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The Nurse Who’s Never Missed a Day

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Stacey Taylor with a patient on Osler 4.

How is it humanly possible not to call in sick in the last 20 years? For Osler 4 nurse Stacey Taylor, luck has played a part—she’s always taken ill on her days off. Good genes haven’t hurt either.

Taylor’s grandmother—also a nurse—lived to be 105, and her parents remain healthy.

She doesn’t recall ever seeing her father home sick. He’d arise early and ride a bike to his government job. One of her sisters, a teacher, is going on 18 years without a sick day.

But, as Cal Ripken fans well know, showing up for work every day requires a strong work ethic, a lesson Taylor absorbed at a young age. At 14, while working at a restaurant owned by neighbors, Taylor realized that if she didn’t work hard, they wouldn’t succeed. Likewise, she notes, “My staff is counting on me to come in. If I don’t, it affects morale.”

Longtime colleague and supervisor JoAnn Ioannou calls Taylor’s outlook contagious. “Stacey sets the tone here. She’s compassionate and thorough and goes out of her way to recognize staff.”

Yet surely there’ve been times Taylor’s had trouble dragging herself to work. “Definitely!” she confesses. “But when I wake up not feeling well, I just figure I’ll soon feel better.” Were it not for a day off for the flu during her first two years on the job, Taylor would have had 22 years without a sick day. And, neither snowstorm nor headache has kept her home. “Call in sick for a headache? You’ve got to be kidding me.

“People probably think I’m crazy,” Taylor adds, “but it’s just not fair to everyone else.” Should she ever spike a fever on a work day, though, Taylor needn’t worry about using up sick time. She’s amassed 14 weeks.

—Judy Minkove

 

 

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