Health Worker Refusing To Cancel Vacation Despite Staff Shortage Applauded

A health care worker has been applauded for refusing to cancel her first vacation in five years despite concerns over a potential staff shortage in her absence.

It's been a difficult few years for those working in health sector, with the pandemic stretching many to breaking point with some staff left burned out, disillusioned or considering alternative employment.

In April, the results of a survey conducted by health care information solutions company Elsevier Health highlighted that 47 percent of U.S. health care workers were planning to leave their roles by 2025.

However, one health care worker might be planning to hasten their departure after taking to Reddit to detail how they were allegedly accused of "not being a team player" after refusing to cancel a vacation to help cover a staff shortage.

A health care worker saying no.
Stock image of a health care worker saying no. An overworked employee is refusing to cancel a long-awaited vacation despite staffing issues at their workplace. AaronAmat/Getty

Writing under the handle u/SinsOfKnowing in a post upvoted over 6,000 times, the unhappy employee explained how they recently booked two weeks off because they were "beyond burnt out."

"My company has frozen admin and supervisor wages since the pandemic started and we've been working short of both coordinators and actual nursing staff for three years while we try to take care of more patients who are sicker than ever," she said.

She explained that her vacation had been planned "in advance" but that another member of her team was granted a holiday at the "last minute" which created a problem when another member of staff was forced to take medical leave after being involved in an accident.

Her place of work is now facing a potential staff shortage but she is refusing to curtail her vacation, in a decision that has seen her face criticism for "not maintaining operational requirements." She said: "This is my first trip in five years and my first time taking a real break since the world went to hell in a handbasket."

Turning to social media to ask if she was right to stand her ground despite the potential impact on patient care, the woman's query was met with a resounding response: yes.

Wonderwife wrote: "If your workplace falls apart without you for two weeks, that's the problem of someone higher up the food chain who allowed this untenable situation."

Livelymonstera agreed, commenting: "they're just trying to manipulate you," with DrWhoop87 writing: "If they can't afford for you to take any time off then they definitely can't afford to fire you."

"You don't need to apologize or be made to feel guilty for taking time off yourself," 5nl007 said. "Have some fun. They will survive."

Mamawheels36 wrote: "It is not your responsibility to compensate for your work's lack of planning and staffing. Being a team player is well and good but that's not what's being asked of you... they want you to sacrifice your time for theirs."

Strangespecies concurred: "Their lack of planning is not your emergency."

Newsweek reached out to u/SinsOfKnowing for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.

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