During these times in which teleconferencing and mutating strains of the flu are on the rise, calling in sick to work seems like a much more reasonable option than not in most cases. There are instances, however, where the decision can seem to enter a gray area. You may not feel sick enough to be contagious, but you may fear that pushing yourself while you are already vulnerable could lead to worsening the condition.
There is also the guilt associated with falling behind on your work and putting excess strain on your coworkers when you feel as if you might be able to power through the day. If you have faced this dilemma time and time again, then you might want to consider laying down a few solid guidelines that can help you make the decision on a uniform basis the next time you wake up to congestion, nausea, or any other dire symptoms.
Paying Attention to Your Body
The 24 hour rule that most pediatricians apply to determining whether children should stay home from school can also apply to your job. If you have symptoms that persist for over 24 hours, then it is a good indicator that you have something that will require medication and recovery time. Should the illness turn out to be the flu, then you will also need to stay home for 24 hours after the symptoms have subsided in order to avoid spreading the illness to others.
The unfortunate reality of the flu is that you can also spread it to others for a full day before symptoms begin to surface. When family members or other individuals in your household come down with the flu, you must be extra sensitive to contagion and symptoms if you are hoping to avoid missing days in the office. You must be discerning, however. Headaches alone and sneezing or coughing that are not excessive and free of mucus indicate that you are in working condition. Simply take anti-bacterial wipes with you to work to wipe down any surfaces that may expose your germs to co-workers.
How Tired is Too Tired?
Exhaustion can be a valid excuse to call in sick. The pace of contemporary society can easily cause people to burn the candle at both ends, driving themselves and their immune system into the ground. The thing to remember when calling in for this reason is to be straightforward. Do not make up illnesses to cover for your ailing body. Many people feel that being overworked is not a valid excuse. However, surveys of managers and employee coordinators indicate that all they want is a straightforward statement from the employee communicating that they are too ill for work.
There is no need for long stories with tons of extemporaneous details. Employees should distinguish between exhaustion and a mere lack of energy or sleep. Calling in sick because you only received three hours of sleep as opposed to your normal eight is no excuse.
If your morning routine is suddenly interrupted by constant diarrhea and vomiting, then you should certainly stay home. This condition equals a long and miserable day in the office. On top of that, using the bathroom every hour or so will extremely dehydrate the body. Failing to rehydrate yourself due to responsibilities in the office can lead to a dangerous situation. In this instance, it is best to stay home until your stomach settles. You must not take preemptive measures, however. Having trouble the night before but noticing that the symptoms have subsided by breakfast calls for making the trip into the office.
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Dana Jackson is a registered nurse and contributor at www.top-nursing-programs.com, where she has written about top-rated online nursing degree programs.