Health care professionals need to realize the importance of taking a sick day

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According to a new study published by JAMA Pediatrics, 95 per cent of attending physicians, certified registered nurse practitioners, midwives and other...

According to a new study published by JAMA Pediatrics, 95 per cent of attending physicians, certified registered nurse practitioners, midwives and other health care workers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia who answered an anonymous survey said they believed working while sick puts patients at risk.

Eighty-three per cent of these health care workers admitted to going to work while not feeling well, at least once in the past year.

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This has caused quite a stir, as the health of patients is the primary concern for medical professionals. But the reasons for choosing to go to work, despite feeling under the weather, all link back to one central theme: fear.

According to our sister publication Business Review Canada, the number one reason many choose to still go into work is because they don’t want to let their colleagues down. The second? Staffing concerns.

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“It’s no surprise that those who work in the medical field are overworked and sleep deprived. After all, diseases don’t take a summer vacation,” wrote the publication. “Therefore, if a doctor, nurse or someone in a related position calls off work, someone, somewhere will have to pick up the slack. This, of course, could then lead to being ostracized by co-workers.”

Another reason why health professionals choose to skip sick days is due to not wanting to let patients down. Which is ironic, as exposing patients to disease can only do more harm.

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As our sister publication concludes: “you have sick days for a reason, so use them!”

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