44 days and not one day off.....

  1. I read an article about a gathering of 60 nurses and one of our Senators, one nurse testified that she had worked 44 straight days without a day off. When I read that my blood ran cold. Alot of her shifts had been 12 hours long. And this is in a town with 2 nursing schools, and the local hospital pays $1,000 toward your tuition while in nursing school. The contents of this article coupled with what I have been reading on this board and others has made me change my mind. Long, long shifts with too many patients, weeks and months with no days off, AND nurse eating? No thank you. Too bad, I think I would have made a great nurse.
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   Zee_RN
    44 days and not one day off...sorry, my sympathy is limited here...she could have said NO. That's just ridiculous. You always have the option of saying NO when they call you at home and ask you to come in. Mandatory overtime is different, once there it's harder to leave...but to come in on a day off, well, you DO have some control over that.
  4. by   oramar
    I have a telephone is a room off at the end of the house with a number different from my home number. I call it my work phone. It is the only number my employer has. On my days off I shut off the ringer and turn off the answering machine. No one would ever get a day off if they did not take drsastic measures.
  5. by   JennieBSN
    Originally posted by oramar:
    I have a telephone is a room off at the end of the house with a number different from my home number. I call it my work phone. It is the only number my employer has. On my days off I shut off the ringer and turn off the answering machine. No one would ever get a day off if they did not take drsastic measures.
    Yep. I do the 'not home' thing, too on days I don't feel I could muster the intestinal fortitude to say NO. I totally agree with you all...44 days in a row is VERY avoidable. You have to maintain your sanity somehow!!
  6. by   nursenel
    I totally agree that 44 days is HER fault...hmmmmm? I guess this really says something about the staff shortages, eh? I could work every day of the week.I'll guarentee ya something else....the new staffing recomendations are NOT going to improve our situations!!!!!! The mandantory staff " recomendations " are so pitifully LOW now...they'll NEVER catch up to REAL TIME.
  7. by   Brownms46
    Working 44 days, 12hr shifts with no days off, is not only a danger to ones health, but to the health of others. If that nurse feels she did anyone any good, she was mistaken! I have NO problem saying no, and I do so on a regular basis! In fact I was just asked to give up one of my only two days off, to work a 12hr shift. When I started my new contract, on my first day I was shown to schedule, and notice I was scheduled to work 60hrs my first week! I immediately told the charge nurse NO! I didn't want to be SCHEDULED to work overtime! She immediately took me to the nurse manager, and told her, "she isn't going to be able to work the time we thought she would". I again told them, that I DON'T wish to be scheduled for overtime. I will decided when I will work overtime! I also told any agency I work for, that this was their 3RD call to me that week, to work, and I had already told them I would call them! They haven't called again! I know my limits, and I stay within them, and anyone who doesn't is asking for trouble. I wouldn't want a nurse taking care of me or anyone in my family, who would do half that many days! I would be afraid not only of her being too tired to make good decisions, but wouldn't trust anyone who doesn't have the sense enough to come in out of the rain, so to speak!

    Believe me, there are good things about nursing, and some of the problems are, that you have to take on stand on what you can control. You CAN control what you will, and won't allow yourself to do.

    Brownie

    [This message has been edited by Brownms46 (edited April 04, 2001).]
  8. by   oramar
    Something just came to my mind. I remember looking at a new schedule on the last day of the old 4 week schedule with another nurse. She suddenly realized something that had not registered with her before. She was a full time 3-11 person and frequently had her days off split up cause she liked it that way. Due to mandates she had worked a double going into most of her days off. She had never come in on a day off but due to all the mandates she had only had two actual days off in a four week schedule. She had been so busy she had not even realized what they had been doing to her. She really raised a stink in the nursing office that day. Did I make it clear what happened? If a steady 3-11 nurse who splits her days off up gets mandated for 11-7a lot they can technically go a long time without a day off, the nursing office will try to tell you worked a double on Monday but really you worked 8 on Monday and 8 on Tuesday.
  9. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by oramar:
    Something just came to my mind. I remember looking at a new schedule on the last day of the old 4 week schedule with another nurse. She suddenly realized something that had not registered with her before. She was a full time 3-11 person and frequently had her days off split up cause she liked it that way. Due to mandates she had worked a double going into most of her days off. She had never come in on a day off but due to all the mandates she had only had two actual days off in a four week schedule. She had been so busy she had not even realized what they had been doing to her. She really raised a stink in the nursing office that day. Did I make it clear what happened? If a steady 3-11 nurse who splits her days off up gets mandated for 11-7a lot they can technically go a long time without a day off, the nursing office will try to tell you worked a double on Monday but really you worked 8 on Monday and 8 on Tuesday.
    You lost me there. How can any hospital MANDATE, that you work a double? Did she take this position, and this was a condition of taking the position? I can understand how this person missed this situation. She was too tired to see, and comprehend well. Now if she didn't realize that she was working without actually having a day off(24hrs). What else didn't she realize? Sounds scary to me!

