Low census days (whine)

  1. I just got called off for the second time this pay period due to low census...there are 8 pts. on the med-surg floor, none in L&D where I often work, and only 2 in the ICU. I can't believe it.....a full-moon weekend in August, and there's no patients to take care of???!!!

    Anyone else experiencing low census this summer? And what are you doing to fill the extra days off (& cope with the loss of income)?
    •  
  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Our census has been low all summer too, i'm thinking i'll get called off tonight as well.

    To fill in the days off i've been cleaning my house since when school starts it'll be a wreck. Also posting up a storm on here and trying to figure out CHEAP ways to meet new ppl in my area.

    To compensate for the wage loss, i haven't been getting enough groceries for a week, eating a lot of cereal and mac and cheese.
  4. by   Noney
    Pack a cooler and go swimming!
  5. by   luvbug
    I am somewhat relieved to know I am not the only one who has to take low census. In your facilities, is it based on Seniority? At my facility, it is loosely based on that, and I am the newest nurse there, so it does tend to fall on me quite often. however, the other nurses do sometimes take some of the time, because we work every day, 8-5 so sometimes the time off is actually welcome. As far as the lack of income goes, I too eat a lot of macaroni and cheese-and cereal!! To have something to do during the time off, I run errands. Yay!! :roll
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    It goes by seniority at my hospital too, although I do have some (from having worked there before) and am usually one of the last ones called off. Today, the phone hasn't rung yet and it's less than 2 hours prior to the start of my shift, so I think I'm going in, thank goodness.....I'm getting sick of cereal myself.......
  7. by   MandyInMS
    Our hospital census has been down this summer too..until this weekend..dang that full moon was kickin last night..admit..admit..admit..We rotate days off..has nothing to do with seniority..everybody has to take their turn..I guess being skeleton crew has paid off for our night shift..none of us has had to take off in a good while..I've been TRYING to get off ONE dang night for the last month and can't :/
    On the times I have been called off I spend cooking,cleaning,and washing < always plenty of work to do..fun fun..lol......as far as loss of income I'm a penny pincher so I have my 'little stash' in case of emergency or unexpected bills ect...oh yeah, and mac-n-cheese/bologna 'sammiches' help too..lol
  8. by   flashpoint
    Our census has been really low too. We take low census on a rotating basis, so no one really ends up being off more than anyone else and we are never off more than once in a pay period. We also have the option of coming in on low census time and doing paper work like chart reviews, billing reviews, competency reviews, etc. We can also do things like help other departments...LOL. I spent all of last week ripping out drywall with the maintenance department...we're remodeling rooms. :-)

    As far as loss of income...I take interfacility transports with the ambulance service and I am a preceptor for the local community college's paramedic program...get paid for what I normally do for free!
  9. by   Tweety
    We have a low census during the summer too. We cancel in rotation. We cancel staff first, then cancel travelers and move them to another day (this can cause anger with them sometimes, but it's part of their contract when they sign on for the summer that they can be canceled and moved later in the week, doesn't happen much).

    I love being canceled because I have a lot of PDO time I can use. Unfortunately being a "team leader" I don't get canceled much. Usually we float to another unit before being canceled and there isn't much nursing cancellation going on. But the techs get canceled a lot.

    Our census jumps up and down during the summer and it's a bit low right now too. During the "season" which in Florida is the winter we are crammed packed full and understaffed, so it's nice to have a break in the summertime.

    Good luck.
  10. by   roxannekkb
    This is one of the things that I find most infuriating about nursing. What other "profession" cancels full time workers because of low census? Do hospital secretaries get cancelled because their boss is having a slow day, or do they send people home from admitting if it's "slow?"

    Do the checkers at the supermarket get sent home if things are slow, or the sales people at the department store, or flight attendants if the plane isn't full? Do bank tellers get sent home if no one comes in, do waitresses go home if the restaurant is empty?

    Nursing, for all the talk of professionalism, operates like low-paid seasonal workers, or migrant workers. As much as I am pro-union, I have not seen one single union address this problem. Why should a person who is hired to work full or part time, have to deal with being cancelled, and either lose pay or take vacation time? You make a committment to do the job and be available, but yet the hospital doesn't have to keep their end?

    It's one of the reasons why I only worked one year on staff, and spent the rest of my nursing career doing per diem and agency. But doesn't anyone see anything wrong with this?

    I am just amazed how some nurses think its okay or even support the hospital. And do we then wonder why there's a shortage? This is just one more aspect of a job that doesn't respect its workers.
  11. by   VickyRN
    Nursing, for all the talk of professionalism, operates like low-paid seasonal workers, or migrant workers. As much as I am pro-union, I have not seen one single union address this problem. Why should a person who is hired to work full or part time, have to deal with being cancelled, and either lose pay or take vacation time? You make a committment to do the job and be available, but yet the hospital doesn't have to keep their end?
    ITA!!!
  12. by   Spidey's mom
    I love low census and being called off!!!

    We call people off on a rotating basis. I think being called off by seniority isn't fair at all.

    I don't have much PTO time but I do have enough to cover being called off a time or two during a pay period. (I'm with you here Tweety!)

    I always check my answering machine when I get up at 1:45 a.m. and hope to see a blinking light.

    Yeah! I get to stay home with my son.

    steph
  13. by   altomga
    LOW CENSUS?????? What is that???

    I haven't seen that in years! We have not put people on call due to low census in years! My floor is lucky if we keep 1 room open all night.......

    Take time to enjoy a day off; can't you use your holiday or vacation time to make up the hours?? We can at my facility.
  14. by   spitfire
    We are experiencing a decrease in patients this summer, but this happens yearly,we make up for it in the winter. We are offered low census but do not have to take it one weekend we had only 3 patients per nurse(med - surg) they offer staff low census or on call first before per-diems, they do not want to keep calling off per-diems for fear of losing them and like to offer staff a break first. We have earned time / vacation time-we can use to make up our pay,this amounts to about 6 hours a week that can be accumulated and used for vacation-low census- or a cash out at the end of the year. So even if I take low census I am still paid the same, if I am on call I recieve my regular pay plus extra for being on call. If we do have extra staff, some float to other depts- by choice or we spent time restocking, or taking competency tests. During my time off there is always plenty to do,garden,exercise,or nothing at all. spitfire

close