Chicago Fire’s Matt Casey (Jesse Spencer) has been having a rough time. An incident during a call resulted in an injury. Unfortunately, that injury complicated an existing health issue. Matt seems determined to hide his health struggle from Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker). Could this backfire?
Matt Casey is having health issues on ‘Chicago Fire’
Matt was dragged by a drunk driver during a call. At one point, the car stopped, and he was thrown from the vehicle. He hit his head, but he refused medical treatment. However, it’s clear Matt is in a lot of pain and he’s having trouble concentrating on work. Later in the episode, Matt pulls some papers from his desk drawer.
The papers reveal Matt had a serious head injury in 2012 that resulted in skull fractures and bleeding under the skin. The doctor put a notation in the file that if Matt has another head injury, it could “exacerbate trauma to a debilitating level.”
Matt Casey should be honest about his health
Matt doesn’t have to share his entire health history, but he should let Boden know he’s having problems from the accident. Matt could get into a situation where his condition compromises his work performance. If Boden is made aware of what’s happening, he might be able to make adjustments, so Matt doesn’t hurt himself or others. If Matt remains quiet, he could risk losing his job because he didn’t say anything.
According to Nicole Anderson, owner and CEO of MEND, a human resources solutions firm based in West Palm Beach, Florida, you don’t have to tell your boss everything. However, you should reveal something about your health condition, especially if it might impact your work.
“I believe it is important to share some information, but not all,” says Anderson. “For instance, if you need to be off quite a bit because of your illness, it is important that you let your boss know so they can provide you with information that can help such as FMLA information, programs the companies offer to help in these situations, or any other benefits the company might have. You always want to ensure you are doing things that are protecting your job.”
A health revelation could backfire for Matt
Although it’s important for Matt to be honest with the fire chief, his revelation could backfire. One possibility is that information about his condition could be leaked to people at the firehouse. Matt is in a position of authority, so he might worry about the people he manages perceiving him as weak.
If others learn he’s injured, it could change the way they treat him. Matt likely doesn’t want people to pity him or handle him like he’s fragile. However, in a situation like this, Anderson says it’s important to say something if your work is being affected.
“If you are starting to miss numerous days of work or your performance is slacking, it is important that you start the conversation with your boss and/or human resources,” says Anderson. “You also want to let them know if something you are doing at your job becomes unsafe because of your illness.”
Advice for Matt Casey
What should Matt do? Anderson offered some advice for the captain.
“Being a fireman is a safety-sensitive position,” says Anderson “This means that if he is ill or has a condition that can get him or someone else hurt, he needs to let others know. As much as he wants to help, he could potentially cause more harm than good. If he were to have an episode or issue while at a fire, it could cause serious injury or even death to himself, his fellow firemen/women, or [people he’s trying to rescue].”
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