This is an important question to fully understand.
Just like in any other job, you will accrue sick time/paid time off (PTO), to be utilized in the event you become ill and need to take some time off. This is similar to other nurses who enjoy the full-time benefits of working at one location or with one health system.
However, as in any other position, attendance is monitored and required. It is imperative to have the right nurse with the right skill sets at the bedside at all times to drive the right outcomes. Sick days do impact the health of the patients we serve. Thus, your attendance is vitally important to the facility and their patients.
As nurses, we want to prevent the spread of any disease, and obviously it is important for you not to spread germs and viruses to the patients that you care for. Some hospitals mandate flu shots for all direct caregivers to prevent the spread of flu to compromised patients. All the interventions that we can do to keep ourselves healthy and prevent the spread of any illness is much appreciated and expected by healthcare professionals. So, it is always a balance between when you should be working or calling out ill.
Most importantly, you need to be healthy to provide excellent care to your patients. So, once again, it is always a balance of your health and the health of your patients. We expect our nurses to use good professional judgement when making decisions about calling out.
Many of our travelers who call out sick will volunteer to pick up an additional shift once they feel better. This shows a real level of professionalism and a commitment to their patients and the healthcare facility.
Here’s to your good health. Keep the questions flowing.
I look forward to more questions from our nurses. Our goal is to make you successful. Please submit your questions here. Remember: no question is out of order - send them all my way!
Always remember the words of Florence Nightingale: “I attribute my success to this - I never gave or took any excuse.”