Can't go with family on vacation. Is it worth it?!

  1. I'm #42 out of 55 nurses to choose my vacation week. We rent a condo in the outer banks; we share it with my sister-in-law and her family. Reservations have to be in now and so they are made.

    But my vacation week has been filled by nurses with more seniority than I have (no more than 3 nurses can be off on any given week). So reservations are made and I'm not going to be able to go with my family. I'm just devastated. I've been at this hospital 2 years.

    Even if I got one of the three nurses that are scheduled for "my" week, I still stand a huge chance at losing at as we are only on the first group of 10 to choose. I got a way to go yet before I can choose my week.

    I just needed to vent. I'm so sad. My unit is very non-schedule friendly. *sigh* Times like this makes you wonder if nursing is worth it. (You don't even want to know what my Christmas week schedule looks like!!!)
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  2. 38 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    I'm sorry to hear that.

    Senority should count for something, but it doesn't seem entirely fair either.
  4. by   HONEYBEAR
    Zee,
    I do not believe any job should come before your family. To be at a job for 2 yrs and not be able to take time off when you want to is insane. I worked for a hospital that forbid employees to take time off if they had no PTO.....I explained to my manager that I was not concerned if I would not be paid for my Vacation, but I would be taking my 2 wks off (which had been booked for 6 months). I was then told that I would be considered "sick" and I would need a Doctors Excuse before returning back to work. Whatever!!!!!!!!! :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire
    After enjoying a 2 wk cruise around the caribbean (sp?) which was so needed, I went back to work (with my Dr's excuse), and turned in my notice (2 wks). My manager could not understand why I was so upset......after excepting my resignation she called me at home the next day to cancel me for my shifts for the weekend saying "census is down, we will not be needing you". this happened for the following weekend also, so needless to say I felt I was being "punished" for standing up for myself.
    In this day and age, I feel that whomever you work for you are just an Employee number, and as long as you come into work, do not call off sick, do not complain, do not have an opinion, and do not have a life they (management) leave you alone. Remember, there are always jobs out there, and you only have one family, and one life to make happy memories (sp?).
    Go on vacation with your family. :spin: :spin: :spin:

    Sorry, just my opinion,

    Jayne :spin:
  5. by   rstewart
    Quote from HONEYBEAR
    Zee,
    I do not believe any job should come before your family.
    In this day and age, I feel that whomever you work for you are just an Employee number, and as long as you come into work, do not call off sick, do not complain, do not have an opinion, and do not have a life they (management) leave you alone. Remember, there are always jobs out there, and you only have one family, and one life to make happy memories (sp?).
    Go on vacation with your family. :spin: :spin: :spin:

    Sorry, just my opinion,

    Jayne :spin:
    I wouldn't be at all sorry for your opinion, Jayne. I think you exactly right. As an older worker it is sometimes difficult for me to internalize the complete disregard corporate America has for its workforce. There once was a time when a worker's sacrifices and loyalty were rewarded, but no more. One only needs to read the seemingly daily announcements of the massive layoffs and termination of promised benefits/pensions (even by financially healthy companies) to see that things have changed and not for the good.

    Over the years I have taken care of many dying patients; not one has ever told me that they regretted not working more when they had the chance.

    That is not to say that there won't be repercussions from taking a family first stand; there almost certainly will be. But years down the line I suspect that you will not regret your decision.
  6. by   nurse_1098
    Seniority should account for something, that is true - but still, there should be some option here - Can you do mutual exchanges and make the time off work? It is better to book your vacation time before actually booking your trip due to the need to wait out the requests of the senior staff. As I am relatively new to the place I work I won't be planning anything big for peak vacation time this year, but will fit in plans on 'off season' time, and get my summer vacation as able.

    Mutuals or banked Overtime are sometimes helpful to get time off (though... I would too expect the use of banked OT to be turned down during peak vacation time).
  7. by   Katnip
    It sounds like Zee didn't have much choice in when to book the family vacation since other families are involved.

