My job is killing me.

  1. The title says it all. I started a new job in Feb. as a night supervisor at a local nursing home. I love it, I truly cannot see myself going back to acute care. I love the elderly, and the consistancy of the pace. However! I took on more than I can bear. I'm seeing that now, having been out of work for the past wk now w/a bug that I just cannot kick. My immune system is shot.

    When I signed on for this job, I agreed to a salaried position. Every third wkend on call. This starts Fri at 3pm and lets off on Mon at 7am. However; I work nights... Mon-Fri 11p-7am. This is my first supervisor job and on call is new to me as well. Every nurse is outraged at my working Friday nights AND being on call at the same time. They're telling me I'm being screwed over. I had no idea.. but the more they tell me how it had worked before, the more I'm beginning to believe I'd been taken advantage of d/t my being so new to this.

    Anyhow - I believe not one on call wkend has gone by (my turn), that I have not either Had to stay to work 7-3am on Saturday, or try and cover multiple call ins and stress over the fact that I may have to work 24 hrs straight. That hasn't happened yet, and when the time does come around.. I know that'll be my breaking point.
    Not to mention.. I do not get a stipened for being on call (they did away w/that recently), and being on salary, I do not get paid straight or overtime. My policy states I can take a day off from my reg schedule within 10 days, if I find coverage. I know, I know.. everyone tells me it is crap. But I have nothing to compare it to, being that I'm so new at this.

    So.. on average.. I'm putting in about 50 - 60 hrs a wk at this job. I had asked for a new shift which would make it easier on me, but that is slow going... if going at all. I am so torn because I absolutely LOVE the nurses that I work with, we are like a family, I love the residents immensely, I love being a supervisor... but , I feel a little taken advantage of and it's, well.. like the title says.. killing me.

    I also feel a bit like I can't be too choosy because prior to this job, I had been fired from my hospital job. I am a fairly newer nurse, and feel already that I want, NEED, to switch careers.

    Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Visit NocturneNrse profile page

    About NocturneNrse, ASN

    Joined: Oct '08; Posts: 195; Likes: 356
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in Med/Surg/Tele/SNF-LTC/Supervisory


  3. by   caliotter3
    Start looking for another job. The fact that you are being proactive about getting out of there should go a long way in easing your mind on a day to day basis.
  4. by   NamasteNurse
    you can't work anywhere or love anyone if you're dead. re-negotiate with the higher ups. they may help you.
  5. by   2011NursingStudent
    I'm not sure what state you're in, but IL, WI and some others have a "one day rest in 7" act -

    Provides for employees a minimum of twenty four hours of rest in each calendar week and a meal period of 20 minutes for every 7 1/2 hour shift beginning no later than 5 hours after the start of the shift. The law allows employers to secure permits from the Department to work employees the 7th day provided that the employees have voluntarily elected to work.

    So if what you're saying is that you're working 7 days in a row at times, if you live in one of those states, at least you can use that to get your day off without fear of getting fired.
  6. by   Kooky Korky
    it's the old, old story - your desperation and necessity let them take advantage of you.

    I think you know that you need to look around for another position, perhaps agency, and then open discussion with your boss and say pretty much what you have said here.

    You don't know how you didn't realize that the time might come when you might have to work 24 hrs. straight, you are terrified of making a serious error if you are that overworked and sleep deprived, you need call pay, you're sorry you didn't think of it before hiring on but you realize now that you need new terms. Leave out the part about what a bunch of scoundrels they are to treat you like this and pay you a lowball rate of pay. You can also leave out that anyone there said anything about how it used to be. you don't want to give the impression you are a gossip or get anyone else in trouble.

    Best wishes.
  7. by   Mrs. SnowStormRN
    Check out the state law, like someone said previously. I know in this state it is illegal to work 24hrs straight as well. Also, if you got that job, you can get another one - dont let you being fired from a previous job be the hump on your back. Think of your health, you wont be able to fully perform the job if youre sick and overwhelmed anyway. I agree, its time to start sending out your resume again. GOOD LUCK to you.
  8. by   NocturneNrse
    Thank you everyone. I did speak briefly to my boss and seems the switch to eves is coming within the next few weeks. I'll be glad about that, it will ease the stress some, but I am going to take your advice and renegotiate. Much appreciation.!
  9. by   ddunnrn
    Go online and check the Federal employment laws. Just because you are salaried does not mean you are not entitled to OT. According to Federal law, exempt positions mean that you are paid by the job you do and not by the number of hours it takes, but even so, that number of hours cannot exceed 40 in one week, or you are entitled to either comp time off or overtime, based on the average salary in a 40-hour week. If you make an average salary of $30, then you would be entitled to $45/hr for hours worked in excess of 40 in a given 7 day period. You also cannot be docked for lateness or sick time, unless it is in excess and specifically spelled out in the facility's policies. Unfortunately most health care providers get away with not following the law because: 1) they can, 2) people rarely challenge them, and 3) both sides are ignorant of federal law.

    A similar situation exists with people who work for tips--they are also entitled to minimum wages, if they do not make in a day in tips what they would make on make on minimum wages, the employer must make up the difference. Do you think most waiters/waitresses know their rights or fight for them?

    Your plight is one reason I never wanted to be in management (the other is the Peter Principle), and why I would never work anywhere without a union if I could help it.
  10. by   Bella'sMyBaby
    My facility recently put all Nursing Managers on salary...a common tactic used when Corporate knows fully well that the job cannot be done in 40 hours.
    You are being used.
    If there's anyway possible to go back to an hourly position, go for it.
  11. by   carolmaccas66
    Your other colleagues are right. You are being SO used by management! They're using you as the fill in for anyone who decides not to come into work.
    I would refuse. You have your set shifts. Unless it's written into ur contract, I wouldn't do it - but then they could just turn around and sack you.
    Get management to put some of the ones who keep calling in/calling out sick to be on call for a few weekends - and see how they like it!
    People - ESPECIALLY NURSE MANAGERS - will use you for any selfish purpose only if you let them. If you stand up and say no I've had enough, they should back off - or like I said sack you.
  12. by   onetiredmomma
    "the switch to eves is coming within the next few weeks"
    Be careful...your boss' idea of a few weeks may not be the same as yours! Good luck
  13. by   caliotter3
    Quote from onetiredmomma
    "the switch to eves is coming within the next few weeks"
    Be careful...your boss' idea of a few weeks may not be the same as yours! Good luck
    Yes, it could be your definition of never.