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What do nurses do when they are sick?

Posted

When I was a corportate employee I would usually take cold meds and come to work unless I was really horribly sick. As a future nurse I know that I would risk making my patients sick if I had a cold-- especially the really fragile ones. So when you are sick but not horribly sick, are you allowed to come to work? Do you take precautions or do you work with less fragile people until you get fully better?

ebear, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg/Peds/O.R./Legal/cardiology. Has 37 years experience.

Chai,

YES you go to work! Forget what you have been told to teach the general public. It DOES NOT apply to nurses. You don't get to choose the less fragile patients, either. I have worked in the O.R. with pneumonia. Just a warm, licensed body is fine--no matter if you're half dead. (My experience anyway!)

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

I still come to work, even if I am sick. My workplace does not care if I am sick and putting the patients at risk, as long as I am a warm body who will fill the shift wothout any complaints. Many healthcare facilities cannot afford to tell nurses to stay home because they are sick.

Our docs raised all kinds of hell if they found out staff was working sick (contagious-sick, that is).

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

I don't work when I'm sick. Period. End of discussion They'd best not give me grief when I call in. Work is too hard and stressful and I will get sicker if I work.

I don't however, left minor cold symptoms hold me back. A minor sore throat or the sniffles won't make me call in. However, if there's any fever, I call in.

We are human and need to take care of ourselves.

RN4NICU, LPN, LVN

Has 15 years experience.

I stay home and take care of myself. No sense in exposing my patients and coworkers to what I have and not allowing my own body to recover. That just makes matters worse all around.

Shopgirl1

Specializes in Medicine.

If I am sick fever or not, and I sound miserable, and feel miserable, I am not coming in. Luckly my floor has GREAT staffing so it wouldn't be a huge disaster if I called in. Patient's especially the elderly DO NOT want you in their room if you're sick! I have worn a mask at times when I have been at work and shouldn't have been. These people already have weakened immunities, the last thing they need is me breathing my germs on them.

As Tweety said, we need to take care of our bodies too!

MzMouse

Specializes in LTC, office. Has 19 years experience.

If I am running a fever or vomiting/diarrhea, I call in. I work through most everything else. I dragged myself into work a few years ago, assisted in sterile procedures, and got diagnosed with pneumonia later that evening. :uhoh3:

Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

Minor colds - I take some Alka Seltzer Cold/Flu& go on in.

Productive or severe cough, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or fever - I stay home.

Period. Tweety put it well.

fionnayowcr

Specializes in Respiratory, Cardiology,Telemetry, CCU.

Our docs raised all kinds of hell if they found out staff was working sick (contagious-sick, that is).

That is so nice of them :lol2: !

At my hospital, nurses though sick will still work if they're not having fever (low grade temp dun count!) and is still in clear, sound mind icon10.gif

But i did get send home once at beginning of shift when my manager saw my red eyes (?conjuctivitis) - i was actually irritated by some dusty books icon12.gif

swee2000

Specializes in Med/Surg.

Typically I drag myself to work when sick. In fact, I've only called in twice in almost 3 years....and one of those was b/o my daughter being ill.

Funny this topic came up because last Friday night I came down with a stomach bug: abdominal cramping, diarrhea, nausea, chills. As luck would have it, I was also scheduled to work the next day and precept a new employee. Even though I wanted to & probably should've called in, that nagging voice of guilt kept reminding me how short-staffed the unit already was and that I'd be leaving the orientee without his regular preceptor. So I went in, assuming I'd have minimal contact w/patients since the orientee had been taking the entire assignment with me just as backup. Yeah right. You know what happens when one assumes incorrectly. When I got to work, the night charge nurse told me she had to pull my orientee off orientation and make him take a group by himself in order to free me up to do the same because of how short-staffed the unit was. I guess that "minimal contact w/patients" idea wasn't going to work out after all. When I made the day charge nurse aware that I was not feeling well & only came in because I thought I'd have the orientee w/me, she had the nerve to snap back that it wasn't her problem & I should forget about going home early....which I had not even said a word about at that point!! And to think I didn't even get a "Thank you" for showing up & toughing it out.

When I was a corportate employee I would usually take cold meds and come to work unless I was really horribly sick. As a future nurse I know that I would risk making my patients sick if I had a cold-- especially the really fragile ones. So when you are sick but not horribly sick, are you allowed to come to work? Do you take precautions or do you work with less fragile people until you get fully better?

I go to work wear a mask if needed. I loath anyone who calls in. I came from a profession where you came to work unless an MD wrote a note saying otherwise. Sniffles are for wimps. You are getting paid for a job stop whinning and come to work. If you stay home your co worker must pick up your workload but do they get your days pay NO...

flightnurse2b, LPN

Specializes in EMS, ER, GI, PCU/Telemetry.

When I was a corportate employee I would usually take cold meds and come to work unless I was really horribly sick. As a future nurse I know that I would risk making my patients sick if I had a cold-- especially the really fragile ones. So when you are sick but not horribly sick, are you allowed to come to work? Do you take precautions or do you work with less fragile people until you get fully better?

work. put on a mask, wash my hands 100000 times, take a dayquil and work...

GrumpyRN63, ADN, RN

Specializes in Gyn Onc, OB, L&D, HH/Hospice/Palliative.

I work sick strep,bronchitis whatever,wear a mask thru the shift and pts are pretty understanding, wont take care of neutropenic pts when sick

Chai,

YES you go to work! Forget what you have been told to teach the general public. It DOES NOT apply to nurses. You don't get to choose the less fragile patients, either. I have worked in the O.R. with pneumonia. Just a warm, licensed body is fine--no matter if you're half dead. (My experience anyway!)

Ebear, I noticed you are a Legal Nurse Consultant. Did you have to get further education aside from RN to do this. Just curious. And do you work in a hospital or a law firm?

have 20 years of legal secretarial experience behind me before I decided to take on a new career direction. No longer working as a legal secretary -- going to school full time. But still wonder if I should do something in conjunction with legal as well. Do you make any better money working in the legal sector with nursing or is working as an RN better pay?

ebear, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg/Peds/O.R./Legal/cardiology. Has 37 years experience.

nurse2b,

I sent you a PM.

ebear

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