staffing woes

  1. I am very annoyed, incase my little annoyed face smilie didnt tip you off haha

    at my place o' employment we have mmmmm four lines or so of full timers, myself being one of them, that work on lines, for example, one week we work monday tues fri sat sun n the next week we work wed thurs and so on and so on

    my problem is , as with every other hospital rightabout now, we are shortstaffed, but we have a ton of part timers, more part timers than full timers for sure. so you would think that some shifts would be filled by said part timers

    WRONGO!
    of all the mmmm 20 or so part timers only 2, yes 2 do nightshift, the rest only work 8hr days or 8hr evenings, thats such crap in my not so humble opinion. I wouldnt care so much if it didnt fall on the full timers to do overtime all the time, but it does. This makes no sense to me ,and ppl keep on getting hired for the day evening shifts.
    management needs to hire ppl willing to do nights also, cuz right now on any given day or evening shift we have at least one person floating around , without a set assignment and not always helping out as needed, while on nights we end up being 4 RN's for the whole floor some of the time.
    this seems unsafe and unfair.
    also our scheduling committee posted this notice about how we cant get a weekend off if its supposed to be our weekend to work , even if we let them know way in advance they wont write us off the schedule, we have to try to give our shift away....to me thats insane, I mean say someone you know is getting married in 3 months, but its your weekend to work nights, in my case I would be screwed because no one will pick up or do any damn nights!
    it may seem like I'm griping, but it seems like part timers rule the roost around my workplace,
    and ppl who work full time, full hours, and 12 hour shifts like that end up feeling pressured to do overtime, which brings me to my next/last point.
    I go to work ,do my damndest while I'm there but dont volunteer for OT, the reason being that I HAVE A LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    some ppl want the extra money and thats cool ,but as a full time worker already I shouldnt be expected or pressured to take on more shifts than I already work......
    volunteering is one thing, but preferential treatment is given to those that do all this overtime, to me its not safe, I work with someone that will do 7 12's one week and then at least 5 more the next, and her patient care suffers because of it!
    I refuse to do that.....call me stubborn but I've brought up the concerns about staffing and nothing gets done, so what can I do?

    cheers
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  2. 34 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    Wendy, this will sound bad, but in my opinion, the only person you can take care of is you. I learned this the hard way when I ran myself ragged doing OT shifts. If you don't want to do OT, don't do it. I am glad you are assertive enough to refuse! Have you brought this up to your manager?
  4. by   Nancy45
    Hey, this will be my first post here. I think I know how you feel. I haven't worked for 6 months since I left because of understaffing, OT. I worked agency for about 3 years and did make good $$. But I didn't feel it was the best thing for the patients and I wanted to have a "home", and co-workers I knew. I decided to become "reliable" I took a full time job. It was horrible. Suddenly I was supervisor when I showed up 3-11 and I was the only RN. Also, I was responsible for all the RN duties in the building of 100 pts in addition to my 22. I hate doing IV's and vent care when I don't know the pt, the dx., etc. Then it was overtime, assessments no one else would do, admissions sometimes the other nurses didn't know how to do. And then we had 5 DON's in the two years I worked there. I really liked the feeling of being permanent staff, but it meant I had to train everyone etc. I absolutely couldn't do this job. So I left. I will soon go back to work, probably as agency. I'll know I have found a permanent position when I find nurses who have been working there for >3 years and are still satisfied!
  5. by   Jay Levan
    Happeewendy, and Nancy45, send copies of your "Concerns" to Hosp. Admin. see if they care!? Oh just a question, for you both, when did agency nurses become less caring about others than you??
  6. by   whipping girl in 07
    Happeewendy, I had to look at your location to make sure we weren't working at the same hospital!! Because your story sounds exactly like my working conditions.

    Case in point: 11 AM the days charge nurse calls me, wants to know if I'll work from 3PM-7PM. You see, that's because all the part-timers/PRNs on day shift (with the exception of 1) only work 8 hr shifts. I told her maybe, if I could find someone to pick up my son. Well, I made a couple of calls, couldn't find anyone, so I called back and declined. I don't know if they found anyone to cover the shift or not. Then at 4 PM someone else calls and leaves a message, can I work tonight 7PM-7AM. I happened to be outside (thank God, because they can usually guilt me in to coming in) and I didn't return the call.

    Now, if they knew they were going to be short for tonight (and they did; they look at those things days in advance, and if it's a late call-in, they always say so, for the added guilt factor), why not ask me at 11AM if I'll work tonight? I might have said yes and would have had time to take a nap before work. I think they were hoping I'd come in at 3PM, and then we'd be short at 7PM, and I'd stay, since I was there anyway. Or threaten to charge me with patient abandonment if I left at 7 and had no one to report off to, or be screwing my usual co-workers by making them have to pick up 3 patients because I won't stay. Nothing surprises me anymore.

