being called off..

  1. How often is normal? On my floor, 1-3 nurses are called off mostly every shift.

    I've been there 6 months. Called off once due to stomach flu, have taken no other PTO but I'm out due to using it to cover the frequent call offs due to over staffing.

    And they are still hiring nurses...not sure why.

    Is this common? Its been going on for 3 months now. I do not have any more PTO to cover it and I need to pay my bills...
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  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    Look elsewhere. You can't be expected to continue sitting on your thumbs at home when you have bills to pay. If anything, get another job and make this one your secondary job if you "keep" it at all.
  4. by   Castiela
    We get floated to different units if we are overstaffed but we are Union so they can't send us home unless we agree.

    I would also find another position.
  5. by   Sour Lemon
    The places I've worked at have gone back and forth between extremely overstaffed and extremely understaffed. Since it can take a month to push a new hire through orientation, they tend to hire and hire and hire expecting that some staff will leave. Ironically, a lot of people do end up leaving because they're canceled too often.
    I don't mind being canceled, but if I wanted to work, I'd do what I see others do - pick up a huge amount of overtime during the understaffed times and take it easy when overstaffed.
  6. by   Rose_Queen
    It's why I left my previous position. An entire team of 9-12 people were either told not to come in or sent home early pretty much every day. The same 9-12 people every day. Can't imagine why that particular team is hemorrhaging experienced staff...
  7. by   xoemmylouox
    My job has put me "on call" about 4 times in the last 2 months. It has eaten up the meager PTO bank I had started. They say they give you on call pay for 8 hours.. however that on call "pay" is honestly $2.00/hr. Frankly they can take those $16 dollars and shove it. It's obvious they need it much more than I do.
    I'd say in the slower months it is normal, or after they have a massive job fair. Once influenza hits they calling off should slow down. They are waaaay over staffed if they are calling more than 1-2 per unit per shift. I'd look elsewhere.
  8. by   cleback
    Do they have a "busy season" they're purposely over staffing for?

    The unit I used to work on would get very busy during flu season but in the summer would regularly send 2-3 nurses home on days. But then finances got tight so the unit had to staff according to the summer census.... and then work short or give overtime during the busy season. It really sucked for a while. Lots of nurses left. Now staffing is in more of a happy medium.

    That doesn't help your situation though. If you want to stay employed there, are you able to be cross trained to another department or specialized role, like PICC nurse/charge nurse? I have found those nurses are less likely to be called off.
  9. by   SaltySarcasticSally
    I'm honestly not sure why they are over staffing. I think its mainly for an occasional overflow unit but its hardly ever open.

    I am a new grad RN so can't do specialized roles yet but will be trying to transfer as I don't think this occurring on other units. I'm also floated often so I've seen its not as common on other floors...
  10. by   MunoRN
    RN staffing requirements typically increase by 15-25% between November and March, the way hospitals deal with these staffing variabilties is based on the the facility, some just expect their normal staff to increase their FTE to increase their work hours to meet demand, which are management that are going to hell along with staff that play along.
  11. by   JKL33
    Quote from xoemmylouox
    My job has put me "on call" about 4 times in the last 2 months. It has eaten up the meager PTO bank I had started. They say they give you on call pay for 8 hours.. however that on call "pay" is honestly $2.00/hr. Frankly they can take those $16 dollars and shove it. It's obvious they need it much more than I do.
    I'd say in the slower months it is normal, or after they have a massive job fair. Once influenza hits they calling off should slow down. They are waaaay over staffed if they are calling more than 1-2 per unit per shift. I'd look elsewhere.
    This is one situation I do not/will not tolerate. So much wrong with it. I really am surprised at the number of people who have an "oh. okay" perspective about this.
  12. by   Meriwhen
    It seems to go in waves in my facility. Right now, staffing is so good that call offs happen pretty much every week. But I'm sure in a few months things will shift again and we'll go back to being short-staffed.

    There's a protocol they follow regarding who gets called off first: OT, then per-diem, then part-time, then full-time. For full-time staff, a log is kept so the cancellations are rotated among staff. However, there's usually enough people volunteering to have the night off, that it's not that common for someone to be unwillingly cancelled. Cancelled staff can request to use PTO or take it unpaid.

    If we're sent home early, we get at least 4 hours of pay.
  13. by   JBMmom
    Wow, I've been there five months now and Wednesday was the first day I've heard of anyone getting called off. It wasn't on my shift (third), and I've been able to pick up 1-2 shifts every week since I started. I kept my per diem job elsewhere in case I couldn't get enough time, but so far that hasn't been an issue. Guess I hang onto it, though, in case I experience anything like this in the future. I had no idea you had to use PTO if you're called off, I thought it was just an unpaid day. I would be really upset if I had to use my own time unnecessarily. Good luck!
  14. by   meanmaryjean
    One of the things I do NOT miss about bedside nursing.

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