Do you have to punch a time clock?

  1. Our hospital recently started using a timeclock, they don't call it this but that's what it is. We have to swipe our id badges at the start and end of our shift. It automatically deducts 30 minutes for a meal break, and has a 12 minute "grace period", at both ends of the shift. Therefore you are neither paid for coming early or leaving late unless you document the same on a form that you give to management.
    I resent being treated like a factory worker. They say that the grace period is to allow for time spent socializing at the end of your shift, and not intended to penalize you. So if you are working during that "grace period" again you need to document that. Well, I don't stick around unless I'm working, so if I must be demeaned by punching a clock, at least I should be paid accordingly. One manager told me this was just to have better documentation and not a financial thing on the part of the hospital. Previously we had to complete time summaries. Often when completing these you would notice that the charge nurses had neglected to put down when one stayed late or did not have a meal, so you could correct it. With the new system there is no way to access this information. I think it will mean that many people will miss out on time worked. It will take much more effort to decipher on our paychecks and double check our time. I plan to be very conscientious about making sure that I am paid correctly. Previously, I did not always put down when I was five or ten minutes late leaving, but now I plan to do so consistently. I'm sure the hospital will save thousands on this. If they're going to "nickel and dime" me, I'm not going to make it easy for them.
    Oh, and if my hospital-required communication badge interupts my lunch with business calls..I plan on being paid for that too...other departments recieve a full non- interrupted meal break, why shouldn't we? If they need to get in touch with us so badly, we deserve to be paid. Also, on our unit, I was once reprimanded when I was at lunch in the breakroom for not getting up and answering the unit phone and call lights (our break room is behind the desk area). As far as I know, our unit is one of few designed this way, so it doesn't happen on other floors. There were other staff members who were covering the floor..and when they ate, I covered all the calls.
    I think we deserve to be paid for our work. And after a stressful morning, I deserve a break.
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  2. 41 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Every healthcare job i've had, we've had to do this.

    The hospital i work at now, we have numeric codes we can enter for things like floating to different depts., call time, and shifts that we didn't get a lunch.
  4. by   suzy253
    Yes, we swipe in and out.
  5. by   TheCommuter
    I have always used a badge with a magnetic stripe to clock in at the beginnings of my shifts and clock out at the conclusions of my shifts. I feel absolutely no offense by having to use a time card because I do not equate my own value to trivial issues such as occupational prestige.

    Some would say that the true mark of a professional is salaried pay, whereas the mark of a working-class person is hourly wages. I still prefer to clock in and out since it will enable me to be paid for every dime I have earned. I know of many salaried employees who work a horrendous amount of hours per week and receive no additional compensation because they can always expect that same pay every month.
  6. by   KellNY
    Nope, we just write down what time we came in, when we took break, any OT we did, etc on a triplicate carbon set.

    We write down floats in a spiral notebook.

    Real high tech, eh?
  7. by   canoehead
    I like the time clock, because you get paid if you end up staying late, but don't need to document if you come in early or leave early. The paperwork system set up by some other posters would annoy me though.

    In our state we get paid in 15 minincrements, so a 12 min period pre/post shift unpaid would be illegal.

    If you are on a break, why not leave your badge on the unit? If they require you to be available that would be restricted call in our state and they would have to pay you min wage even if you didn't get called. Check your state regs.
  8. by   Tweety
    It's a matter of using modern technology. We used to hand write our hours in and someone had to enter it into a computer. Now we swipe and it's automatically entered.

    I like it because it's a more accurate reflection of the hours I am truly there. I used to handwrite in 11p to 7a and leave it at that unless I stayed horribly late. Now if I stay 10 or 20 minutes late I get paid for it. I didn't realize how much it added up until we got a time clock.

    They do automatically deduct 30 minutes a shift for lunch. We have the option of filling out a form if we were too busy to take lunch (never happens to me, lunch is a priority during a 12-hour shift) amd get paid for our 30 minutes. Our manager never says a word and always pays those who are too busy to eat, or have their lunch interrupted.
  9. by   llg
    I have used a time clock in most, but not all, of the jobs I have had -- even those that have been "salaried" in which I am paid for 8 hours per day regardless of the number of hours I actually work.

    In my current (salaried) job, we "clock in" on the computer when we arrive at work and "clock out" on the computer when we leave. There are places within the computer system to write notes about having missed lunch or being eligible for "preceptor pay" or other special differentials. The computer software keeps track of it all and the manager doing payroll simply has to check it and OK it in order to get your paycheck generated. The employee can see day-by-day that all their differentials, etc. are being added correctly and make any corrections prior to payday so that the checks are rarely wrong -- unless the employee isn't paying attention to it. So, there are benefits for the employee as well as for the employer.

    Like most other systems, they have their advantages and disadvantages. The trick is to learn to use the system wisely so that you get the maximum benefit without suffering too much from the disadvantages.
  10. by   nurseangel47
    Most every nursing job I've ever had we punched in and out in some way, shape or form. For hospice and home health,tho', we recorded in and out times and lunches taken or not in handwriting. If we didn't punch out at the LTC facilities who utilized machine punching, they deducted 30 minute break regardless...unless we were slammed, really didn't have time to take a break and could have it verified by a supervisor...then we were paid for that 30 min. block
  11. by   taramayrn
    No time clock here. If we stay late or miss our break, etc. we fill out an overtime slip.
  12. by   Bluehair
    It's been a long time since I didn't have to use a time clock. It does help keep me honest about being on time (I have a little issue with punctuality!), and definately alerts management to those who are chronically really late. And as others have already pointed out, it helps you get paid for the extra time you actually put in instead of giving it away for free.
    :smilecoffeeIlovecof
  13. by   nrsang97
    I worked at one facility where we had to punch in via phone. The last one we had to swipe our badge. The current one, (same system as last hospital) we don't swipe in , punch a clock, or punch in via phone. I find it strange that I don't have to do something. But I also like it. Because I am one who will come in early and forget to punch,swipe or what ever.
  14. by   Chaya
    Our place used to have it but it backfired; there were too many times people ended up staying late and they had to pay them for it! They now have a sign-in book and only accept extra time if verified by the supervisor on duty.

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