Author Topic: Sickness in the office - or handling Typhoid Mary  (Read 5563 times)

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Jocelyn

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Re: Sickness in the office - or handling Typhoid Mary
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2014, 10:53:31 PM »
I start the semester telling my students that they have 2 days of sick leave, and for heaven's sake, stay home if they're feeling sick. I sort of make a joke out of it, but whenever anyone emails me to tell me they're sick, I thank them for staying home and not exposing the rest of us.
Maybe you could do things like that to create a culture of 'stay-home-edness' in your workplace? People commenting upon a co-worker's absence with gratitude that they stayed home and didn't expose others?

meliboea

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Re: Sickness in the office - or handling Typhoid Mary
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2014, 04:38:58 AM »
Well Mary is sick again, and for the first time ever, she sent round an email informing everyone she'd be staying home until better!

So either she's a) reeeeeeeally sick b) was also infected with common sense, or c) the office grapevine did its work.  ;D

Specky

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Re: Sickness in the office - or handling Typhoid Mary
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2014, 06:24:41 AM »
Well Mary is sick again, and for the first time ever, she sent round an email informing everyone she'd be staying home until better!

So either she's a) reeeeeeeally sick b) was also infected with common sense, or c) the office grapevine did its work.  ;D

Yay!  May this be the beginning of a new era.

Aquamarine

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Re: Sickness in the office - or handling Typhoid Mary
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2014, 04:50:32 PM »
I would go with frequent hand washing and keeping my hands off my facial area.  When Mary comes into the office I would put on my own mask and gloves and they would stay in place for the entire day.

Just curious, have you worked entire days with a mask on? It's possible, certainly, but not pleasant.

Yes I have.  No, it's not pleasant but may be more pleasant than catching something and have to work sick.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

Specky

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Re: Sickness in the office - or handling Typhoid Mary
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2014, 09:08:44 PM »
I would go with frequent hand washing and keeping my hands off my facial area.  When Mary comes into the office I would put on my own mask and gloves and they would stay in place for the entire day.

Unless masks have changed greatly, or depending on the type of mask, wearing the same mask all day would be ineffective.  They lose their ability to provide a barrier after a certain amount of time.  Also, gloves aren't going to do anything if you are still touching stuff and then touching your face.  Gloves will get just as soiled as hands and need to be changed (with handwashing) throughout the day.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 09:11:35 PM by Specky »

Aquamarine

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Re: Sickness in the office - or handling Typhoid Mary
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2014, 09:44:10 PM »
I would go with frequent hand washing and keeping my hands off my facial area.  When Mary comes into the office I would put on my own mask and gloves and they would stay in place for the entire day.

Unless masks have changed greatly, or depending on the type of mask, wearing the same mask all day would be ineffective.  They lose their ability to provide a barrier after a certain amount of time.  Also, gloves aren't going to do anything if you are still touching stuff and then touching your face.  Gloves will get just as soiled as hands and need to be changed (with handwashing) throughout the day.

I am an RN who works an extremely busy med surg ward.  I know these things need to be changed frequently, along with handwashing, I just didn't think to spell it out in my post.  I never, ever touch my face at work.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

Hollanda

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Re: Sickness in the office - or handling Typhoid Mary
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2014, 08:50:42 AM »
I am surprised that there is no rule already in place for people turning up to work when ill.  Over here, we are told with certain illnesses (notably D&V), not tu come in for 48 hours after the last vomiting spate. Childcare providers also have similar measures in place.  I work in a hospital, and see clearly how these things spread so quickly and if we're not careful, the result is an overcrowding of wards which results in breeches of waiting times etc.
 
At the end of the day, it's common sense.  If you are sick with D&V or something equally as contagious, or flu, or a very heavy cold, I would personally prefer not to be exposed to that. 
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Aquamarine

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Re: Sickness in the office - or handling Typhoid Mary
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2014, 03:18:37 PM »
I am surprised that there is no rule already in place for people turning up to work when ill.  Over here, we are told with certain illnesses (notably D&V), not tu come in for 48 hours after the last vomiting spate. Childcare providers also have similar measures in place.  I work in a hospital, and see clearly how these things spread so quickly and if we're not careful, the result is an overcrowding of wards which results in breeches of waiting times etc.
 
