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YesandNo
05-01-2006, 05:48 PM
Go to the doctor consistently?

Say someone with a Mon.-Fri. job during regular business hours needs to go see a psychologist and other assorted doctors regularly every week. Obviously he can only go during the days he works.

I ask this because now that I have insurance I can't ever seem to go to the doctor and asking for even 1 day off, or letting them know you'll be late for the doctor, is a pain.

I imagine if I actually needed to go consistently every week to a doctor or specialist it would be near impossible. And I don't want to hear that everyone goes to some special doctor on the weekend as the majority don't have access to doctors who actually work on the weekend.

Does one have to go to HR and explain their situation or what? I can't imagine I'd be long for my job if I started having special requests, they'd just get someone else without such things hampering them.

dolphinboy
05-01-2006, 06:02 PM
As a long time boss I have had employees who had "regular" doctor appointments and they would simply schedule to be out half a day. Normally they would volunteer to make up the time but as long as they kept up with their work, and there were no other work related issues, I would not worry too much about them being out of the office.

If afterwards I felt they were not really going to the doctor or that there were taking advantage of the situation I would let HR know and they would usually deal with it directly...

SCSimmons
05-01-2006, 06:05 PM
Does one have to go to HR and explain their situation or what? I can't imagine I'd be long for my job if I started having special requests, they'd just get someone else without such things hampering them.

Are you in the US, Y&N? If so, you should learn about the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Basically, if a doctor certifies medical need for time off of work, then (within certain limits) your employer can neither deny the time off nor discipline you in any way for taking it, by Federal law. (They don't have to pay you, but your job is safe.)

cher3
05-01-2006, 06:07 PM
It depends on your situation and how far you push it. At my current job, taking an hour or two off here and there is understood, as long as you don't abuse the privilege. Longer procedures require taking a half sick-day or whatever you have. I also once had to do two weeks of physcial therapy at 4 hours a week, and just arranged the schedule with my boss However, someone in more or less the same position as I am was evaluated pretty severely for taking up too much sick leave time. (She raced motorcycles as a hobby and had a couple of pretty serious injuries.) She eventually left--it was under some pressure, although I don't know if she was actually fired. If it had been something that was no fault of her own, I think they would have made accomodations for it, but they just couldn't see a future with her bashing herself up periodically and overdrawing the leave bank.

Green Cymbeline
05-01-2006, 06:09 PM
I just take sick leave time, or work late to make up the hours I was at the doctors appointment. Easy as pie.

Antinor01
05-01-2006, 06:48 PM
I haven't had need for weekly appointments, but I just try to schedule them for my lunch time or after work. If that's not possible, I take a couple hours vacation time.

ryobserver
05-01-2006, 06:56 PM
A lot depends on who you work for. One of my former employers (a university) had an explicit policy that the alloted sick days could also be used for medical and dental appointments that couldn't be fitted outside working hours. I thought at the time and still think that was a very sensible policy. I still use sick time for medical appointments at my current job, but it's an understanding with my supervisor, not a formal policy.

Antigen
05-01-2006, 09:59 PM
an understanding with my supervisor
I think that's the key in most cases where a person needs to take time off fairly often for medical appointments. A relative of mine has a spouse with a chronic illness, and takes time off work very regularly to bring her to appointments. There's an understanding with his boss that he's allowed to do this as long as the boss knows in advance, and as long as the week's workload manages to get done somehow. Scheduling appointments for very early or late in the day helps a lot too, because then only an hour or two of work is missed.

The Chao Goes Mu
05-02-2006, 08:23 AM
I personally know of no place that does not allow an employee to take the time needed to leave for a doctor appointment.

When I was undergoing a series of tests, I had no problem leaving for an hour or two here and there and some days having to be out the whole day.

Years ago when seeing a counselor weekly, I scheduled my appointments at 5:00 and just left work a half an hour early. I often came in a half an hour early that same day or the next day to stay caught up but was not required to.

Mindfield
05-02-2006, 08:41 AM
We have the same thing as the Family & Medical Leave laws here in Canada. Basically, if you have a legitemate family or medical concern (and in the case of medical concerns can provide documentation) no employer can legally deny you, nor can they discipline or fire you (though I assume there are provisions for providing temporary employment to fill your position in your absence if you're going to be absent for any significant period of time -- but your job must still be yours in whole when you return.)

'Course that won't stop some jerk employers from giving you an "unrelated" hard time or giving you a "lateral career shift." :)

CrankyAsAnOldMan
05-02-2006, 09:20 AM
Leave policies notwithstanding, this can remain an issue. A worker who is leaving regularly will have to offer an explanation. You can't leave your job regularly and not account for it--even if you're making it up, or using acrrued sick leave.

For example, an employee with a weekly meeting with a therapist might wish to keep private that they are seeking mental health services. I can see the same problem arising with other health issues, too. It's one thing to get time off for one doctor's appointment--it doesn't attract notice, you can make up the time or use leave as appropriate, no one is going to ask many questions that can't be answered with an impersonal "doctor's appointment" response. But with regularly, repeated visits, it's more of an issue.

Ideally one could do this outside of work hours entirely. Extended clinic hours make it easier for patients to make appointments that don't require missed work hours. I believe such hours are more commonly offered by mental health professionals than with other kinds of doctors, however.

Zsofia
05-02-2006, 10:24 AM
I honestly can't imagine going in for weekly psychiatric appointments at my job now, even though it may be technically required that they allow me to do so. For one thing, sick leave is amazingly easy to run through. For another, not everybody has an office job where they can just up and leave - I've got a desk to cover. It would be a big huge deal and I'd have to get it approved by everybody and his mother. It isn't always super easy, even in a fairly understanding workplace with reasonable sick leave.

davenportavenger
05-02-2006, 11:06 AM
Are you in the US, Y&N? If so, you should learn about the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Basically, if a doctor certifies medical need for time off of work, then (within certain limits) your employer can neither deny the time off nor discipline you in any way for taking it, by Federal law. (They don't have to pay you, but your job is safe.)I didn't know FMLA would cover things like this, I thought they only covered situations where you would have to be totally absent from your job for an extended period of time. Good to know.

The general practice clinic near my house (which I go to) has two nights of the week that they're open until 7:30. There are other clinics in the city with similar extended hours. Not every town may have one, but if you live close enough to a large city there should be at least one place that can accomodate you.

At my job I could just tell them and they'd let me off early or take a three-hour break or whatever I want. But there are jobs that are different--my housemate isn't even allowed to take a half-day, she has to miss the entire day if she has an appointment. That really sucks.