Nurses with children always go home early?

  1. I know it is controversial topic. First I explain myself a bit. I would like to have children at some point but I dont have them at the moment as I deal with some health issues and I havent met right partner to be father.

    Now main problem. Why staff with children always think that will have priority to go home on time and will refuse to stay longer if required only because they have kids? Childless staff also have plans, responsibilities or simple would like to have time to cook for a next day.

    I believe some fair system should be in place. Once mothers go home early, on other occasion they stay longer and single people enjoy their time. Any thoughts? Am I wrong to think so?
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  2. 94 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    This kind of attitude can be found in almost any type of business enterprise, and not necessarily only dealing with children. It is up to management to insure a fair system that will maximize workplace morale. Employees will actually leave a job over being treated unfairly. That doesn't help anything.
  4. by   JBMmom
    As caliotter mentioned, this is not a phenomenon specific to nursing, I think in all areas, those with children are perceived to have a higher priority with regard to maintaining schedules, getting time off for sick kids, etc. I think you're well within your right to speak up if you see this treatment and remind a coworker or management that your time is no less important because you don't have children. When I was working in a different field, my husband was home with our kids so I wasn't impacted by sick kids, snow day at school, school vacation, etc. However, I had many coworkers that considered it a free day off if their child was home sick. Wouldn't use vacation time, sick time, etc. would just stay home. Clearly this was a different work environment, people could catch up on things on another day. But, some people definitely took advantage and it was frustrating to those of us that didn't use this "benefit", management can run things well, or poorly, best you can do is hope yours makes things equitable.
  5. by   JKL33
    Quote from Agatha12
    Now main problem. Why staff with children always think that will have priority to go home on time and will refuse to stay longer if required only because they have kids? Childless staff also have plans, responsibilities or simple would like to have time to cook for a next day.
    Can you give an example of such situation? People are refusing to be mandated?
  6. by   pixierose
    As a second career nurse, I can tell you it happens across fields.

    It truly depends on management. We have a woman on my floor who gets out of working most major holidays because she "has a 2 year old and another on the way." I now have to work Thanksgiving Day, Xmas, and NYD because my NM lets her do this (squeaky wheel and all). In total, I've worked 5/6 of the hospital's recognized holidays yet she has only worked 1/6.

    But it has nothing to do with nursing, or parents really. The rest of us who have kids don't do this, just her. It's our NM's weak spot.
  7. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from Agatha12
    I know it is controversial topic. First I explain myself a bit. I would like to have children at some point but I dont have them at the moment as I deal with some health issues and I havent met right partner to be father.

    Now main problem. Why staff with children always think that will have priority to go home on time and will refuse to stay longer if required only because they have kids? Childless staff also have plans, responsibilities or simple would like to have time to cook for a next day.

    I believe some fair system should be in place. Once mothers go home early, on other occasion they stay longer and single people enjoy their time. Any thoughts? Am I wrong to think so?
    Everyone should "have priority to go home on time". If this is a regular problem where you're at, maybe employees should be getting on management instead of each other.
    I personally feel it should be handled like an over-booked flight. An incentive should be offered and continue to be increased until there's a volunteer.
  8. by   hppygr8ful
    So what about the single no kids employee who routinely saunters in 15 minutes late for work and not ready to take report. Or the same nurse who is not ready to give report when I arrive. My son is older now (15) and can ride public transportation home if necessary but when he was young it was just me and my husband. We had no relatives who could help with emergency pick-ups or sick days. I can't tell you how many times I sent him to school not feeling well rather than be late or miss work and put my co-workers/ employer in a bind.

    My son is an athlete and I attend all his games except those that are too far out of town to make it after my work day is done. In fact tomorrow I will miss his Play-off game because I can't take off work on such short notice.

    I don't expect any special treatment because I am a parent but you should understand that in my state a parent who does not pick up a sick child from school can be charged with neglect. When my son was enrolled in afterschool care we were charged $5.00/hr overtime on top of the rate were we already paying if we were late for pick-up and after a certain time authorities were called. Nor can we legally leave a sick child under a certain age home alone (again considered child neglect).

