On sabbatical? - page 3

I find myself on sabbatical from nursing because: My license tells me that the patient comes first. Employers tell me, no, we come first. Physicians often tell me, we come first. I can only... Read More

  1. by   mattsmom81
    I have yet to find a facility that allows FT nurses to take as much time off as you do, 3rd shift guy. You must work in a very unusual facility...(or you are PRN) . With the 'shortages' and staffing crunches in my area requested vacation times are frequently denied. (at least long ones) They also browbeat the staff into donating the vacation time to another staffer in crisis (like they are the only deserving ones) One could say it's the nurses' fault for allowing the manipulation, but it sure leads to burnout having to fight tooth and nail for a well deserved day/week/month off.

    Actual conversations: "You can't take this vacation you asked for 3 months ago because upper level administration has a freeze on agency and we have nobody to cover you." "You can't take your requested vacation time unless you find your OWN coverage for EVERY shift. " This usually means all nurses on killer OT if the nurse insists on going.

    They may 'generously' allow FT staff 'short' vacations but only as staffing needs dictate. (ie on the hospital's schedule not the nurses) They freely put out notices 'no vacation time approved through the end of the year' or 'until further notice'...and have done this 1st of Sept many times.

    This is why I feel fulltime facility nursing is like slave labor, and I see many nurses here agree with me. PRN is the only way to go if one doesn't need benes!!

    It's the only way I survived in nursing this past 25 years to be honest...PRN and agency.

    Have ya'll noticed hospitals hire fewer PRNs now??? They want more FT'ers to manipulate it seems...I'm looking for PRN work but finding only FT slots....which I will never do again.

    Mistreated workers have found relief only through unionizing and collective bargaining. Unfortunately I don't see anything changing til this occurs and we force facilities to treat us better as a group ...like the textile workers and coal miners (and many other groups) did. Union voices are heard, nonunion voices are too weak.
  2. by   abrenrn
    I agree with MattsMom about unions - the best places I worked were surrounded by unions and did not want unions in. We got a lot of vactation but - if asked to work on a vacation day, you got paid for the vacation day AND time and a half. I bet they've changed that now.

    Besides a union, though, I believe we need a professional organization that cares more for quality nursing than hospitals and doctors. Frankly, I find most national nurses organizations are afraid to hurt their feelings or something. They certainly put the needs of hospitals in front of the needs of the profession.

    So, a professional union.

    As for caps. OF COURSE men should wear them. They're nurses too, aren't they?? So, maybe we should all wear some cross between an old time nursing cap and a baseball cap.

    I opt for no black band. I don't want to mourn Florence Nightengale for two reasons. First, the spirit of nursing - professional care of patients has survived despite her flaws. Second, I don't want to mourn the person who cursed the profession as she did.

    I do not flame. If you disagree or don't understand, tell me or ask me. Then we can debate it.
  3. by   Tweety
    Mattsmom. Sometimes I feel they shouldn't allow such long vacations, because it does leave us short. In ten years though I have never been denied a vacation request. I'm not prn but staff. I plan way ahead and ask four or five months in advance. They have been known to deny vacations, when more than one person takes off. It's only been recently that I've stretched my vacations out to a month. It is sooooo nice.

    We have a supervisor that takes a seven week vacation every summer.
  4. by   abrenrn
    If we all had it as good as you, we'd all be happy too. Do you think it's us or the places we work? Just curious.

    Seems to me you think it's us - even though Mattsmom requests vaction months in advance. Is it not enough months? Maybe we just don't get the vacations cause, well - when would the guys get off?

    Or, since you've got yours, you don't want to worry about anyone else? Then why read about it?

    I'm just trying to understand what you just said.
  5. by   abrenrn
    I started this thread. I set certain rules. I said I would have to hope people would follow rules.

    Since I am the moderator of this thread and I see a rule has been broken - in my opinion - I think I will just close it.

    People were supposed to listen to each other.
  6. by   abrenrn
    The poll has my name as moderator. Not unususal in nursing, I have no power to close it.

    I disown it.
  7. by   mattsmom81
    Originally posted by 3rdShiftGuy
    Mattsmom. Sometimes I feel they shouldn't allow such long vacations, because it does leave us short. In ten years though I have never been denied a vacation request. I'm not prn but staff. I plan way ahead and ask four or five months in advance. They have been known to deny vacations, when more than one person takes off. It's only been recently that I've stretched my vacations out to a month. It is sooooo nice.

