ER staff tend to be immune to most diseases because we are exposed to everything and have built up an immunity to most local bugs, but this year seems to have brought a particularly vicious bug around. Some people work through it all, while others call in sick for a day or two, but then come back when they feel a bit better, but still coughing and hacking all day. Feel like the nurses station is more contaminated than the rest of the ER. I called out for one day, but had burned up my earned time on summer vacations and time with my daughter this year, so that was all I could take.
I’ve seen staff sent home for things such as bacterial pink eye and lice, but never for coughing up a lung. Should it be up to the staff to decide if they are well enough to work, or should there be a “You go home now, sick person” nazi around?
I am a firm believer that patients and co-workers do not want to be around employees when they are sick. Working in the health industry we do become immune to most illnesses. But the bottom line is in order to take care of our patients we must take care of ourselves. So I am a staunch believer in staying home when you are sick and containing the spread of the virus or bacteria as much as possible.
I have not called in sick or missed a day of work in 14 years. This does not mean I wouldn’t but I have been lucky that when I do get sick it is not serous enough to worry about. A cold or URI can be worked through in my opinion. On a normal day we work short staffed, a call-in just makes it worse for everyone. That being said there are situations where a call-in would be necessary, ie. working with immune depressed, like cancer or HIV, etc. and I’m sure many other situations.
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