too much overtime!!

  1. I am a new grad nurse. I got my license in Oct 2006. I work in a small rural hospital. My hospital is suffering some financial difficulties lately. We have been short staffed recently with no new prospects on the horizion. We have just enough people to cover the week, so if someone calls off, someone has to work overtime to cover. Lately I have been working 1 extra day per week for a total of 4 days (12 hr shifts). I hate working overtime due to responsibilites at home. I just have NO extra time, but I'm new to the unit & I want to look good for my unit director & I also want to do my part. We have had a rash of call-off's lately & like i said i've had 4 days the past couple of weeks. I have been feeling so tired of it lately. well I worked last night & to make a long story short boss asked if I could come in at 4pm today instead of 7 (I work 7p-7a). so 12+hours wed night 6 hrs sleep & back for a 4pm-7am (plus report time) shift. I originally said yes but when I left boss heard me grumbling to the tech & it went something like this.

    boss: you know you didn't have to say yes if you didn't want to do it.
    me: I don't want to be the bad guy & leave you guys hanging
    boss: I could have asked jon (lpn that worked with me last night & tonight)
    me: well I don't want to put it on him then he'll only get 6 hrs sleep.
    boss: never mind I'll call someone else. I just start with who's here.

    now here I am feeling like a big fat jerk. should I call her to apologize, should I call & say I'll just come in? I am not sure what to do.
    Sorry if this is disorganized I'm just tired.
    p.s. other RN's in the hospital make a bonus if they come in on their day off but our unit (psych) doesn't offer the bonus due to budget. but EVERYONE else gets it. This hasn't bothered me before but I keep thinking about it
    so I thought I'd throw that in. :stone
    Thanks,
    spooky
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   Tiwi
    You have obviously demonstrated already your commitment to your job. If it is starting to affect your health, then you have to think about number one first and have a rest for a little while from the extra work, and begin working out of hours when you are refreshed and happy to do so.

    Why was your boss "listening around corners" to a private conversation? You are allowed to have your own personal gripes, and it's none of her business to interrupt and comment. If you weren't rude to her, then there is no need to apologise. If anything she should be apologising to you.
  4. by   neneRN
    Quote from Tiwi
    You have obviously demonstrated already your commitment to your job. If it is starting to affect your health, then you have to think about number one first and have a rest for a little while from the extra work, and begin working out of hours when you are refreshed and happy to do so.

    Why was your boss "listening around corners" to a private conversation? You are allowed to have your own personal gripes, and it's none of her business to interrupt and comment. If you weren't rude to her, then there is no need to apologise. If anything she should be apologising to you.

    If the OP doesn't want to work OT, then her comments should have been made to the boss too. If I overheard an employee griping about OT, I'd have the same response- just tell me no if you don't want to do it, it's no big deal. But don't pick up another shift and then complain to coworkers about it and make the boss the bad person because you went ahead and said yes. Doesn't sound like this is mandatory OT...you have a choice. When I try to cover callins, I ask everybody available if they want to pick up, and I don't ever think badly when staff doesn't want to...I realise everyone has a life and responsibilities outside of work, but I'm sure you would rather your boss attempt to cover callins than just leave it short staffed.

    My point is; say no if you don't want to do it. End of story.
  5. by   ICU_floater
    :yeahthat:

    it's ok to say no, the griping causes conflicting messages. either you can or can't. Family DOES come first, come in when can, feel comfortable saying no.

    this place will run without you, rest
  6. by   nservice
    now here I am feeling like a big fat jerk. should I call her to apologize, should I call & say I'll just come in? I am not sure what to do.

    I would definitely address this issue with her. It was unprofessional to accept the hours and then gripe about it behind the bosses back. I completely understand though and can't say that I've never done the same. While I understand the opinion that you have a right to private gripes with co-workers, I just don't think it will achieve the objective you are seeking. I would pull the boss to the side and apologize simply because I wouldn't want to have bad blood between us. You are a new nurse and don't know the unspoken "rules" yet and you are learning assertiveness and professionalism. That added to the fact that you're overworked and just plain tired didn't help the situation. Let the boss know these things and that you will be more open with her in the future.
  7. by   wooh
    We had a similar thing last year, we didn't get any bonus for working extra, because our department was overbudget (due to the type of patients we got, nevermind us taking them saved the other departments money). Don't feel bad not working extra. That's probably a big reason there's so many call outs, people are exhausted! Then it just turns into a downward spiral, exhausted, call out, someone else works over, they're exhausted, call out, and so on.
    The hospital will run without you!!! If you want time and a half, do it, otherwise, say no!
  8. by   rn undisclosed name
    If you don't want to then say no. At my hospital we all play let's make a deal. I work 7 am - 7 pm. Well, I was working 2 days in a row. On the first day they asked if I would stay until 11 pm and have to be at work the next day. I said I would stay until 11 pm IF I could come into work the next day at 11 am instead of 7 am. There is no way I am going to sacrifice my sleep just to accomodate them. If they're understaffed that is THEIR problem. Don't make it yours.

