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Would you be offended if a coworker wore a surgical mask while having a cough?

We are encouraged to call in sick if we have a fever, infectious condition (such as pinkeye), or vomitting /diarrhea at work. I work in a place where patient visitation is limited to two consistent people per patient and a coworker had a mask on because they had a cough and none of the other symptoms but wanted to be conscientious of the possibility that the cough could have been more, even though her doctor said it was probably her allergies. The patient's visitor commented that they thought it was wrong that we restrict their visitors when we had people "like that" that were allowed to come into work.

Answer Question

Asked by Angelwolf130 at 1:43 AM on Sep. 27, 2010 in Money & Work

Level 6 (148 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • Lol.
    I would be concerned but not offended.

    Answer by Manandyce at 1:44 AM on Sep. 27, 2010

  • Unless you work at a place that is just overflowing with extra workers, which is pretty rare these days, no! People are going to complain if you are understaffed and they complain if they think someone is sick around their family or friends. Wouldn't it be great if healthcare workers were immune to everything!!!!

    Answer by treynlisa at 5:29 AM on Sep. 27, 2010

  • actually I think I would be pretty glad that they were taking the precaution. Unless they were obviously sick and should have stayed home, then I think I would tell them that they need to go home.

    Answer by foxracing43701 at 9:08 AM on Sep. 27, 2010

  • I would think it was considerate they were taking precautions towards others, and that it looked like the visitor was sort of looking for a gripe!

    Answer by Happymom2-2 at 9:54 AM on Sep. 27, 2010

  • I would think she is being considerate...not offended.

    Answer by Mom2Just1 at 10:31 AM on Sep. 27, 2010

  • Maybe the problem is the two person visitor policy more than the worker with allergies. It doesn't make sense that you can only have the same two visitors even if you are stuck there for weeks. I would take the grumbling as frustration over the other policy more than a direct concern about the mask. Hey how come she can do that, but I can't have my husband, mother and father visit me. My mother doesn't drive and my father has to sit in the parking lot because your policy is so backwards, but it is okay for a sick worker to blah blah blah. It's not about the mask. Are you on a hospital floor or in the ER or what?

    Answer by LoveMyDog at 10:46 AM on Sep. 27, 2010

  • Not at all but rather considerate for others.


    Answer by musicmom08 at 11:15 AM on Sep. 27, 2010

  • I take it you work for a hospital. I can see where this might have given the visitor the wrong impression. Still, she should have kept her mouth shut or spoken to the head nurse privately if she was concerned.

    Answer by HotMama330 at 11:36 AM on Sep. 27, 2010

  • I would respect it...I would be offended if there was a bad cough and the coworker was just all out coughing everywhere

    Answer by togo90210 at 12:26 PM on Sep. 27, 2010

  • I would think that the coworker was being considerate of others. May be they wanted to err on the side of precaution in case it was an infectious cough.

    Answer by bryncalyn at 12:29 PM on Sep. 27, 2010

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