    Brownie
  10. by   oramar
    HUMMMM, let me see. if I had a calendar in front of us to show you I could explain it. Suppose the nurse was scheduled to work 3-11 on the 1st,2nd have 3rd off. work 4,5,6th have7th off. OK, on the evening of the 2nd at 11p just as she is about to leave she gets mandated to work till 7a, managment says you do not have to be back till the 4th at 3-11 so it will be easy for you. This person gets to the 6th and they do it again. Technically, she is getting more than 24 off but if she writes a check on the calendar for all the days she is physically in the building she has just gone a week without a day off. I was standing there when my fellow nurse went through the calendar and checked off all the days and came to the realization that since she liked to split her days off she was really getting screwed. This place loved to mandate going into your days off. If you work somewhere they do not mandate a second shift especially night shift you are damn lucky. It was only on her weekends when she got two days in a row off that she actually got a day off. By day off I mean no check on that date. She was being discriminated against because everyone else was taking two days off in a row most the time so they were only being mandated once a week. Believe it or not this person is 56 years old and still doing a double a week at least. I had to leave, I just could not keep up, I guess I am not made of such stern stuff.
  11. by   buck227
    I worked a similar schedule for 9 months. I had a weekender day position at one hospital and worked 3 night shifts during the week at another hospital (all 12 hour shifts). I took monday and friday off to sleep and switch. I made a ton of money, but I ended up hurting my back. I had an L5/S1 herniation that gradually came about and got worse untill I developed foot drop. Since I couldn't nail the injury down to one single incident, I couldn't claim workmans comp. I was out of work for 3 months after 2 surgeries with no paycheck. I had health insurance through my weekend job, but no other benefits since I was part time at both places. Now I only work full time positions and I say NO to overtime. It just is'nt worth it to work that much. Please take care of your selves, especially your backs.

    buck
  12. by   nursedeedee
    MY, my, my...this sounds like a marter to me. If this was mandated, I'm sure the labor authorities would love to hear about that one. No one can MAKE you work those crazy hours. Believe me, that is NOT the norm, so don't base your whole future career decision on one scary article.. Nursing has great rewards and its a very fulfilling career. GO FOR IT!!!!!
  13. by   Jay-Jay
    I read this somewhere recently (Ann Landers?)- "the only way someone can make a doormat out of you, is if you lie down."

    Mind, sometimes we do it to ourselves. I'm in community nursing, and we are responsible for setting our own schedules. I was working the weekend, so I took Friday off. Well, that means I spent half the day in voice mail, getting the info for the weekend calls, plus I spent part of the morning seeing two patients I didn't want to pass over to another nurse (no one does as good a job as you, right?? What fools we can be!)

    The weekend was pretty horrendous. I saw 13 people on Saturday alone, 4 of them new admissions. My total hours for the week were 45 h. Monday, I had only 3 patients, so I thought, well, I don't need to take another day off, because 3 patients is ALMOST like a day off...if I don't count the 4 hour CPR refresher course I attended in the evening! Things gradually got busier as the week went on, and Friday (Hospital Dump Day) was insane. Again, I had 13 people to see, and put over 100 km. on my car odometer. BY SATURDAY A.M. I WAS AT THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE WITH A BRAND NEW CASE OF BRONCHITIS!! I MISSED AN ENTIRE WEEK OFF WORK, AND AM STILL HACKING LIKE A PACK A DAY SMOKER!! NEVER AGAIN...I DO NOT GET SICK BENEFITS OR PRESCRIPTIONS COVERERED. I lost an entire week's wages, just because I did not take a day off when I should have.

    44 days without a day off is absolutely insane!
  14. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by oramar:
    HUMMMM, let me see. if I had a calendar in front of us to show you I could explain it. Suppose the nurse was scheduled to work 3-11 on the 1st,2nd have 3rd off. work 4,5,6th have7th off. OK, on the evening of the 2nd at 11p just as she is about to leave she gets mandated to work till 7a, managment says you do not have to be back till the 4th at 3-11 so it will be easy for you. This person gets to the 6th and they do it again. Technically, she is getting more than 24 off but if she writes a check on the calendar for all the days she is physically in the building she has just gone a week without a day off. I was standing there when my fellow nurse went through the calendar and checked off all the days and came to the realization that since she liked to split her days off she was really getting screwed. This place loved to mandate going into your days off. If you work somewhere they do not mandate a second shift especially night shift you are damn lucky. It was only on her weekends when she got two days in a row off that she actually got a day off. By day off I mean no check on that date. She was being discriminated against because everyone else was taking two days off in a row most the time so they were only being mandated once a week. Believe it or not this person is 56 years old and still doing a double a week at least. I had to leave, I just could not keep up, I guess I am not made of such stern stuff.
    Ok, I got it now. Thanks for explaining this practice.. . Now if this nurse is now aware of this, does she plan to put a stop to it?
    As for your not being made of "such stern stuff", I beg to differ with you. You were made of enough stuff to put an end to your employment at this place. Kudos to you! I feel sorry for this nurse, but they can only to do you, what you allow to be done. You can either stay with the flow, or flow elsewhere, if you can't effect change IN your environement, then you change your environment.

    Brownie


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