On call for free? - page 3

Where I work, the 4 nurses each take a week and take the beeper and are on call. The call is for questions,(med issues) advice, if its really bad, we come in... etc.. (residential facility for kids... Read More

  1. by   glasgow3
    Quote from Gromit
    Yes there are federal requirements for breaks. But having a union does not guarantee a great working place -there is no 'one size fits all' situation. I've worked in union jobs that really kind of sucked, and I've worked in union jobs that were really good jobs to have -same for non-union jobs. Some were terrible, others were really good. The usual 'union scare' about you not having rights unless you unionize is just that: a scare. Its not true. Situations vary, just like mileage (grin). For my part, rather than try to use a blanket statement, I try to evaluate each on a case-by-case basis.
    Nope, you are mistaken. Some states have such requirements. And OSHA has limited recommendations regarding breaks. But no federal requirements for time to take lunches or breaks.

    Still disagree? Cite me the specific law.

    R
  2. by   jonzey
    When you say give Tylenol,cough syrup or whatever,isn't that prescribing medication,which is outside of your scope of practice?Iam just curious bc I used to work in a similar enviroment and I always had a problem with that concept.
  3. by   RN4NICU
    glasgow is correct, there are no federal requirements regarding breaks. Each state has its own laws and I am aware of at least a couple of states that exempt health care workers from the requirements of the law.
  4. by   RNOTODAY
    Quote from jonzey
    When you say give Tylenol,cough syrup or whatever,isn't that prescribing medication,which is outside of your scope of practice?Iam just curious bc I used to work in a similar enviroment and I always had a problem with that concept.
    yes, the kids can get otc meds, even from the residential staff, without the nurse saying so. They have their own supply on their units.
  5. by   RNOTODAY
    thanks for the replies thus far... they kind of confirmed what I was thinking. I just dont know how to bring it up, as nobody has so far.
    I just get irritated lately.... not just the legal implications, but why should I give up my personal time to "work" basically, and give my professional advice.. to a facility that pays so poorly to begin with? I undrestand that was my decision, to take the job, but I honestly never thought to ask if the beeper time was compensated for!!!! I always assumed unless you were management, you would be compensated in addition to your hourly wage..... ugggghhhhhhhh
  6. by   Gromit
    Unless you're salary (in which case, you agreed to it anyway) if you work for free, you have only yourself to blame. Its harsh, but its true.
  7. by   RNOTODAY
    Quote from Gromit
    Unless you're salary (in which case, you agreed to it anyway) if you work for free, you have only yourself to blame. Its harsh, but its true.
    I completely agree.
    However, now, I dont know how to approach the subject, and seem like a squeaky wheel, since everybody else seems to just accept it.
    Any ideas on what to say?
  8. by   RNOTODAY
    Quote from jonzey
    When you say give Tylenol,cough syrup or whatever,isn't that prescribing medication,which is outside of your scope of practice?Iam just curious bc I used to work in a similar enviroment and I always had a problem with that concept.
    I have *many* concerns with this job, the on call with no pay is just what I decided to ask opinions on.
    I have alot of concernes with just handing out tylenol, cough medicines, allergy pills, and just about every otc treatment out there. I am just assuming that it is not a hospital, so they are not bound by all the regs a hospital would be? I dont know, it seems to me that *because* they are not a hospital, they should be held to an even *higher* standard!!!!
    Has anybody worked for this type of facility before?????
    (residential treatment for children and adolescents with psychological and behavioral problems)
  9. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from RNOTODAY
    I have *many* concerns with this job, the on call with no pay is just what I decided to ask opinions on.
    I have alot of concernes with just handing out tylenol, cough medicines, allergy pills, and just about every otc treatment out there. I am just assuming that it is not a hospital, so they are not bound by all the regs a hospital would be? I dont know, it seems to me that *because* they are not a hospital, they should be held to an even *higher* standard!!!!
    Has anybody worked for this type of facility before?????
    (residential treatment for children and adolescents with psychological and behavioral problems)
    Before you assume, you should find out what the regulatory body that oversees the facility has to say. Are there standing orders that would cover this?

    Lots of questions, no easy answers. I sure wouldn't work for a place that would expect me to carry a pager and not compensate me for the time.
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    It sounds like practicing medicine without a license to me (Unless you are an NP or other advanced nurse clinician). Grave concerns here. I would not be in this situation, squeaky wheel or not. If everyone else accepts it, then I guess I would have to leave.
  11. by   jonzey
    I agree with you SmilinBluEyes it is a scary situation,sounds like practing medicine.I did work in facilitity for youth that had this policy.The nurse was suppose to decide what OTC meds to dispense.I refused to do this,only would give meds that were prescribed.I told the higher ups that this practice was against the state board of nursing.I was told that they did not believe me.I offered to pay for the long distance call to the board of nursing to confirm this.Then they wanted me to put the med in envelopes for security officers to dispense,Again I said NO WAY.Needlesss to say I found employment else where.Think about it these are children with behavorial and emotional problems,how are you going to confirm allergies,etc.I worked too hard for my liscence.
  12. by   Gromit
    I agree, ideally, you should tender your resignation and run, don't walk, out of there. This situation is fraught with potential liability issues. But if circumstances dictate that you try to stay, I don't know of a way to broach the subject without basically getting them a little annoyed- but hey, they have been getting by scott-free, and honestly, its time they stop. You might start with telling them that unless they have some form of compensation (comp-time or pay) you will not continue to freely give up your after-hours time. You DO have a right to have a life outside of the job -and if you are responsible for THEM (on call) then you cannot freely use your own time. This is unfair -and if you aren't salary, then you should be justly compensated for reserving your time for the company.
    As for handing over OTC drugs willy-nilly, that is a major risk you and the company are taking. If heaven forbid, something were to happen, a lawyer is going to get ahold of THAT little tidbit, and start laughing as he counts up how much to bill or sue for. Tylenol is freely sold at any fine refueling (gas) station and corner convenience store -but when you have patients (or residents under your care) you cannot give such things to them without orders.
    Granted, the odds of something going wrong are infinitessimally small, but thats hardly the point. If something DOES go wrong, THEIR lawyer is going to point to this practice, and make it seem as though you caused the incident.
    Its just not worth your license, time, trouble, or sanity.
    Even in the hospital, the nurses commonly have a bottle of ibuprofen available for US to use -but we would NEVER give one to a patient, or their family member -unless they had orders for such.
    WHY IS THAT??
    --- L I A B I L I T Y ---.
    .....^^^^^^^^^^
  13. by   RNOTODAY
    jonzey, smilin, I completely agree. The first day I was there, one of the other nurses was telling me where the otc meds were... I said, how do we know who we can give them to (re: an ORDER!!!) She said, no, they all can have them. In fact, the units have their own supply of them. I remember thinking that they must be under different regulations than an acute care facility. We test for drugs w/o an order (the parent or state agency signs a consent when the child comes in) , we do strep cultures on sore throats w/o an order, etc. Do you know of any way I can find out exactly *what* regulations they have, since they are so different from a hospital? I dont know where to begin, but I have so many issues!!!!

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