Asking for PTO as a Student
With the start of our yearlong clinical only one month away, the logistics of having a full-time "job" are becoming a reality. We recently met with the clinical education instructors in our department to cover the do's and don'ts regarding PTO, stipends and general workplace expectations. For a lot of us, this is the first time we'll be considered full-time employees within an organization, so the associated structures and protocols are not something we've ever had to deal with.
Over the course of the year, we're allotted 25 PTO days, which they say reflects the average number of days (including sick and emergency days) that a new graduate will receive from their first employer. To be honest, this sounded like a lot at first until I realized that it includes sick days, continuing education days and vacation time. Either way, it seems fair. I did work for two year prior to coming to PT school, although I was not a full-time employee so many of the nuances did not apply to me. This coming year will mark the first time that I'm bound to an organization as a true employee, and for all of the great benefits that come along with that, there will also be some adjustments to make.
The problem I'm running into is that within the first month, a friend of mine from the PT program is getting married in South Carolina. Without thinking about it (and before we had this recent meeting), I contacted my CI who I've yet to meet in person and asked for the Friday prior to the wedding off to ease the burden of traveling. In hindsight, that was probably a very bold and inconsiderate request to make.
Given, this day off will be within my first month, during which I don't anticipate that I'll be carrying a full caseload, but I feel guilty and slightly foolish for having requested the day in the manner that I did. The more I think about it, the more I realize my current first impression may not be the best. In light of it all, I'm considering sending a follow-up email to retract my request until I have the time to meet with my CI in person.
I'm wondering if anyone out there, students or clinical instructors, has run into a similar problem and how you've dealt with it. Students -- I'd love to know how you went about requesting time off so shortly after your start at a clinical site. Instructors -- I'm wondering how you dealt with and viewed such requests. I'd hate to make a bad first impression at a place where I'll be working full-time.