At the end of the day, it's common sense.  If you are sick with D&V or something equally as contagious, or flu, or a very heavy cold, I would personally prefer not to be exposed to that.

People work sick in hospitals all the time.  We get two sick days a year where we can call in sick and if you call in more than that you have to have a Drs note  for each time which is asinine.  No one goes to the Dr for colds or temporary GI upsets.  So people just come to work sick.  Hospitals put forth one thing to the public in terms of patient safety and infection control yet say something completely different to their staff and through their policies.  The hypocrisy is truly astonishing to me.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

Jocelyn

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Re: Sickness in the office - or handling Typhoid Mary
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2014, 06:22:52 PM »
I am surprised that there is no rule already in place for people turning up to work when ill.  Over here, we are told with certain illnesses (notably D&V), not tu come in for 48 hours after the last vomiting spate. 
Back when I worked in hospitals, the 'rule' was, 'How dare you inconvenience your coworkers and compromise patient care by staying home and being a wuss?' I have been called, after calling in sick, and told to get myself in there... that after I finished morning care I could go lie down for an hour before lunch. Seriously. Another time, I pulled a muscle lifting patients on Christmas Day, because we were working short-staff and there was not enough staff to get a coworker to help you lift. (yes, we were shamed for not being tough enough to lift someone who weighed more than we did, all by ourselves. Asking for help was just 'using' your coworkers to do your work, you know.) I called back and said that my doctor had ordered me to stay off work for a week. During that time, a dear friend was moving across the country, and another friend was having a farewell party for him. I hobbled to the party and sat quietly for about an hour...during which time my employer called to ask me to work on NYE/NYD because other people had called in sick (note: after I had called in injured!). They were furious when my mother told them I wasn't at home: if I were well enough to leave my home, I was well enough to work. Doing the same workload that had injured me a week earlier...
In my working days, direct patient care positions were far more likely to berate or punish workers for not coming in for being sick. It took me a long time to realize, after I started working in a clinic, that it was OK not to come to work if it were physically within the realm of possibility. I worked for a couple of weeks with a slipped disc in my back, because I could endure the pain of an hour's commute and working a 10 hour day. Then the disc below the slip ruptured, and I was on 6 weeks bed rest.

Hollanda

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Re: Sickness in the office - or handling Typhoid Mary
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2014, 03:42:44 AM »
The hypocrisy is wonderful.  Although we have this "rule" in place, there is also the capability procedure, which is followed after so many days of sick (depending on whether you work full tiem or part time)...it doesn't matter whether you have D&V, meningitis or have been hit by a car.  If you exceed the threshold, you go under formal monitoring and could eventually lose your job through it..
 
For this reason, I am rarely off sick - I have to be very, very ill to even consider it.  In our department, it is preferable to remain at home if you have D&V, as people don't want to be infected with germs.  I wouldn't think of staying at home for a cold or anything minor...fortunately, these days, I am rarely ill. Having DS has strengthened my immune system, and although I catch colds from him, they rarely amount to anything.

We are reminded annually about the Winter Vomiting Bug and if we have it, to please stay at home and not risk infecting everyone else.  I think also there is the point here that staff absence costs the NHS billions of pounds a year in lost productivity, and there has historically been a lot of people taking the mickey and "pulling sickies" from work when they just want a day at home in bed.  So people coming in to work sick spreads these bugs about and suddenly it's not just one person sick, it's a whole team. 
 
I understand the policy and why they have to have it in place, but there seems to be no discretion for managers.  If you're sick, you shouldn't be at work, the manager has seen you and knows you're sick, but then suddenly you're back at work and told you will be formally monitored for 3 months and this will go in your HR files.
 
The goal posts seem to change with the weather, which really doesn't help anyone either.
Knowledge is knowing tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


bopper

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Re: Sickness in the office - or handling Typhoid Mary
« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2014, 11:15:48 AM »
I would "reward' Mary for staying home sick...

"Mary, thanks for letting us know you are staying home.  You know, I really do think it best overall for the office so others don't get sick. Let me know if there is anything you need me to do at the office."

LadyClaire

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Re: Sickness in the office - or handling Typhoid Mary
« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2014, 04:09:09 PM »
Our Typhoid Mary was sick last week, coughing all over everything, including cookies that were supposed to be set out for an event.

She came in to work yesterday and told us that she'd had to go to the hospital on Friday night. It was bacterial Pneumonia.