This website is intended for healthcare professionals


The problem with presenteeism

Many nurses push themselves to work when ill but at what cost? asks Nicola Davies

When nurses get sick, the chances are they will try to shake it off and go back to work. Whether it’s due to management’s demand to ‘do more with less’ or the belief that their work is indispensable, many nurses clock in despite being ill or unfit to work – a state referred to as presenteeism.1

Nurses get sick, not only from exposure to infections, but also due to the physical and psychological demands of the job. Research discussed at the Division of Occupational Health Psychology Conference in January 2016 indicates presenteeism is particularly prevalent in primary care nursing and leadership roles. It is a huge healthcare concern highlighted by research conducted by the Sainsbury’s Centre for Mental Health that found that presenteeism is costlier than absenteeism.2

Register now for access

Thank you for visiting Independent Nurse and reading some of our premium content. To read more, please register today. 


Already have an account? Sign in here