may be with repeated call-ins that management/HR could require you to bring a PCP note for every call out, or could terminate for number of missed days (particularly if you are still on probation). 

Where I work three or more unplanned call-outs in a 6 months period gets a meeting with management - no punitive action at that point, but a degree of concern and discussion about how to reduce call-outs.

 

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CalicoKitty has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-surg.

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I hear generally "do not call off" during the first 90 day "trial" period.  I think I'd probably show up if dead and get sent home rather than call out during this period - or perhaps I would call in and speak directly to my boss so they could "hear" the sick in me and agree it is better to call off. The first 90 days can be rough.

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FolksBtrippin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

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If no one has said anything to you about this then forget it.

People who work in hospitals and such should not come to work sick and endanger vulnerable populations. 

 

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JadedCPN has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

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21 hours ago, newbienurse97 said:

Im just worried that other staff on the floor and/or my manager are noticing this and it is making a negative impact on how they see me. 

Realistically, yes everyone including coworkers and management have likely noticed this and it could make a negative impact if you continue with this pattern, if it hasn't already. Whether that is right or wrong since you believe your call offs were "legitimate" is irrelevant unfortunately. Try your best to be helpful and show that you want to be there. And make sure you're doing everything you can to keep yourself healthy in the meantime.

Edited by JadedCPN
typo

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Quota is a BSN, RN and specializes in Oncology.

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I just hit my 6 month mark and I’ve missed one scheduled shift.  I actually got sick from a pt with a respiratory infection.  Took care of them two days in a row, was off for two, and came back to them on contact/droplet precautions linked to an outbreak of “respiratory illness” at their assisted living facility.  I had them back that day as well.  I developed cold like symptoms starting the evening before I was back on, felt pretty crappy the day I was back but it was too late to call out by the time I got up for work that morning. Thankfully I had a decent stretch of days off in a row not counting the one shift I missed in the middle to recover with.  They also had about two days notice that I wasn’t likely to be there that day, 24 hour confirmed notice it wasn’t happening to get coverage.  Of course I also had to deal with all the “fun” of my “work place injury” because I got sick from the pt...

 

I’d highly suggest avoiding missing any work for the next few months for sure, look into your hospital’s policy on call outs too.  You usually only have so many in a designated time period before a talk with management/HR happens. 

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As per policy I email my manager whenever I called in sick, and the one I just got was a polite response and nothing else was said, so I take it that so far I haven't done anything that warrants a further discussion. But I will definitely try and take better care of my health and really think before I call in sick if it is worth it. Thanks for the replies everyone.

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1 hour ago, newbienurse97 said:

the one I just got was a polite response and nothing else was said, so I take it that so far I haven't done anything that warrants a further discussion.

That's because that's all they are allowed to do. You need to be careful and try to avoid calling out for at least the next 6 months. 

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amoLucia specializes in LTC.

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Your time may be limited more than you know.

If you work in one of those states that employers can FIRE employees whenever, they might just be biding their time before they release you. Like they're giving you enough rope with which to hang yourself.

It would free them from any complaints of unjust termination as all one would have to do would be to just look at your attendance record. A simple med error on your part could be your final straw.

So you mustn't take it for granted that they're not being overly concerned.  They KNOW! PP Wuzzie sums up their reaction very well.

47 minutes ago, Wuzzie said:

That's because that's all they are allowed to do. You need to be careful and try to avoid calling out for at least the next 6 months. 

They may just be laying low.

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I mean there’s a lot of definitions of sick.  Were you hungover “sick” or what?  You probably didn’t catch a cold or the flu three times in 90 days, so what are we talking about here. 

I say this and I don’t know you so it’s just a question, but understand there’s plenty of bad employees out there who “I don’t feel like it” counts as being sick.  I’d do my best not to be perceived as unreliable or an irresponsible partier. 

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