    I wouldn't be so sure that staff who stay home with a sick child aren't using their PTO/vacation time. It's routine where I work to either waive your pay for the day or have to use PTO. In my state the law states that a parent who is the primary caregiver of a child under 13 cannot be forced to come to work if said child is ill at home.

    When it comes to mandatory overtime - we don't have much of that where I work - there are always those who want/need extra dollars and pick up that time. Still I do my share when it happens.

    Hppy
  9. by   RNperdiem
    Is staying late a regular thing in your job?
    Where I work, shift change takes around 30 minutes, depending on how much report I need to give. More for a complex pair of patients, less if handing them back to the nurse I took report from. On rare occasions, a patient takes a drastic turn for the worse during shift change, and a nurse might stay awhile to help stabilize a patient, but other than that, once patients are handed off, nurse goes home.
    How late are the nurses leaving and why? What can be done to help every nurse get out on time, childless or not?
  10. by   Here.I.Stand
    I have five kids, and I refuse to stay late (except when I still need to finish charting). When I worked 8 hr day shifts, 1600 was my hard-stop time (shift over at 1530.) The reason: daycare closed at 1630.
    I don't work for places that use mandatory OT as a routine staffing practice. Management's failure to plan is neither my emergency, nor is it my family's.

    Here's the thing though: I do NOT expect special treatment because I am a mom. What I expect is what I believe ALL of us need to expect.
    Management's failure to plan is not YOUR emergency either, and ALL of us should be refusing any OT we don't want.
  11. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from RNperdiem
    Is staying late a regular thing in your job?
    Where I work, shift change takes around 30 minutes, depending on how much report I need to give. More for a complex pair of patients, less if handing them back to the nurse I took report from. On rare occasions, a patient takes a drastic turn for the worse during shift change, and a nurse might stay awhile to help stabilize a patient, but other than that, once patients are handed off, nurse goes home.
    How late are the nurses leaving and why? What can be done to help every nurse get out on time, childless or not?
    Same here - there is no reason barring an emergency when a nurse should not be getting off on time. Where I work shift change starts at 3:00Pm and we are done by 3:30. It's rare that I am not out the door by quarter to four. As a psych nurse I have about 17 to 20 patients under my care. I practice good time management. Get my work done give a good report and leave. I am not obligated to stay late. Their is no reason for a nurse to stay over charting etc... All overtime in my facility has to be approved by management. So you can't just stay over to finish up! You are expected to let the supervisor know if you are behind. If we get a last minute admission or emergency I will sometimes ask if I am needed to stay over. I am a Master Trainer in my facility so I am supposed to show people how to do the job safely and on schedule.

    Hppy
  12. by   Here.I.Stand
    As far as taking time off to care for sick kids, that's reality. As Hppy said, we can be charged with neglect. Plus it's irresponsible to 1) not allow a sick child to rest and 2) expose other daycare kids (although that's kind of moot, because daycares don't allow sick children to come)

    There have been instances where I did choose to prioritize kids ahead of work. My teenaged daughter has skied a 5K in -15° weather. She's my iron butterfly! So when she tearfully asked "Mommy can you please stay with me?"... I did.

    My husband's work piles up if he misses work...as it is, his typical workday is 10-12 hrs. My hospital has a float pool so can supply someone to replace me.

    Again though, I would be equally as understanding of those caring for elderly parents. There are things more important than a job -- children are just one of those things. Also, when I was a benefitted employee, I absolutely did have to use PTO when calling off for them.
  13. by   MunoRN
    Go home when they go home, problem solved.
  14. by   Scottishtape
    I have 4 kids and never get to go home early.

    I have a hard time believing *all* nurses with kids get to *always* leave early.

    And yes, if push comes to shove, leaving to care for a HUMAN trumps leaving to hit the grocery store.

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