Cath lab ridiculous call time

  1. Hi,

    I have explored working in the cath lab a few times over the last several months. The call requirement is just unreal.

    I have contacted a few hospitals to find that call starts 530pm Friday to 730 AM monday morning. I have even seen 7-12 call shifts a month. I just don't see any kind of work life balance with this career. How are you managing this amount of call and have any kind of personal life?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Rose_Queen
    I'm not cath lab, but cardiac OR. I can take 1-2 shifts of call per week and every 4th weekend. My current two week pay period, I am on call for a total of 102 hours. How do I have a work-life balance with that? By knowing what I can do when. If I want to visit my family who are an hour away, I know that I need to schedule that for when I'm not on call. Dinner locally with a friend? I might risk it when I'm on call. Grocery shopping? Well, that's a coin toss, risking having a cart or car full of cold and frozen things and having the pager go off.

    The reality with call is that you won't necessarily be working. You only need to be able to make it to the facility within the time period set in the policy. You can still have a life when on call, it's just a little limited in where you can be and what you can be doing- don't be like the guy who lost his license because he "forgot" he was on call and went in drunk. Oh, and it's an excuse for me not to vacuum, because I won't hear the phone ring over it.
  4. by   Wolf at the Door
    How did you get to 102 hours in a two week period? You are on call more than you work.
  5. by   Rose_Queen
    The weekend, 3pm Friday to 7am Monday = 64 hours. 2 days of being first call, 3pm to 7am = 48 hours. 3 days of being second call 3pm-5pm = 6 hours. Grand total = 102 hours of being on call. I'm on call, hanging out in front of my computer, being paid a whopping $2/hour. Soon, I'll head to bed and get paid $2/hour to sleep. I did stay late to finish a scheduled case, so of that 102 hours, I worked 4 so far. The weekend may be up in the air- we have two surgeons, one who does everything not to call the team in unless truly necessary and one who calls the team in before she makes it to the hospital to assess the patient. Lots of false alarms with that one, but then again, I get paid 2 hours time and a half to drive in, clock in, clock out, drive home. Total time commitment of maybe 45 minutes.
  6. by   Wolf at the Door
    I have come to the conclusion that Trauma OR might be better for me than Cardiac Cath lab. I rather be at work on a scheduled night then waiting for the pager. I don't sleep light I will never hear that thing. I would have to train my dog how to howl when the pager goes off and that is not going to happen. I will make a trauma OR post.
  7. by   blondy2061h
    My hospital used to have a flex unit that only went inpatient when the census was high. They staffed it with call. On my working days I'd look at what the census was and decide how much call I wanted to sign up for. 80% census? ALL THE CALL SHIFTS! We got paid 25% of our salary for being on call. God I miss that unit.

    Can you ask someone who currently has that job how often they realistically get called in?
  8. by   That Guy
    You learn what you can do on the nights/weekends you have call. I had call 7 days a month, which wasn't really bad ( 1 a week and 1 weekend a month ). It was honestly better than what I do now. That being said, it is sometimes very hard to do. There were times you would be there till late Friday, all day Saturday, all day Sunday just to come in at 2am on a Monday and stay all Monday till 5.
  9. by   Rose_Queen
    Quote from Wolf at the Door
    I have come to the conclusion that Trauma OR might be better for me than Cardiac Cath lab. I rather be at work on a scheduled night then waiting for the pager. I don't sleep light I will never hear that thing. I would have to train my dog how to howl when the pager goes off and that is not going to happen. I will make a trauma OR post.
    Don't expect to get away from call in a trauma OR position. As for the pager, I would expect that most facilities do it the way mine does- the pager is a secondary method of contact; the phone is the first. In fact, the only people who are automatically issued a pager are those on the cardiac team- everyone else has to put in a special request. As for me, I paid $1.99 for the loudest, most obnoxious ringtone I could find. It's set only for the hospital numbers. There is no way I'm sleeping through it, and I've been known to sleep through an earthquake, wicked thunderstorms and possibly a tornado, a car accident right in my backyard, and a chainsaw cutting down the neighbor's trees.

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