Is it bad to never pick up extra shifts?

  1. At my current position, there are always staffing shortages, and therefore, always shifts to pick up. I have a schedule where I work several 12 hour shifts, followed by up to 9 days off of work. Every once in a while, I'll have a busy week where I work five 12 hour shifts. During those weeks, I won't want to pick up extra, which is probably understandable. However, I'm in the middle of one of my 9 day breaks and have yet to pick up a shift, even though I probably could make time for it. They did ask if I wanted any extra hours but I didn't respond, because they would probably try and convince me otherwise if I said no. Is it a bad thing I haven't picked up any other shifts?
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  2. 47 Comments

  3. by   jennylee321
    You are only responsible for working what you are contracted for, you are not obligated to pick up extra. Are you 1.0 FTE?
  4. by   Sour Lemon
    Nope. Some of us work to live, not live to work.
  5. by   elkpark
    Haven't you been complaining bitterly, on your other thread(s), about how little you're getting paid? If you want to make more money, picking up extra shifts during your long stretches of days off is an obvious way to make some extra money. Also, being willing to help out by picking up some extra shifts, when you are willing to do so, is a good way to build a positive reputation with leadership at your new job, which everyone has been encouraging you to work on. While I'm not saying this is right, or a good thing, if everyone else is picking up extra shifts and you're not, that is likely to hurt you as an employee over time.

    However, as others note, you're only obligated to work the number of hours you are required to for the position you took. It's your choice.
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    It's been clear for quite a while that you need to work on being a team player, among other things. Sometimes you've just gotta take one for the team---in other words, picking up a few extra shifts from time to time will help your managers and co-workers see that you're willing to shoulder some of the responsibility for unfilled shifts. That doesn't excuse management for failing to staff adequately, but LTC is notorious for being understaffed and taking extra shifts is part of what makes a team work.

    That said, working overtime isn't required, but you've often complained about making little money plus you've got those nice long stretches off where you could pick up extra and earn a little more. Just think about it, 'K?
  7. by   Here.I.Stand
    I have picked up extra shifts here and there for colleagues who needed help, e.g. parent in the hospital or to attend a funeral for non-relative (so no bereavement days.)

    I don't pick up simply because management has failed to staff appropriately. They won't fix their staffing issues if staff nurses make it unnecessary to fix them. Chronic staffing issues are not my circus, not my monkeys.
  8. by   TriciaJ
    I agree with the above posters. You did say they asked you if you were willing to pick up extra shifts and you didn't respond. Why don't you spend your 9 day stretch thinking about how much extra time you're willing/able to work. On the plus side: more money; more appreciation from management and coworkers. On the negative side: more fatigue, fostering the expectation that you will work extra, enabling poor staffing practices by management.

    Weigh some pros and cons; decide how many extra shifts you are willing to pick up (if any) and under what circumstances. Will you help out if too many people call in sick? Or just cover someone who has an urgent need? Or do you just really want your time off without working extra?

    It's your decision but you should really communicate it to management. Just not responding will make it half your fault if they bug you all the time. Being a clear communicator will foster a better relationship with you employer.
  9. by   Agatha12
    You have no obligation to take extra shifts. However if you do it from time to time you show that you are a reliable and helpful co-worker. If I had 9 days off and did not plan any activity. I would definately pick up 1 or 2 shifts for more money. I work in PACU and on occassion I take some shifts when asked even if I didnt plan it but I like my colleagues, work environment and manager so it is not sacrifice.
  10. by   purplegal
    Quote from elkpark
    Haven't you been complaining bitterly, on your other thread(s), about how little you're getting paid? If you want to make more money, picking up extra shifts during your long stretches of days off is an obvious way to make some extra money. Also, being willing to help out by picking up some extra shifts, when you are willing to do so, is a good way to build a positive reputation with leadership at your new job, which everyone has been encouraging you to work on. While I'm not saying this is right, or a good thing, if everyone else is picking up extra shifts and you're not, that is likely to hurt you as an employee over time.

    However, as others note, you're only obligated to work the number of hours you are required to for the position you took. It's your choice.
    Pretty much everyone does pick up extra shifts, and I'm sure they were hoping I would as well. I probably look like a prick because I don't.
  11. by   elkpark
    Quote from purplegal
    Pretty much everyone does pick up extra shifts, and I'm sure they were hoping I would as well. I probably look like a prick because I don't.
    How many people here have advised you that, in order to improve your future prospects in nursing and get your career back on track, you need to make every effort to be the best employee this facility has? The point of your taking this job was for you to work on rebuilding your nursing career. Being the one person who isn't willing to help out isn't the way to do that. But, of course, it's your choice.
  12. by   chare
    Quote from purplegal
    Pretty much everyone does pick up extra shifts, and I'm sure they were hoping I would as well. I probably look like a prick because I don't.
    Yes, you do, and, more importantly, I'm sure that your coworkers think so as well. As others have noted, you are at a crossroad in your career. You can continue your present course, and not be willing to work extra. Or, you can step up, and pickup the occasional shift during your time off, which not only helps your coworkers, but will likely lead to them beginning to think better of you, and your being accepted as a member of the team.

    The question now is, what are you going to do about it?
  13. by   NurseDisneyPrincess
    Sounds like a staffing issue to me. If you don't want to pick up any extra shifts, don't. It shouldn't matter whether you have anything planned or not. You have ever right to decide how you spend your free time. If you want extra money, pick up the extra shifts. If you aren't interested, then don't. No need to feel guilty about it.

    I never pick up extra shifts or cover for anyone. My weekend off days are for me, whether I'm doing something or just sitting around. No reason to feel obligated, just do as you wish!
  14. by   RNNPICU
    It sounds like you are picking up shifts which is great for some extra money, but it is not a requirement. You do have to balance between working your assigned shifts and enjoying your days off to wanting to help out. If the SNF is short staffed, the schedulers and people who plan for staffing need to look t numbers, and possibly hire some more staff. Overtime is great,but it should not be every week unless that is what you want. I would pick up overtime 1 or 2 times a month, one month I picked up 4 extra shifts, that left me VERY tired and groggy, I was not happy but I enjoyed the paycheck but not worth the mental toll. That is the balance you will have to take.

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