    We struggle with staffing nearly every night and we keep getting new "PRN" people who only work 8 hr days M-F. The new night people are even having to rotate to days on weekends because no one on day shift seems to work them anymore. There are a few full-timers who are on call (who get called in twice a year) for weekends and a couple who just aren't scheduled any weekends, period. The rest are every third weekend, and of course, those "PRN" people never work them! (I thought that meant "as needed," I guess it really means "as needed, Monday thru Friday 7-3 with no holidays."

    Geez, maybe I'd be happier if I went PRN! They certainly seem happy (and well-rested, too, I might add).:wink2:

    My boss will not use agency nurses in ICU, so that's not even an option. So we end up pulling a nurse from 7th floor (cardiac step-down), who gets replaced there by a nurse pulled from another floor, and so forth and so on...And the pull nurse gets the easiest patients (which is fine except for when they get the patients you've had for the last 2 or 3 days).

    I certainly hope they found someone for tonight. I guess I'll hear about it when I go back to work tomorrow night if they didn't.

    All I can say is, thank god for caller ID and answering machines!
  7. by   biscuit_007
    Konni,
    This is all a surprise to me since you and i live in the same town. Recently when i began looking for a new job the facility that you work in was advertising that they have the lowest nurse to patient ratio in town. Well, i am relieved to see that they have the same staffing problems as the rest of us in town.
    Is it just me or does it seem that lots of staffing problems are caused by managers and supervisiors who are only looking into the future as far as the end of their shift?
    Jamie
  8. by   hapeewendy
    Jay, if you read my post you will see that I havent mentioned agency nurses anywhere so I really dont know what you mean by your comment directed to me regarding agency nurses being less caring.
    I certainly dont believe that they are
    I was an agency nurse myself for a little while.....
    and thanks for all your support / ideas everyone
    I will do something about this , just not sure what yet
  9. by   catlady
    Jay, I also don't see where either Wendy or Nancy criticized agency nurses, and I worked agency for a long time, so I'd be one of the first to get my feathers ruffled.

    But Wendy, it was *very* hard to read your original post. Do you suppose you could write sentences of fewer than four lines, with capitals at the beginning, punctuation in the middle, and periods at the end?
  10. by   -jt
    I worked full time for years & had to switch to part time after my 2nd baby because I had a baby sitter available for only certain days. Im back to full time again. I dont think part timers should be used to fill in shifts nobody else wants. Theres a reason they work only part time or per diem. If I had been able to work any shift or any day & it didnt matter if I had no control over my schedule, I would have stayed full time.

    Its not right that the manager is over staffing the weekday shift & using the full timers to overflow to fill the other shifts. If a position includes working weekends & a part timer takes this job knowing that, then she should be doing her share of weekends too but its also not right to hire a part timer for day shift & then expect her to work nights just because shes part time. Maybe they need to recruit per diems, part timers, & regular staff specifically for those shifts. And offer an incentive to people to take them.

    In any event, when you bring the issue up to the powers that be,
    the focus has to be kept on the managements inadequate staffing practice - avoid making it a full time vs part timer nurse thing. Its a mismanagement thing.
    Last edit by -jt on May 14, '02
  11. by   -jt
    <of course, those "PRN" people never work them! (I thought that meant "as needed," I guess it really means "as needed, Monday thru Friday 7-3 with no holidays.">

    Thats exactly what it means. Thats the whole point of the PRN - per diem option. It means "as needed on these days of the week and these shifts". Like "call me if you need me on Tuesdays & Thursdays 7am - 7pm". The hospital could always advertize an incentive for w/e per diems but with per diem work, the whole idea is that its your choice when you want to work.

    When you take a per diem (PRN) position (here anyway), you give them the list of days & shift you are willing to work & are guaranteed at least 4 shifts a month. If you want to do more, you tentaively schedule them yourself. PRN people usually work that option because they have other responsibilities that makes it impossible to be available to the hospital every day or at all hours. The thing with per diem is that YOU are in control of your working schedule - thats probably why they seem so much happier.
  12. by   oramar
    That is what I thought when I read this -jt, if you pay a bonus to fill hard to cover slots on your grid the open days will fill up fast. It is wrong to force full timers to be your mop up crew and cover everything that is open. However, the part time people should not be the ones taking the flack for the problem. This manager is going to start losing her remaining full time people.
  13. by   luv l&d
    at our place, we do self scheduling. the full time people get to schedule first, and then the full time perdiem, then part time. seems to work well for us. saves the full time people from getting the left overs.
  14. by   hapeewendy
    catlady, sorry my method of posting is so confusing
    I tend to write non formally here , kind of like free flow , like how I am when I speak.

    I'm sorry to everyone if my post made no sense or I had bad punctuation or sentences that were too long or whatever, I came here to vent and didnt pay proper attention those details.

    I suppose I could use proper punctuation, and add periods and things to my posts, but since I've seen many who dont, and many more who dont seem to have a problem with the way I've posted I guess I never bothered.

    I figure people would just read it as its written.
    I did enough essay writing and the like in college thanks.

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