Switch and bait on open shifts?

  1. At one of my Perdiem jobs, the director of nursing is not winning friends with her way of communicating or lack there of. I picked up a few more shifts than I usually do there this month.

    I picked up a day shift where I came into work and found that she had switched my role without telling me in advance. This is a tiny hospital and they have a float position and one nurse in the ER during both day and night. When I arrived I found my work assignment was the ER.

    Even though I'm comfortable in the ER, I was a little upset at not being informed via text or an email, since I had signed up for a different role.

    I discussed it with a coworker and she said it's against our contract. I discussed it with the director of nursing who is essentially the manager. She said that she counted on the shift planning computer program sending me an email.

    I told her that I would expect to be informed by personal email if there was a change in a shift that I voluntarily signed up for. She's an older gal who's not real comfortable with technology obviously. Also, all her interactions with staff are very formula and canned. She's from out of town, she's of retirement age, I think they were desperate when they were recruited her. In other words she doesn't have a personal stake in the community or the hospital.

    At my main job, the normal way of communicating changes is a simple text from the manager that is very personal and quick.


    I'm wondering how people here feel about work assignment changes without notification? I understand about floating as a necessity but the ER nurse who was scheduled was also upset at being switched to the float position.
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   cleback
    I guess where I work any of the nurses can be and are expected to float to the different medsurg units or serve on other units (er, mom and baby) in whatever capacity is in their training. That is with scheduled or picked up shifts. So while annoying, I'm not certain if I would make a big deal out of it.
  4. by   Floor_Nurse
    Sounds like you got punished for going into work.
  5. by   Fiona59
    Where I work, the staffing office tells you which unit you will be on when you sign in. You are orientated to three or four units if you are willing to float and after that, it's a crapshoot.

    Which is why I don't sign up for float shifts.
  6. by   Emergent
    As I mentioned in my opening text, this hospital is ultra tiny. There is one ER nurse, this float position, and an acute care nurse. It's a critical access hospital.

    What the director of nursing basically did was switch me with the ER nurse without checking if that was OK. The ER nurse also was not happy with the change.

    Since the communication at my main job is so forthright and easy, I was really put off by this on top of all the other BS that is being turned out by this new director of nursing.
  7. by   NurseCard
    Geez, sounds like your hospital is even smaller than mine!

    At my hospital, we typically have two ER nurses and two
    med/surge nurses. One of the ER nurses serves as shift'
    supervisor. At night, that's it. During the day it's the
    same, except the manager is here. If one of the med
    surge nurses calls off and our census is really low, like
    maybe 2-3 patients, then the med surge floor might
    have a nurse and a tech.
  8. by   Davey Do
    To put it politely, Staffing at Wrongway Regional Medical Center sucks. I rarely work extra shifts because, if there's a way to screw things up, Staffing will find it.

    The rare times I have worked extra I blatantly inform them that if I don't get my offered assignment, I m not clocking in.

    I floated for 9 1/2 years to five different Psych Units without complaint. When others with less seniority got regular assignments, I complained and am now rarely ever pulled from Gero Psych.

    I don't trust Staffing. All they do is plug holes and do a poor job of it.

    Whew! That felt good! Thanks for allowing me to vent!
  9. by   adventure_rn
    I'm guessing it's because you're per diem? In my experience, within the floating progression travelers go first, then per diem, then scheduled. A per diem with a ton of seniority still floats before a low seniority, scheduled full-time person. PRN positions exist based on the whims of the unit's needs, so if the unit doesn't need you then away you go. They may actually think they're doing you a service by giving you a day of work and salary, when otherwise you'd presumably be cancelled. Unfortunately, this may mean that you get floated all of the time.

    I've never worked anywhere that called or texted to tell you that you were being floated, unless you were being floated to another campus (in which case they obviously needed to inform you so you could show up to the appropriate location). Usually you'd just show up for your shift, realize you didn't have an assignment, and head to the float assignment. A heads up would be a lovely courtesy, but I'm not sure that it's expected (probably depends on your unit norm).
  10. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from Davey Do
    To put it politely, Staffing at Wrongway Regional Medical Center sucks. I rarely work extra shifts because, if there's a way to screw things up, Staffing will find it.