    Zee, did you talk to the people who have chosen your week? It's very possible that one of them, at least hasn't actually booked a vacation.
    yet, that they have some flexibility.

    If you absolutely can't switch, I'd go on vacation.

    I know what you mean by wondering if it's worth it at times. I just left my job because of a less than family friendly attitude. I'll do agency a while, but I'll probably get a job in an office somewhere eventually...occupational health, laser clinic, law, something.

    By the way, Zee. It's good to see you. It's been a while.

    ~Kat
  8. by   KaroSnowQueen
    No it is not worth it.
    If you can't get the requested time off, I'd go on vacation anyway. If your manager isn't receptive to the idea, I believe I'd get "sick" and stay home. If you need a dr's note, then go to the doc with some ailment and get one.

    I agree with one of the above posters who said that employee loyalty is not rewarded anymore. Companies will dump on you in a heartbeat.
    And they WONDER why there is a nursing shortage and WHY nurses get so burnt out they leave and don't return.................
  9. by   ptadvocate81
    No, I don't believe that it is worth it. My family comes first and always will. Fortunately, I have been blessed in a job where we self schdule and vacation is the same. The first ones to sign up in the time off book are the first to get it. I am glad that there is a nursing shortage because that means more job opportunities for me. If I am unhappy with vacation time, I can leave my job in pursuit of a better arrangement. I am so sorry to hear that this has happened to you. Best of luck in the future.
  10. by   traumaRUs
    Zee - I would opt for talking with others that have the week you want and see what kind of trade can be arranged. While I am a family first kinda gal too, I also realize that I have to have a job and that has to work in there too. Another option might be to arrange your work schedule around four days of that week. If you work 12 hour shifts, schedule your three days to work in a row and then fly out to the condo for at least a few days so you can spend time with your family. Is this possible?
  11. by   fergus51
    I don't think it's all that unreasonable to not get your first choice of vacation time after being at a hospital for only 2 years. It's a bummer, but I don't think they're so evil or unusual. Good luck whatever you decide.
  12. by   sjrn85
    I agree with fergus; actually, I'm surprised to hear there are hospitals that actually reward seniority!
  13. by   llg
    I know it is hard for some people to adjust to having a job (or having a family member with a job) that performs a vital service for the community, such as healthcare. People like nurses, doctors, firefighters, police, etc. can't just leave the hospitals, firestations, ambulances, and police stations empty during the holidays and prime vacation times.

    For those of you who think that nurses should be able to take vacation whenever they feel like it, I ask you ... "How do you propose to cover the unit when 80% of the staff chooses to take the same week off?" And those of you tempted to try to answer that question, please be realisitc in your responses.

    Professionals who perform vital services for the community have to realize that they are, indeed, vital -- and that they have an obligation to ensure that those services are provided during holidays, school vacations, etc. by "taking turns" with vacations, etc. so that a sufficient number of caregivers is on duty at all times.

    All we can ask of our employers is that they have a reasonable system of taking turns or distributing the time off -- and that they apply that system consistently and fairly to everyone equally. The original poster's hospital uses seniority as a way of determining who gets first choice. That is the most common system I have encountered in my career. I've heard of a few others who use a lottery system. .... What other (REALISTIC & FEASIBLE) system would you all prefer?

    llg
    Last edit by llg on Dec 11, '05
  14. by   SmilingBluEyes
    It was stuff like this that made me go perdiem.
    I am sorry for your disappointment. Seniority will almost ALWAYs win everywhere in the vacation request realm. It does where I work, too, and too many have 15-20 (or more) years in our department, so you know how hard it is to get the time off that you want---- unless no one with a lot of time in the company asks first.

    Being perdiem solved that (among other issues) for me. I always take vacations when I want or need to.

    But I know, it's not for everyone.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Dec 11, '05

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