Would you be willing to do this?

  1. I am a unit manager. Got up at 5am today, worked 10 and 1/2 hours. Got home at 6 pm and 1/2 hour later got a call from the hospital- the VP said that since a night nurse called off, I should come back at 11pm and work as staff. So I would probably get about 2 hours sleep, then go back and take care of patients after being up for 15 hours. Now, I know she would never ask a staff nurse to do this, do you think it's fair to ask a manager? Would you do it? This has happened about 3 times in the past week or so.....I told her no because I don't feel it would be safe for the patients, but I'm sure I'm going to hear about it tomorrow.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   barefootlady
    No, I would not have worked the night shift, I do feel you would have placed yourself and the patients in an unsafe position. Do you think they are calling on you to work because of the 24 hour accountability the manager is required to assume when she takes the manager position? I am courious, where are you? I have had managers call and say, "do the best you can do, we have no extra help." Of course, if the manure hits the fan, she never uttered those words, nor was it known the unit was working short staffed. Just my observations after 25 years of nursing. Have a good rest tonight, you may need to wear extra rear pads tomorrow.LOL
  4. by   nursemaa
    Quote from barefootlady
    No, I would not have worked the night shift, I do feel you would have placed yourself and the patients in an unsafe position. Do you think they are calling on you to work because of the 24 hour accountability the manager is required to assume when she takes the manager position? I am courious, where are you? I have had managers call and say, "do the best you can do, we have no extra help." Of course, if the manure hits the fan, she never uttered those words, nor was it known the unit was working short staffed. Just my observations after 25 years of nursing. Have a good rest tonight, you may need to wear extra rear pads tomorrow.LOL
    Thanks. I completely understand the 24-hour accountability part of my job, and agree that I knew it when I took the job. However, I am as human as anyone else and cannot take care of patients in this situation. I have come in and worked as staff when I had sufficient notice, so it's not that I think it's beneath me or anything. And I can honestly say I am not guilty (ever) of uttering those words or even thinking like that. I made some suggestions for who they could call, or how they could move patients/staff around so that it would be reasonable. I just don't think assuming I can do it in this kind of situation should be the first line of defense, which it was. And you're right about the rear pads...
  5. by   tntrn
    I'm one of the staff nurses where I work and our management wouldn't hesitate for a minute asking one of us to that. They go down the list; the manager is the last person called. I've been called at 0500 after getting home at 0100 to come in at 0700. Needless to say, I didn't do that and they got the picture to NEVER call me before 0900 EVER.
  6. by   nursemaa
    Quote from tntrn
    I'm one of the staff nurses where I work and our management wouldn't hesitate for a minute asking one of us to that. They go down the list; the manager is the last person called. I've been called at 0500 after getting home at 0100 to come in at 0700. Needless to say, I didn't do that and they got the picture to NEVER call me before 0900 EVER.
    Now, that's just downright unreasonable! Isn't it amazing that some people think nurses should be super human or something? I never call afternoons until at least noon if they worked the night before, and never call nights until late afternoon. So please know that not all management thinks like that.
  7. by   apaisRN
    Ridiculously unsafe. Sets a terrible example, too, that the staff should work when sleep-deprived, sick etc. We don't cut slack to sleep-deprived drivers and truckers, why are we trying to make nurses work like that?
  8. by   Fiona59
    Ah, the benefits of unions. Its in our contract 15.5 hours between shifts. They have to pay double time to get us in the door any sooner than that!
  9. by   hoolahan
    What is the accountability of the shift super? It seems to me like it is easier to call you than to work at the staffing herself.

    My friend did what you are doing, and was terribly abused for a year until she said uncle. She went in and threatened to quit unless they were able to get an agency in. She was excellent at her job, so lucky for her, she was given free rein to use her judgement in offering all kinds of deals to staff and agency as needed, double time if need be so she could get enough sleep. I know it was very frustrating for her as almost her entire day was consumed with staffing issues on our very understaffed unit.
  10. by   Tweety
    You have to take care of yourself first and foremost. It's frustrating when managers don't pitch in every now and then. But to use a manager as staff whenever someone calls in sick is wrong.

    Good luck. That is one of the main reasons I wouldn't be a manager. You hate for your floor to run short, but you can't do it all 24/7.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    "would you be willing to do this"?
    nooope.
  12. by   badgernurse
    One nurse called in and you have to cover that? It seems very unreasonable and I hope you stick up for yourself. I think that nurse managers are in a tough spot these days. You have non-nursing business types running the show dictating and you have nurses voicing patient safety issues. You are in a no win situation. You do however have a responsibility to safe care for your patients and this wouldn't have been safe. You also have a responsibility to yourself because you are a human before you are a nurse. Good luck!
  13. by   allamericangirl
    This person will use you up, and when there is nothing left to give she will get rid of you. She is movin' up, cutting corners, and thinks she will always look great because she keeps everything covered. You can't allow yourself to be a door mat. If I worked for you would you ask me to do such a thing? I'll bet that you wouldn't, and I bet that your manager has never done it herself, or she wouldn't ask such a thing.

    I think that I would actively look for a better job/situation, and when I found it, I'd make certain that there was a detailed, written, exit interview which I had a signed copy of. After I started the new job, I would send a copy of it with a lovely letter to the corporate offices, about how much I had enjoyed working for them and how concerned I was for the wellfare of their company, but that I just couldn't risk my health, their patients well being, the chance of their facility's possible damage to reputation, or my license, to the real danger of probable mistakes made due to my extreme exhaustion.

    Bet the top really doesn't know what the bottom is doing.
  14. by   nursemaa
    Thanks everyone for the support! I think the concensus is that saying no was the right thing to do! Last week, she called me at 10:30pm to come in and work nights! And this was after my 3rd 10-hour day. This has been happening too often, and usually the supers haven't even tried to get someone who will actually get paid for it to come in. I end up telling them to try calling everyone who isn't working to see if they can come in, see if someone can stay over or come in early, etc. Stuff they should already know to do.

    Guess I'll go get ready for work, wish me luck.....

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