Overtime d/t short staffed - page 2

Hi guys... looking for some advice here. So I am a RN and scheduled 3-12 hr shifts per week. This is what I was hired for. Recently, we are down 1 nurse and had an agency nurse coming but didn't... Read More

  1. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from nursing4321
    Thank you all for the advice so far!

    I guess my guilt was getting the best of me. I hate to "not be a team player" and have the burden transfer to my coworkers. We are a pretty small unit and a specialty at that so we try to help each other out as much as possible. And none of us really want the OT..
    Personally, I feel like management planned for this to happen. They know we will cover it so why pay a traveler??? I think I will go to my DON and tell her I will finish out this schedule but after that I am working my 72 hrs/pp and that is all. They don't offer any incentives besides OT (1.5x pay) after 80 hours....and in my opinion isn't worth it to me. If they are desperate enough maybe they will offer more.

    I appreciate all of your feedback! Thank you!
    You are in an abusive job. Management knows you guys will cover their intentional staffing shortages. So if you don't want OT, just say no. Be prepared for some wicked responses on the part of Management.

    What would you consider enough of an incentive?
  2. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from fawnmarie
    I once worked in a facility that was chronically understaffed for years. This was a psychiatric facility where many of the patients had the potential to become violent. Periodically, an e-mail would be sent to staff with a list of vacant nursing and technician positions. Somehow, one vacancy list with 15 vacant RN positions and more than 20 vacant technician positions found its way to the local news channel (it was faxed by a burned-out employee who was tired of having to work mandatory overtime.) Once the low staffing became a news story, the facility scrambled to bring in agency staff to fill in the staffing gaps, before Joint Commission intervened.
    What did Joint Commission do?
  3. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from Rose_Queen
    In addition to the BON, just google mandatory overtime law for your state- you may find that your state has legislation on the books. Mine does.

    Source: Forced Overtime and Mandatory Overtime | LegalMatch Law Library
    I must say I am shocked. I did not know that federal law says employers can force OT! Wow, I hope OP lives in a state that has helpful state laws about it.
  4. by   xoemmylouox
    You shouldn't feel guilty. Only accept the OT you want. When I really don't want to be bothered I place my manager/scheduler's phone number on block. This way I'm not getting the "please come in and work even though you've told me the last two weeks you can't" texts all day long. They need to have staff to cover when things like this happen. It's not your fault and not your job.
  5. by   amoLucia
    Quote from Rose_Queen
    In addition to the BON, just google mandatory overtime law for your state- you may find that your state has legislation on the books. Mine does.
    State of New Jersey has a very explicit regulation. Check it out under Dept of Labor. Interesting read.

    I'm not one to be praising State of NJ often, but their reg is good to have on hand if mgt tries to 'mandate'. For a rare instance though, I will say 'kudos' to NJ for it.
  6. by   marcos9999
    Quote from DeeAngel
    Make a phone call to the local newspaper and have a conversation, they're always interested in general interest stories like this.
    I didn't know newspapers still existed
  7. by   calivianya
    Quote from Cvepo
    Check your contract/hospital/BON. Your guilt was vanish quickly, I assure you. My first year-ish of nursing, I would feel guilty every time I would call in. Until I realized that no one else gave a crap. Unless it is explicitly written about mandated OT, you are not obligated to do a thing. Halloween night in the MICU I used to work in, we had 11 nurses for 33 patients and this was with our nurse manager acting as the charge nurse that night. Literally every single nurse had a triple assignment (dangerously unsafe). We had 2 literally simultaneous codes in adjacent rooms, which is incredibly tough with little staff. We were left with bare bones, administration knew, but our contract (union) states NO MANDATORY OT, so we made the best of what we could. It was an awful night, but we got through it.
    I had a night like that once. We have three 10 bed sections. We had nine patients in each section with one room blocked. And we had three nurses per section. Literally nine sets of triples.

    Wasn't Halloween but I do believe it was a full moon...

    OP - If you have a shift that so short-staffed it's dangerously unsafe, I actually recommend going to JCAHO with documentation of what your shift looked like. I mentioned this somewhere else once, but it was after JCAHO got notified and their wrath rained down on my facility that we finally got travelers to help with staffing. Management wasn't interested in doing anything until JCAHO made them. They will work shorter on purpose before they hire someone else, unless The Powers That Be force them to hire more people.
  8. by   amoLucia
    In the NJ legislative piece, agency is referred to as a remedy to staffing BEFORE mandating floor staff.
  9. by   amoLucia
    Quote from marcos9999
    I didn't know newspapers still existed
    I think the National Enquirer is still around too.

    It was my Mom's medical advisor for its medical pearls of wisdom before today's Dr Google or WebMD.

    "Yes, Virginia. If it's in the Nat'l Enquirer, it must be true". (Just paraphrasing!)
  10. by   fawnmarie
    Quote from Kooky Korky
    What did Joint Commission do?
    Joint Commission put the facility in "Preliminary Denial of Accrediation" status. Our CEO and Nurse Executive had to present a "plan of correction" at Joint Commission headquarters in Chicago.
  11. by   llg
    I recommend checking your state regulations on RN mandatory overtime and general employment regulations before taking a big, dramatic stands. You don't want to find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

    Also, check with your employer's policies. Know what you signed up for when you took the job. There may be some procedures you need to go through before declaring that you will never work any overtime.

    After you know where you stand legally and procedurally ...

    I usually recommend striking a balance. Show that you are a team player by working an occasional overtime shift -- one that is scheduled at a time that works for you. That will help you maintain a positive relationship with your co-workers and boss. But there is a difference between "helping out now and then" during a temporary shortage ... and "being abused" by a system that is purposely not hiring enough staff and self-creating a chronic staffing problem.
  12. by   Green Tea, RN
    When I was working on Med-Surg floor, I regularly got a phone call from my manager to pick up a shift. On my day off, I never answered a phone call from her because I didn't want to pick up a shift. I never felt guilty not answering a phone call from her because I was not on call or anything.
    Don't sign up for extra shift if you don't want to. If you keep working extra hours, your manager will not notice the needs of hiring a traveler. In addition, having staff nurse work extra hours is cheaper than hiring a traveler, in general.
    Does your manager help working on the floor when it's short of nurses? I'm curious because staffing is supposed to be manager's job. My manager? She never worked on the floor even if the floor was short of nurses. It made me wonder why I had to clean up the mess even though the person who caused it would not do anything.