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To help or not to help


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I work in healthcare and we are almost always short staffed every day. Is it wrong for me to say no when they ask me to come in and help on a day off or stay late or come in early on a day when I already work? I used to think it was sinful to say no because people would be stressed out if they were working short.. But after months of constantly saying YES I am getting so tired and don’t think it’s bad to say no. What say you? 

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It is not sinful to say no. It's charitable on your part that you want to help, but... 

We all have limits - physical, mental, emotional, etc. And we all have other responsibilities in our lives - doing the laundry, visiting family & friends, buying groceries. 

If you're getting tired, is that having an effect on the quality of your work? If you're washing dishes in the cafeteria, it may not be a problem; if your fatigue is making you snappish toward patients, that may be a problem; if your fatigue makes you confuse which medications go to which patient, that's definitely a problem. 

Set some limits in your own mind - 8 hours of overtime in a week (one full day, two half-days, a couple of extra hours a few days a week), or whatever you're comfortable with. You might want to share that information with your supervisor - I would, so she knows what my limits are. 

Another consideration - are they really short-handed, because they don't have enough employees? Or has the company just not re-filled open positions, in order to make more profit? Or do other employees call in sick on a regular basis - let's say when there's already a three-day-weekend coming up, turning it into a four-day-weekend for themselves and leaving the other employees to pick up the slack? If any of that stuff is going on, and I've experienced it myself in various jobs, then I wouldn't feel so compelled to take on the extra hours. And I'd tell that to the supervisor, too. 


Edited by Luigi
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In the very first book of the Bible, Yahweh demonstrates the importance of a Sabbath--day of rest. Even the most austere religious orders have periods of recreation. Helping out occasionally in an emergency is okay (we all do that, regardless of our jobs), but taking care of your own well-being, physical and emotional, is also important to your being able to do your job and live your life effectively the rest of the time.

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