Nursing Voices

Monday, September 17, 2007

Life After Tissues, Sudafed, and My Weekend at Work

This Phoenix and I have something in common. We both have risen from the ashes and have been reborn, or in my case, I have come back to life after my bout with a brutal cold. It was really hard going into work this weekend. I couldn’t call in sick because I had a pulse, I was somewhat able to breath, and because I’ll loose my job if I miss too many weekend shifts. I’m only allowed to miss six shifts per year, including time off for vacations. The only time a nurse is allowed to call in sick at Hospital X is if they are dead, but only if their next of kin can bring a copy of their death certificate to the nursing office. The nurse I was working with was also sick, so the patients were hesitant to approach the nurses station. They didn’t want to get sick, too. One lady asked if she could make us some tea. Another patient brought my colleague a blanket to curl up in when she spiked a fever and started chilling behind the desk. One of the unit troublemakers didn’t make waves because he felt sorry for us. Finally, a patient stated the obvious when he said it’s a shame that the hospital doesn’t care about its nursing staff enough to let us stay home when we are sick. And people wonder why there is a nursing shortage.

I want to thank everyone for their get-well wishes and for their kind thoughts and comments.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad you are getting over your illness. You are correct. We are only allowed to call in dead and must show up looking like a "Night of the Living Dead" body double if we are sick.

Naturally, this brings secondary benefit to the hospital, because we then become walking germ factories. That helps business, as soon as the incubation period takes hold. smile

Tammy Swofford, R.N.

8:40 PM  
Blogger Dr. A said...

Sounds like things are improving - that's good. In residency I worked when I had a kidney stone. That was a fun day. But, I had a pulse. So, I went to work. Oh well.....

10:00 PM  
Blogger Lea said...

I am happy to hear you are feeling well and that there was compassion for you and your coworker from the patients. Wonders never cease.

11:44 AM  
Blogger poody said...

sorry to hear you have been under the weather so to speak. Just another reason to not work in the hospital!

12:52 PM  

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