So, I’m sick. Feeling washed out, scratchy throat, and congestion that’s heading down into my chest. I just feel crappy. Whatever this is, it’s making the rounds through the ED--a couple of residents and a few other nurses have had this same thing.
I’m sick enough that I won’t be any good to anyone, since my head is full of wool and I’m coughing on a regular basis. But I’m not so sick that I couldn’t take a few cold pills and suck it up and go do my twelve-hour shift and then come home, feeling worse that I am now and then recuperating over the next three days that I have off.
Instead, I called out sick tonight for tomorrow’s shift, and I’m feeling really guilty about it. Guilty, even though I haven’t used a sick day for almost six months. Guilty, even though I have over a week of sick days in my bank. Guilty, even though as a healthcare professional, I think it’s wrong to work while sick, making yourself sicker and spreading your disease to everyone around you. So guilty that I even called around to most of the other nurses on my shift to try to cover it, even though that’s not my responsibility. So guilty that I drove poor DR insane tonight obsessing over whether I should just try to go in, just see if I can do it (yeah, right, like they’ll let me go home if I can’t make it through the day--that’ll never happen).
I feel guilty because there are nurses in our ED who will work sick, with streaming eyes and nose and who will work on and on, even when they look so bad they can barely stand. Of course the residents, who get maybe one sick day a year (and then have to make it up at the end of their residencies), work sick and miserable until they look like they’re going to drop.
It kind of makes me feel like a wuss.
Screw it, I’m sick.