    The rare times I have worked extra I blatantly inform them that if I don't get my offered assignment, I m not clocking in.

    I floated for 9 1/2 years to five different Psych Units without complaint. When others with less seniority got regular assignments, I complained and am now rarely ever pulled from Gero Psych.

    I don't trust Staffing. All they do is plug holes and do a poor job of it.

    Whew! That felt good! Thanks for allowing me to vent!
    Wow sounds a lot like my facility. I have had my own unit for a year (adolescent girls ITU) then it closed a week and a half ago due to low census and I was thrown back into the float pool. It's bit of a let down. I do look at as a way to keep sharp with other populations. If I didn't work 2 blocks from home I might consider a change. Still private employers have the right to run their business any way they want as long as they are not discriminating against a protected class. I am mostly happy that I get to go to a job every day that pays me decently.

    Hppy
  11. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from Emergent
    I discussed it with a coworker and she said it's against our contract. I discussed it with the director of nursing who is essentially the manager. She said that she counted on the shift planning computer program sending me an email..
    You need to actually read your contract before going to management about this issue. You would have been given a copy when you were hired. I always have my lawyer review any employment contract and keep a copy for my personal reference. Sometimes you would be surprised what it does and does not include. Plus different employees can have different contracts especially in small facilities.

    Quote from Emergent
    I told her that I would expect to be informed by personal email if there was a change in a shift that I voluntarily signed up for. She's an older gal who's not real comfortable with technology obviously. Also, all her interactions with staff are very formula and canned. She's from out of town, she's of retirement age, I think they were desperate when they were recruited her. In other words she doesn't have a personal stake in the community or the hospital. ..
    It seems a bit entitled of you to go in and tell your supervisor WHAT YOU EXPECT. You always have the option of refusing your assignment. As long as you have not accepted the assignment by taking report it's not abandonment but my guess is that you took the shift because you need or want the extra money. So you are the only one who loses by complaining. The hospital can decide not to offer you any extra shifts.

    I also find it ageist (A form of discrimination on your part) to assume that a person who is nearing retirement and from out of town isn't invested in her job. I have about 25 to 30 years on many of my co-workers and most of the time can run circles around them. I do plan to retire as soon as possible if my investments keep performing as they are but that does not mean that I am not invested in the quality of care we provide.

    Quote from Emergent
    At my main job, the normal way of communicating changes is a simple text from the manager that is very personal and quick...
    You actually have the arrogance or "Special Snowflake" attitude that entitles you to go in and tell your employer how they should run their business? Remember Squeaky wheels often get replaced not fixed.

    Right now due to a very low late summer census (Happens every year in psych) I never know where I will be working until I get to work. While I prefer adolescents I pride myself on being able to work any unit in the hospital from intake assessment to gero-psych because it means I won't be called off and I like to work. I have a child who will be going off to college in three years so every dollar saved counts.

    Still I am old-school and just want to go in every day and do the best job I can for my patients and my employer.

    Peace and Namaste

    Hppy
  12. by   Emergent
    I'm over 60 and think everyone should keep up with technology. If you want to be effective, keep up with the times!

    My coworker friend is involved in our union and is going to our COO with our concerns since I'm not the only snowflake that's upset.

    By the way, I find ending a post with "Peace and Namaste", after calling me an arrogant, entitled snowflake, highly ironic.
  13. by   chare
    Quote from hppygr8ful
    [...]
    Still I am old-school and just want to go in every day and do the best job I can for my patients and my employer.
    [...]
    How sad that so many nurses either never learned, or seem to have forgotten this.
  14. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from Emergent
    I'm wondering how people here feel about work assignment changes without notification? I understand about floating as a necessity but the ER nurse who was scheduled was also upset at being switched to the float position.
    No one likes being blindsided.

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