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When Should a Nurse Call in Sick?

Nurses are an important element of our health sector, and we frequently overlook the fact that regardless of their excellent job, they are just human and can become ill too.

Getting ill is a common occurrence. We’ve all been in such a situation. Your throat seems like a sack of razor blades has been eaten, your head feels like someone is crushing the rear of your eyelids, and you can barely manage to go to the toilet. Many employed medical professionals are unclear input they should call in sick for duty, despite the fact that an oncoming disease hides well. When it comes to caring for patients in a hospital or other medical environment, how ill is too sick?

For many nurses, this might be a difficult decision.

Numerous nurses feel bad about having to call in ill and might believe that never taking a day off is brave or a sign of good virtue.

When is it appropriate for a nurse to call in sick? This issue may not have a clear response since it is dependent on several things, along with the symptoms and circumstances. Whenever a nurse, for instance, is infectious or mentally or physically exhausted to the level where they won’t be able to effectively care for themselves or their patients, they should call in sick.

Patients, as we all know, are extremely fragile, and without adequate care, they may suffer unnecessarily.

The Dangers Of Going To Work Sick

Nurses must make efforts to prevent getting to work sick, which is termed as presenteeism, according to medical experts. Continuing to work while unwell not only makes nurses less efficient, but it also puts patients in danger and can transmit sickness among coworkers as well as other hospital personnel.

Nurses who care with transplant patients, cancer patients, the newborn community, and patients who are already immunologically challenged put their patients’ lives in jeopardy. These people are more prone to sickness and may be at a higher risk of contracting infections from others.

According to studies, nurses who arrive at work unwell do even more damage than good. A nurse working at a Colorado senior care home, for instance, was reported as the cause of a serious respiratory infection epidemic in a 2012 research. The healthcare professional experienced the quickest start of respiratory symptoms and performed while unwell, according to the study.

Nurses pretty much agree that going into work unwell is dangerous to themselves as well as to their patients, yet they confess to performing with a fever, gastrointestinal problems, and/or respiratory issues. Some people are motivated by guilt, while some are still unable to take some time off without pay or do not want to use paid time off (PTO), and still, others may not have any PTO.

When Should A Nurse Call In Sick In The First Place?

Infection Or Contagious Illness

One of the most important reasons for a nurse to call in sick is if he or she is unwell with a potentially infectious illness.

While the sickness may be minor – such as a cold or cough – it might be far more devastating for a critically ill patient.

Signs associated with viral infection may resemble those associated with allergies or long-term respiratory diseases such as asthma in some situations.

As a nurse, it’s critical to be watchful and make an informed guess about whether your signs are typical for you or are the consequence of something more serious, such as the flu.

A clogged or runny nose, coughing, general pains, headache are some of the symptoms to watch out for.

If you have any of these symptoms in addition to a temperature, you should avoid going to work.

Extreme Fatigue

While working as a nurse may be a highly pleasurable and fulfilling career, it also entails long shifts, mental stress, and physical depletion.

Nurses who are not well-rested and physically robust are more likely to make mistakes on the job, therefore they should always call in sick if they are exhausted.

The same may be said for nurses who see themselves as unable to perform efficiently and helpfully due to the stress of their jobs.

Emotional Problems

There are moments in our life when emotional pain has become a concern; our thoughts make us man, but it is critical to take time to recuperate in times of need.

This is especially true for nurses.

Time off work is critical for nurses who are experiencing a high level of emotional anguish or are dealing with very tough situations in their personal lives.

This will guarantee that the nurse is engaged and attentive when she goes back to work.

So, when is it appropriate for a nurse to call in sick due to emotional issues? The sooner, the better, in our opinion.

Psychological Problems And Issues With Mental Health

There’s been a taboo associated with mental health issues that have been incorrectly applied, yet our mental health is equally as vital as our physical wellbeing.

If you work as a nurse and are experiencing a mental health or psychological concerns, you have every right to call in sick.

When your mind isn’t concentrated, you run the danger of making mistakes you wouldn’t normally make. This might be anything from giving the wrong medication to completing papers improperly.


Nursing is a rewarding yet exhausting profession.

Nurses ought to be healthy to concentrate at work, thus going to work sick or unstable is never a smart idea.

This is not only awful for the nurse in issue, but it also puts other employees and patients in danger.

Nurses must always put their patient’s needs first, but they must also prioritize their health and well-being. Working while unwell might cause treatment to be delayed and the sickness to last longer.

You now understand when and why a nurse should call in sick.

About Rachel

Hi my name is Rachel; a registered nurse. I graduated from one of the best nursing programmes and have been working in the medical field for 10 years. As a licensed practical nurse, I understand the plight that comes with the job. While I enjoy taking care of patients, I understand the long working hours that nurses have to deal with. We spend majority of the shifts walking around the medical centre making sure all patients are taken care of and this requires a lot of work and energy on the feet. https://bestnursingshoes.net has been created to help nurses from different parts of the world find the perfect shoes to reduce the strain on your feet and posture and make the job much easier.

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