In a recent study, almost all of the doctors admitted that they would go to work even if they had a cold, and almost thirty-six percent of them would go to work while having the flu.
For the study that was presented at the IDWeek 2015, the researchers surveyed 474 doctors working in California at an academic hospital, on whether they would go to work when they had specific conditions or symptoms.
The results showed that 96 percent of the doctors would usually go to work while having a cold, 54 percent admitted that they would go to work even if they were vomiting, about 77 percent of the participants stated that they would go to work even if they had diarrhoea, and almost 36 percent stated that they would go to work when they had the flu.
Furthermore, about 50 percent of the doctors said that even if they had a fever from 101 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit (38 to 39 degrees Celsius), they would go to work. About 25 percent said that they would work when having a fever over 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
“A lot of it had to do with feeling guilty, that your colleagues are going to come and take on the work if you aren’t there, or that your patients are going to suffer if you’re not there,” stated Shruti K. Gohil, an associate medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center (UCIMC).
According to Kimberly K. Truong, a resident physician at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, physicians usually have a strong sense of duty and work ethic, which in turn affects their decisions of coming to work even when sick. They do not want to be looked down upon by their superiors.
The likelihood of doctors who were in their residency training to come to work when sick with the flue was the highest, compared with more trained physicians who chose not to come to work when sick with the flu.
Turong stated that about 30 percent of the doctors who participated in the survey said that they would not wear a face masks or other protective gear when came to work feeling sick.
The participants stated that they would feel a lot more at ease with staying at home, if their superiors told them that it was alright not to come to work when sick.
After the study was published, the institution where the researchers worked sent out an email which said that it supported the doctors taking some time off when sick, and it also offered some guidelines regarding the symptoms that doctors should have in order to take some time off.
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