keep getting cancelled/put on call

  1. Hi, I'm so glad I found this site, I'm new to nursing in the US, just recently moved here from England. I was just beginning to feel settled, been out of orientation a few weeks, but I have a concern. I've been cancelled or put on call several times now (due to low census) and it's seriously affecting my finances. I can't afford to keep having my pay cut as I'm on a tight budget, as you can imagine it's financially tough moving to a new country and setting up home from scratch, and especially because I can't get any credit yet, I learned it takes time to build up credit history. This is a big shock to me, I never knew the hospital could cancel your shifts, and especially at such short notice. Was just wondering, is this normal?
    Thanks
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   Ami_J
    I work in a non-union hospital, and it is VERY common on my floor to be put on call 2-3 times per pay period. They have started floating us to help us keep our hours (but personally I would rather stay home than float so often) Are you able to float to other units? It's stressful, I think, but helps with the paychecks
  4. by   annmariern
    Hi Maria,
    welcome, where in the UK? Manchester myself, 14 years now. Sorry about the job, are you full time or PRN? Most places rotate call offs among FT staff so no-one gets hit too hard.
  5. by   RGN1
    Did you go through agency or were you Direct hire? I read about this "calling off" on another thread, so I guess it is common practice in many hospitals.

    Also where in the USA are you? I'll understand if you'd rather not say though, of course.
  6. by   mariaejc
    Quote from Ami_J
    Are you able to float to other units? It's stressful, I think, but helps with the paychecks
    Yes, I have floated also but as you say this is also quite stressful, especially being so new to the hospital.
  7. by   mariaejc
    Quote from annmariern
    Hi Maria,
    welcome, where in the UK? Manchester myself, 14 years now. Sorry about the job, are you full time or PRN? Most places rotate call offs among FT staff so no-one gets hit too hard.
    I'm from Lancashire. I'm full time here so the call offs are surprising. It's not just me getting cancelled tho, it happens to all the other nurses also. It's just something I never expected
  8. by   mariaejc
    Quote from RGN1
    Did you go through agency or were you Direct hire? I read about this "calling off" on another thread, so I guess it is common practice in many hospitals.

    Also where in the USA are you? I'll understand if you'd rather not say though, of course.
    I didn't go through an agency so I get paid directly from the hospital.
    I'm in Florida.
  9. by   mariaejc
    Quote from RGN1
    I read about this "calling off" on another thread, so I guess it is common practice in many hospitals.
    RGN1, can you tell me where this other thread is please? I would like to see it. Thank you.
  10. by   mariaejc
    An update, this situation is getting worse. Today I was put on call, I was just leaving to go to work when I got the phone call to say I would be on call until 11am. I share a ride with someone who works near my hospital as I don't have a car yet, so my ride had to leave without me. I told my supervisor if I couldn't come to work now (7am) I wouldn't be able to come in later as I have no transport (it's a 40 minute drive & no public transport available) I thought that would be an end to it for the day but now they just called me and said they need me to come in asap! Again I said I have no transport so they are calling me back later (don't know why) so now I'm worried I'll be in trouble for refusing to go into work. Any advice anyone?
    Thank you
  11. by   annmariern
    Well, you told them in advance about the transportation, same thing must happen with nurses with childcare issues. Are you paid to be "on call"? I don't think this is fair. Have you thought about signingt up PRN somewhere else?
  12. by   barbyann
    I am sorry for your experience so far. It is common practice where I work in CT also. I don't understand how these hospitals get away with it. You would think that the business of running a hospital would have to absorb the cost of low census and not take it out at the expense of their employees. As far as I know their are no labor laws that can fix your trouble.

    Myself and coworkers all have second jobs, per diem. This helps to keep money coming in. Problem is that when the hospital is at high census and they are calling us day and night, no one can come in to help because we have to get to our other jobs. So then the hospital hires travelers and pays people double to come in. It is a viscous cycle.

    You should speak to HR and explain your plight. They might be able to get you on to shifts that are less likely to have cancellations. Hang in there!
    Last edit by barbyann on Oct 9, '06
  13. by   mariaejc
    Thank you all so much for your replies. The end result was I had to get a cab, they said I had to go to work after all and I was afraid of refusing, being so new and all. I'm still a little worried about being too assertive as I heard Florida is a State where you can get fired quite easily and that would be disastrous for me, I need this job if I want to stay in the US. I guess I'll just have to get used to the way things are done here, I am a guest after all.
    This site is awesome, everybody seems so supportive, just what I need right now, so I'll be sticking around :wink2:
  14. by   Silverdragon102
    Quote from mariaejc
    Thank you all so much for your replies. The end result was I had to get a cab, they said I had to go to work after all and I was afraid of refusing, being so new and all. I'm still a little worried about being too assertive as I heard Florida is a State where you can get fired quite easily and that would be disastrous for me, I need this job if I want to stay in the US. I guess I'll just have to get used to the way things are done here, I am a guest after all.
    This site is awesome, everybody seems so supportive, just what I need right now, so I'll be sticking around :wink2:

    You shouldn't loose your greencard if you change jobs,you may just have a cancellation fee payable to the hospital, try posting this question in the international forum there are also a couple of nurses in Florida from the UK who post regularly in the UK forum.

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