    We have a supervisor that takes a seven week vacation every summer.

    Where do you work, 3rd shift guy?? I wanna move there...LOL!
    Sounds like heaven......:roll
  8. by   funnygirl_rn
    I was on a short sabbatical, only wished it could have been longer. I concur with Youda , Kona & others...my job totally sucked the life out of me..and yes, it made me lose my spirit. It truly made me sad.
  9. by   maggie7
    Just posted this on http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...hreadid=27383, but wanted to also reply to this thread. Like the bumper stickers. Could this forum use the revenues? for selling the bumper stickers or caps? How did we as nurses, probably the largest group of professionals ever allow nursing to come to this? Do coal miners work this hard? Not to be able to take a bathroom break or lunch or even a drink at times and feel selfish for the thought? I know nurses who take work home to do. unpaid work. Aren't there laws about this? Sorry, I get all fired up. :angryfire
  10. by   911fltrn
    One month on or so. Couple months off or so. Does that count?
  11. by   JNJ
    Responding to GlobalRN and abrenrn:

    I'm with Global's sentiments.

    I've done everything from charity nursing to NICU and home health, including some years as faculty in the UK and USA. I overheard my first 'boss' in the USA say she "didn't want a 40 year old foreigner" working on her floor! I 'replied' by becoming an indispensible part of her unit over the next six months, learning everything I could, then quit, telling her exactly what I had heard and how I had responded. I also asked HR for an exit interview and told them. I did this with as much calm, detached professionalism as I could find.

    Take those hard jobs and stay while you are learning (but put in what it takes to be learning). Be an employee as long as it takes to really learn your skills. Then quit and offer back your services to facilities as an independent. As more of us begin to do this, more facilities understand the system and it becomes easier. Check out independentrn.com. It doesn't take supernurse to do this, just use those organizational skills and the help available at National Association of Independent Nurses to write your own contract. PTs, dietitians etc have been doing this for years and look at their conditions and pay rates.

    One trend I have noticed which goes against nurses is the tendency to complain, sometimes with poor language and non-specificity. Work out what you want (not what you don't want) and ask for it. Keep the message simple and clear and keep finding new ways to ask for what you want. The most successful people are those with a flexible response system. Develop flexible responses, but continue to ask for what you want.

    Example: As a registry RN in an acute hem/onc peds. unit, I, at first, used to get to the unit 2 hours before my shift. By the time my assignment was given to me, I knew the status of all the patients and I would negotiate and trade my assignment e.g. I took the extra patient the manager needed me to, but I wanted such and such a patient transferred to ICU before I did. My bargaining power: they knew I would leave before taking the assignment if it wasn't fair and feasible. (I had proved this by leaving once or twice - not abandonment - before accepting the assignment).

    Another time I said I would assess and give all the night meds. on time to 10 patients, but the manager had to go to each patient with family and explain I would not be changing diapers etc; I insisted on extra ancillary staff to help comfort the children without parents in the unit. My requests were nearly always met, sometimes before I arrived on the unit. I had the skills they needed and they treated me appropriately. That's all it takes, plus the courage to negotiate in calm language.

    I'm concerned that some RNs who are doing the most complaining - not, of course, at this web site - are the ones with least to offer. Even after 30+ years (and a back injury) I believe nursing is the greatest job there is; but you have to put in to get the good stuff back. Decide what YOU want - we have differing needs and we have to train facilities to meet those needs with their own flexible offerings. Power to all skilled RNs.

    PS: I do like the sticker suggestion in general, but prefer that we find wording that echoes our commitment to take care of ourselves - as other professionals do.
  12. by   sjoe
    JNJ--excellent advice.
  13. by   abrenrn
    JNJ -

    Echo Sjoe. As you may have noted, I complained after one post that I didn't like. Why do I give up so easily?

    Partly cause I know I'm not a good negotiator or organizer. All I am is a good nurse - the one place where I have always made myself organize where it counts. I can negotiate anything for a patient, too. Since I'm a lousy negotiator for me, I don't get the type of conditions you are able to negotiate. But, why do we all have to negotiate individually?

    I like your suggestion about the bumper sticker indicating that we care for ourselves - it would be a cool positive affirmation (you know, you lie to yourself until it becomes true).

    How about, "Nurses on sabbatical: Sorry guys. Before we can take care of patients, we have to take care of ourselves."

    That's why I love these threads, even though they annoy me so much. I learn more than I get annoyed. I have to work on my negativity.

    What do you all think?

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