    When they're looking for people to come in they know who likes to work extra hours and who doesn't. They call the people who like to work extra.
  9. by   Tiwi
    Quote from nservice
    It was unprofessional to accept the hours and then gripe about it behind the bosses back. I completely understand though and can't say that I've never done the same.
    I think it's very hard to make a judgement that someone, new nurse or not, is 'unprofessional' when you say you have done it yourself. Who hasn't talked to their colleagues when they are unhappy? It can actually help you to clarify your thoughts when you discuss them with someone else.

    I agree that yes, if you have a concern that you should be upfront with your boss, but by the same token, this nurse was prepared to accept the shift.

    The senior should not have been listening in on a private conversation. That is also unprofessional.
  10. by   RN BSN 2009
    Well if I Get asked to do overtime, and I *really* dont want to do it, I say if you can do your rounds and ask others first that will be ok, if nobody else wants to do it, i'll go ahead and do it.
  11. by   blueheaven
    Quote from spookygirl
    I am a new grad nurse. I got my license in Oct 2006. I work in a small rural hospital. My hospital is suffering some financial difficulties lately. We have been short staffed recently with no new prospects on the horizion. We have just enough people to cover the week, so if someone calls off, someone has to work overtime to cover. Lately I have been working 1 extra day per week for a total of 4 days (12 hr shifts). I hate working overtime due to responsibilites at home. I just have NO extra time, but I'm new to the unit & I want to look good for my unit director & I also want to do my part. We have had a rash of call-off's lately & like i said i've had 4 days the past couple of weeks. I have been feeling so tired of it lately. well I worked last night & to make a long story short boss asked if I could come in at 4pm today instead of 7 (I work 7p-7a). so 12+hours wed night 6 hrs sleep & back for a 4pm-7am (plus report time) shift. I originally said yes but when I left boss heard me grumbling to the tech & it went something like this.

    boss: you know you didn't have to say yes if you didn't want to do it.
    me: I don't want to be the bad guy & leave you guys hanging
    boss: I could have asked jon (lpn that worked with me last night & tonight)
    me: well I don't want to put it on him then he'll only get 6 hrs sleep.
    boss: never mind I'll call someone else. I just start with who's here.

    now here I am feeling like a big fat jerk. should I call her to apologize, should I call & say I'll just come in? I am not sure what to do.
    Sorry if this is disorganized I'm just tired.
    p.s. other RN's in the hospital make a bonus if they come in on their day off but our unit (psych) doesn't offer the bonus due to budget. but EVERYONE else gets it. This hasn't bothered me before but I keep thinking about it
    so I thought I'd throw that in. :stone
    Thanks,
    spooky
    I understand you are a new nurse. Don't think that your higher ups aren't using that to THEIR advantage. As long as people keep saying "yes, I will come in" the hospital and your manager has no incentive to do anything about the shortage. Is your manager helping out? Is he/she lending a hand and working the unit to help cover? I bet not, two letters are a complete sentence, NO! Took me a long time to catch on, but then again (in some things) I am a slooooooow learner. Been in your shoes!
    Last edit by blueheaven on Mar 1, '07
  12. by   nservice
    I think it's very hard to make a judgement that someone, new nurse or not, is 'unprofessional' when you say you have done it yourself. Who hasn't talked to their colleagues when they are unhappy? It can actually help you to clarify your thoughts when you discuss them with someone else.

    I don't think it's a hard judgment to make. I've done it myself and realized that it is unprofessional. I also realized that it didn't achieve the objective I had of not working when I don't want to work. I don't do it anymore. It's as simple as that.
  13. by   LeesieBug
    The one skill I learned FAST as a new grad is saying NO and moving on. At first I felt major guilt. I was being called five times a week, at some points, always saying no. My thirty-six hours a week is as much as I can safely handle at this point.

    Amazingly the place did not fall apart without me. My ego is crushed:wink2:
  14. by   NurseyBaby'05
    Quote from kellykul
    If they're understaffed that is THEIR problem. Don't make it yours.

    Definitely! When the staff continues to work a lot of overtime out of guilt, it gives management no incentive to work out long-term staffing solutions. It's cheaper to pay OT to someone they're alredy paying a benefits package to than hire and orient someone new.
    It's good to help out, but only when it suits your needs. You know if you needed the money and OT wasn't available, mgt wouldn't just offer it to you because they felt bad. Why should you operate any differently? It's just business.
    Last edit by NurseyBaby'05 on Mar 1, '07

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