Is not answering the phone for work bad? Is not answering the phone for work bad? | allnurses

Is not answering the phone for work bad?

  1. 1 Okay so I work at a Long-term care Nursing home. My position is originally a (0.2), but I pick up as much as I can. I work around 2-3 times per week (8 hour shifts), go to college, currently studying for my NLN Pre entrance exam, and I recently accepted a tutoring job. Since we are short-staffed, I ALWAYS get called in. Lately every time they ask me if I can work I am either studying my butt off or not available. Also, whenever they call, I either don't answer or accidentally miss their call. If I was an actual RN and not have to worry about school, I would defiantly go for the extra hours.....but I am just a CNA so the pay doesn't phase me much since it's low anyhow. Sometimes I feel like everyone talks behind other peoples back when they don't pick up a shift, but how do they know about our personal lives?!

    I feel so bad for saying no, but school is much more important to me at the moment. I don't want to stress myself out anymore than I have to.
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. Visit  Spidey's mom profile page
    #1 25
    No, not answering the phone is your right. I wouldn't let that make you feel bad. If they have staffing issues, you are not the answer to them all.

    Focus on studying and work as much as you need to and let the rest roll off your back.

    I regularly screen my calls. And don't answer.
  4. Visit  AceOfHearts<3 profile page
    #2 21
    I don't answer the phone on my day off. I let it go to voicemail and I'll call back if warranted. It is not my responsibility to staff my unit and it's not yours either. I pick up shifts only when it works for me and I decide I want to. Do not feel bad for knowing your limits and setting them.
  5. Visit  Double-Helix profile page
    #3 17
    You're not obligated to answer any calls from work when you aren't on the clock. Regardless of why you don't answer or don't want to pick up time, it's the facility's job to make sure the unit is fully staffed, not yours.

    If people talk about it, let them. That kind of pettiness will be present in any job you happen to take in the future. You'll do well to learn to ignore it now.
  6. Visit  meanmaryjean profile page
    #4 18
    I will agree with the other posters and also add this: Get used to answering once in a while and saying "No, I cannot come in today." It's a skill you'll need to develop. Trust me.
  7. Visit  hppygr8ful profile page
    #5 11
    I just keep mine turned off when I am not working or don't want to work - My supervisor told me one day that she had tried to call me the night before and couldn't get through I said "Oh that must be because my phone was turned off." the subject never came up again.

    Seriously though your off time is yours and what you do with it (school, mud wrestling, worshipping the great earth goddess Gaia) is no one's business but your own. Stop worrying about what other people think of you. When you go to work be competent, professional and have a good attitude.

    Peace and Namaste

    Hppy
  8. Visit  Cat365 profile page
    #6 8
    I answer or I don't depending on my mood. I also have no trouble saying no if I do answer. My job is not the center of my life. I resolved last year to have a better work/life balance. It is not dependent on me to make sure the unit is fully staffed. I go in when I feel like it an have no trouble with "No, I can't come in." When I don't feel like it.

    Pushy people that try to make me feel obligated or guilty for not going in ensures that I will say no because I'm just contrary like that. Even when I did go in almost every time they called I would say no if they tried to guilt me into it. It made me mad that they would try it.
  9. Visit  Palliative Care, DNP profile page
    #7 6
    When I was a floor nurse, I even trained the kids not to answer certain numbers. If I'm not at work don't call me in.
  10. Visit  verene profile page
    #8 5
    Your time is your own. You don't have to feel guilty for not picking up shifts beyond your assigned schedual. You don't have to answer the phone, but I've found answering with a "Thanks for calling, I'm not available today" works fine. You don't even have to provide a reason that you aren't available, you just aren't.

    You can also have a chat with your staffing person, don't make it a big deal but just give them an FYI "I'm never available these days and times due to school" and it can be useful on their end. Sometimes the person will be able to make note of it and not call you those times, others they are just running down the full list of staff trying to find anyone who can come in and you'll still get a call.
  11. Visit  SmilingBluEyes profile page
    #9 4
    No often is GOOD for your sanity nd wellbeing!
  12. Visit  Sour Lemon profile page
    #10 8
    Don't answer if you don't want to work. And if you happen to answer accidentally, tell them you've had a few drinks and you're about to have a few more. The "studying" thing makes you sound boring.
  13. Visit  nurseactivist profile page
    #11 1
    As a public health nurse, it didn't come up often. However, we were county employees and mandatory disaster service workers. Therefore I did always answer the phone.

    I got called to go to a big cathedral as they were expecting incoming folks from Hurricane Katrina (even though we were hundreds of miles away). We received a few walk-ins who needed help obtaining prescription meds.

    I also got called and sent to our 911 center to answer calls during flu outbreak. It was interesting to be inside the center. They had huge TV screens on the walls. We had to wear different colored vests to identify ourselves. Health wore blue, transportation wore green, fire dept. wore red, etc.
  14. Visit  caliotter3 profile page
    #12 4
    Let's use a different example to put this in a different light. Suppose the caller each time you don't answer is someone making lewd calls that does not use caller ID. You have learned that the best way to avoid such calls, or other unwanted calls, is to refuse to answer when you can't identify the caller. Do you think you have a right to avoid this caller? There is no unwritten law that says anyone MUST answer their phone when it rings. Period. Stop feeling guilty.

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