Hey there. Just wanted to get some thoughts on an issue that came up recently. I am a RN working 12 hour shifts. I work with a float pool, generally I am not booked until the day that I am scheduled to work. I work straight nights. Last week I received a letter from the manager about my sick time. In 6 months I had about 12 sick days. Yes that is above normal but they were all legitimate sick days. I had 2 bouts of bronchitis and the rest were either because I had a bad cold or I had a migraine. I have never, ever taken a sick day because I just didn't feel like going into work. I don't have it written down exactly what I was sick with on what day but probably half of those were from migraines. Migraines are terribly misunderstood by just about everyone who has never had one. I've seen my dr on several occasions about these, trying to find a medication that will work to get rid of it quickly without incapacitating me. Anyway I need to go see her, I am just waiting for her to e-mail me back with a date. In a way I understand why she is upset, obviously this costs the company money and the funny thing is also that payroll has screwed up my sick pay so that I haven't even been paid for all my time off sick. Do they want me to try to drive to work when my head is pounding practically off my head or that I loopy from all the drugs I've taken trying to get rid of the migraine? When I have a migraine I have a hard time just dialing the phone number to tell them I can't come to work. Also do they want me to come to work when I've got a viral respiratory infection and can barely talk? The letter said that if I continue with this kind of sick time then I have to go through an Attendence Awareness Program. I could care less really about that, I could get a dr's note for every time I've been off sick if I had to. See the thing is that when we call in sick we have to leave her a message too, so what she thinks I am faking bronchitis or when I am having a migraine and having trouble stringing 2 words together because my brain is pounding so hard that I can't think. I feel probably that this is something she has to do because she's got her own bosses to answer to and when it comes up she has to show that she has done something. Anyway just ticks me off and I wanted to vent.
Jen I totally understand your vent!!!!! I am not sure if get migaines per say, but they must be. And I can barley stand the sound my my own breathing and pitch black isn't dark enough let alone the noises and lights of daily life. You couldn't work with one. I also had a boss who would CALL me several times on my sick days and ask me if I could maybe go see a kid or two in the afternoon, or ask my EXACTLY what my symptoms were. She even questioned my doctor's motives when he took me off work when I was preg b/c my blood pressure was high b/c she didn't think it was that high, she also was annoyed that he put me in the hospital before that for severe dyhydraion b/c I had been throwing up for four days while preg. When other people's kids were sick she'd try to call places to find childcare for them so their parents didn't have to use the sick time. We got like 70 hours of sick time a year and you could roll it over from year to year. What I never understood is why give us sick time if we weren't supposed to use it?
I think it's a bit silly to call you on it, I mean considering what you do they probably don't want you there with something contageous! I hope all goes well when you meet with her and that she understands that you aren't trying to abuse the system.
Since you work at a hospital, you probably have an employee health department. You should contact the department and ask for their assistance. I know that if you were to show up to work all "loopy" from medication or with an illness that you could pass on to your patients, usually employee health will step in and send you home. I'm not sure what they would recommend you to do with a migraine. But if it is in your file that you suffer from occasional migraines (and you may need a doctor's note on this) they may be less inclined to give you a hard time about any sick days associated with it. Also, if you are out sick for a certain number of days, don't you have to have a doctor's note to start back to work? I'd think that at least your bronchitis days would have fallen into this category. Good luck. I don't suffer from migraines, but I have worked in places with sufferers--and they do get a lot of flack for taking time off due to migraines.
Thanks to both of you for your support. The problem is that employee health is only open regular business hours and I would have to drive to get there. It wouldn't really work for the migraines which is probably the majority of my sick days but when I am having a bronchitis attack (not that I want another one!) I will definately go there. I am thinking about having my dr write a letter to the manager about my migraines, I haven't heard back from her about a meeting yet. I sent her an e-mail on the weekend so I would expect to here back soon. Migraines are very misunderstood, people think that they are just headaches and that you should be able to work through them. They don't seem to be considered a real illness. Honestly I've had times where I wanted to bang my head against the wall I was in such pain. And even though I'm a nurse I'll take whatever med I can get my hands on to get rid of the migraine. I don't OD or anything but I'll be taking Tylenol, Advil, Demerol or some migraine specific meds that I just got ordered which make me feel like I got hit by a truck. Anyway again thanks for your support, it helps to know that I'm not over reacting to this situation.
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