Forced to stay at work or abandonment?

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    I have some questions about facilities requiring staff to stay after their shift is over because they cannot find people to work the next shift. This hasn't happened to me yet as a CNA (thank goodness), but I know of plenty of others who have told me that their nursing home told them that if they left, they would be accused of abandoning their residents, which would mean they would supposedly either lose their jobs, or their certification. I also have had a couple of CNAs tell me that their workplace threatens to discipline them, or accuse them of abandonment, if they call the CNAs on their days off, and they don't come in. This worries me a lot, as I am already exhausted from my 40-hour week, but I don't want to be accused of resident neglect if I don't stay to help. Is it legal for a nursing home or hospital to require CNAs to stay past their shift, and can they also require you to come in on your days off if they don't have enough staff? I read about mandatory overtime for nurses, but I don't know if that applies to CNAs, as well.
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  4. 2
    Quote from Tommybabe
    I have some questions about facilities requiring staff to stay after their shift is over because they cannot find people to work the next shift. This hasn't happened to me yet as a CNA (thank goodness), but I know of plenty of others who have told me that their nursing home told them that if they left, they would be accused of abandoning their residents, which would mean they would supposedly either lose their jobs, or their certification. I also have had a couple of CNAs tell me that their workplace threatens to discipline them, or accuse them of abandonment, if they call the CNAs on their days off, and they don't come in. This worries me a lot, as I am already exhausted from my 40-hour week, but I don't want to be accused of resident neglect if I don't stay to help. Is it legal for a nursing home or hospital to require CNAs to stay past their shift, and can they also require you to come in on your days off if they don't have enough staff? I read about mandatory overtime for nurses, but I don't know if that applies to CNAs, as well.

    Check with your state Board of Nursing regarding the issue of being required to stay past the end of your shift.

    As far as being called in on your day off: unless you are formally placed on call, you can not be forced to come in on your day off. Just don't answer the phone. Caller ID is the best $3/month investment I make! I also refuse to give my employer my cell phone number.
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    As far as I am concerned, my family comes first. In my state, as long as I report off to a competant nurse it is not abandonment. I was even threatened with being fired for not staying once, only once. I told the woman, fine, fire me. It is better than having Children's Services removing my children from the home because they don't have adequate supervision. Staffing is an administration problem, NOT MINE. As long as I show up and take care of my patients when I am suppose to, they can't touch me. If they need more help, they should address the people who chronically call off or get agency nurses on board.
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    Bravo! Great answer Shay! I absolutely agree with you. Staffing is an admin problem, not yours. Your children are far more important. Like the saying goes, "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part." However, this saying does work both ways though.

    And I absolutely agree with Jolie, too. Caller ID at $3/mo is a great investment. If I'm like other people, I'm busy on my day off. I'm not a slave to my employer on my day off by waiting by the phone to see if they need me. Of course, if I need the money and I'm not zonked from working 4 12 hour days in a row, I'll help out and come in if called. However, I do love my time off.
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    the first place i was at often asked me to stay over and also called EVERY time I was off to come in , every time! the second home i worked at was also good for mandating and wanting you to come in on your days off. I don't mind, the residents do need care and that's part of the deal but every time? also last winter i worked a 3-11 shift during a heavy snow storm, roads were covered. My brother drove me in and it took almost an hour vs. the usual 20 minutes or so. i come in to find that every aide for that shift had called off. Two women that had already worked 6-2 that day were staying and they both had to be in again at 6 the next day!!! so we had 3 aides that night. I was on light duty due to a back injury at the time, from short staffing of course and forced to lift residents into bed myself. it really sucks being a cna sometimes. i'm in assisted living now, minimal lifting, and staffing is better.
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    Post in the LTC forum too, I'm sure you will get tons of responses.
    This is very common in my facility...Mandatory overtime.
    Are you unionized? Sometimes that helps dealling with it?
    Never ever can they make you come in to work on your days off.
    As far as firing you if you are mandated and don't stay...they probably can (unless you are unionized).

    Me....I take ShayRN view....
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    Agree with everybody else. Sounds like they are trying to get their bluff in on you. As previous poster said, unless you are formally on call- written down on the schedule, not just "told"--you are never obligated to your place of employment on your days off. Caller ID is your best friend; use it, and just do not speak with anyone from work on your days off.
    canoehead likes this.
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    I agree - staffing is an administrative problem - not nursing. I know this sounds bad, but I had a friend of mine, who was getting called in on almost every day off as well. My friend had to resort to not answering the phone, and when he did by accident he told the supervisor that he had a couple of alchoholic beverages, but would gladly come in if they did not mind. Needless to say, they left him alone on his days off for a while.

    I would not go that route myself, I just tell them NO.

    I've been called off on my shift only to be asked to work 3-11 on the same day. I work 10A to 10P - which is very difficult w/kids to do as a single mom. I refused to work the 3-11 and the supervisor proceeded to harrass me and tell me that if I can work until 10, what is another hour. I could not believe her!! I absolutely refuse when she calls me in - unless she is willing to bonus me $100 I will not do it. Our facility does provide bonuses as incentive to come in when needed - usually my position only gets $50 - 75 depending on the # of hours.
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    Maybe I'm wrong so please correct me if you've the info, but I'd think such patient abandonment laws would have been written to deal with things like disasters where employees would want to leave the workplace mid-shift in order to take care of their own business or where the relief shift couldn't make it in due to the situation. That seems to better fit the criteria of patient abandonment. I doubt those laws were written to force staff to cover for inadequate staffing back-up.
  12. 1
    If you're not there to start with, it can't be abandonment. At least, I don't think so.
    Psychtrish39 likes this.


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