Hospice Calls when I'm NOT on Call

  1. First of all, I do LOVE this hospice I work for. I've only been there for 2 months, but they are a good group. I work another job 6 days a month, I've rearranged my days at the other job to facilitate seeing patients-my own, and another nurse who is out with a medical situation....

    Anywhoo, here is the thing... The hospice first called my home, and my husband said she is on day "6 of 6 in a row, and she won't be home until 7:30pm". Then The hospice text messaged me with "can you call mrs. G, she is upset, her cardiologist said because she was in hospice, he wouldn't see her...she is mad because we haven't been flushing her port, she expects you to see her tomorrow." NOW, I receive this at 4pm today, and I'm working a medical ICU unit and have 4 patients, 2 on cardizem drips, and the other two are confused and in roll belts and wrist restraints. :angryfire

    I had a minute and called the hospice, the administrator told me the situation with mrs. g, and ended with "so if you could call her..." I said "NO, i can't, I'm working for the hospital right now, and I barely had this minute to call you...I haven't even had lunch yet." anywhoo, she said "well she wants you to see her tomorrow.":angryfire

    Before I was hired, this administrator did visits, and called patients and handled situations...but of course 2 months ago she was called the "director."
    It isnt FAIR to ME or to MY PATIENTS to expect ME when I'm on my other critical care job to expect ME to handle these kinds of situations...This happened the other day when I was pulled to the ED, I had 5 rooms, 2 chest pains, and 3 medical ICU holds...and I was asked to speak to the other nurse about a nursing home patients medications....


    What do you all think. I mean we have 7 patients right now, we have 2 prn nurses, and i"m one of them...I have 6 patients, and the other nurse has 1 (cause our other nurse is out for her medical stuff.) I don't mind the extra patients, and I do need the hours, but it isn't fair to my hospital or the hospice patients when I can't adequately give my time to either when i'm being spread soooo thin. That is why I NEVER take night call on the days i'm scheduled to be at the hospital...

    What would you do. I have to go into the office tomorrow, and I'm going to address this.
    Last edit by AtlantaRN on Jan 22, '07 : Reason: clarification
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   AtlantaRN
    BTW: port isn't accessed.
  4. by   BeExcellent
    Is this a start up hospice? If so, no matter what is promised you will be the "go to " nurse for everything at any time. You probably won't be let go if you protest but but then the not so subtle manipulation begins. You are not a team player, only YOU can handle this, the pt wants ONLY you, when census improves we will get another nurse....blah, blah. Office managers, no matter what title they have, want the situation handled. Be calm, be grown up but don't be manipulated. You as a caregiver need space and if you chose to "space" in a ICU okay dokay. If this is not a start up, shame on them.
  5. by   NurseyBaby'05
    Is there a reason they are calling/texting your personal cell phone or pager and not providing one for work? If they do provide one for work, why are you taking it to your other job? It's time to set up some boundaries. I would not have even called them back until well after my shift ended at 19:30. As for being "not a team player", don't buy into that crap if they try to feed it to you. Your job should not be your life, only a part of it. If they can't respect reasonable boundaries, it may be time to start looking elsewhere.
    Last edit by NurseyBaby'05 on Jan 22, '07 : Reason: #$#%$ typos
  6. by   canoehead
    You are perdiem, you are not on call, hence not your job, not your problem. Set and stick to your boundaries because they will continue to ask for more and more.
  7. by   clemmm78
    I can't offer advice, other than I wouldn't have called them back if I was working in another place. The place where I am is the one that gets my full attention.
  8. by   AtlantaRN
    AMEN and AMEN!!!!! If I'm not working my hospital job, even then it gets on my nerves. There are 2 other nurses at the office...they ARE NURSES, they took care of issues BEFORE I was hired, and they can take care of issues now that I"m a perdiem employee.

    They have said "as soon as we have more patients, we can offer you full time", but yet they want me available "full time" whenever they call.

    We are having a "talk" this morning. Because she said "mrs. G expects a visit today." her normal day is on thursday....but I do believe that they want me to see her today because i'm leaving for a week to see an elderly friend tomorrow and will be gone for one week (she is 90, I can't say "i'll be there in the spring...), I believe wholeheartedly that they want me to go today (which will put me at seeing 6 patients today ,all over the atlanta area)so they won't have to do it on Thursday.

    Maybe i'm just irritated. But, we are HAVING a talk today.

    Thanks for your input. I want to do what is best for my patients, but when at the hospital, i'm working for the hospital; and when at the hospice, i'm working for the hospice.

    BTW: This patient they called me about, about a month ago when we got the referral, I was working at the hospital that day....the hospice called me on my person cell phone and asked me to admit the patient WHILE i'm working for the hospital.....I told them AT THAT TIME, NO......I can't do it until my shift is over!!!! WE all know that an admission takes at least an hour; and that is when the patient and family have already been educated about hospice...with all the paperwork and everything, it's more like 2-3 hours.....It's just not right. I mean would they want me working for the hospital when I"m on the clock for HOSPICE???? I don't think so...

    BTW: I don't know if it's considered a "start up." they are out of a northern state, but this is a new location in this state....the corporate location has been operating for 6 years and they have 16 locations.
  9. by   AtlantaRN
    Quote from NurseyBaby'05
    Is there a reason they are calling/texting your personal cell phone or pager and not providing one for work? If they do provide one for work, why are you taking it to your other job? .
    They did provide this text pager, i didn't realize it was still in my pack I wear when I'm at the hospital. Even on my days off they call me at home, call my personal cell phone, etc. If i'm not working my other job, not a problem. Last week I specifically told them NEVER to call my personal cell phone, as each time they call its 25 cents a minute (because I only use for emergencies and I don't pay for a service). At that time the office manager said "well, you need a verizon, or some other service...I don't recall.....I said "no don't call my cell...call the beeper..."

    Although after an inservice at another hospice location, me and another nurse had been gone 9 hours, had just got back to the office, and the administrator said "there is an admission at J nursing home, who wants to do the admission. Well, we had just driven 100 miles round trip, the other nurse that only has one patient said "no, i've got to pick up my sons from school", and I said "no, i'm tired," so the administrator went out and did the admission.
  10. by   NurseyBaby'05
    Think of them as the manipulative patient you get on the floor. The best and most caring thing you can do for them is to set limits. All kidding aside, once you stop accepting this behavior, they'll get the message.
  11. by   hospicenurse
    Welcome to the world of homecare/hospice! You will find this behavior in varying degrees just about anywhere you go. As everyone else has told you - set your boundaries. And then stick to them. I would tell them that I don't intend to answer my pager when I am off, and then follow thru with it. In fact this is exactly what I did at a hospice where I worked for twenty years. And I was a full time case manager. It took me a while to train them all, but eventually they quit calling. Believe me, if you want to stay in hospice you absolutely need to find out how much of "you" you need to protect - otherwise you won't make it for the long term. Just wait till the families start looking up your number in the phone book. That's another good reason for the rule of not answering your phone (and screening your calls).

    hospicenurse
  12. by   MALE*RN*777
    I find it funny that you started off with I love this hospice I work for then went on a listing of things that drive you crazy. If you really love it then I would put my foot down so you don't regret it later. Also if your not on call this is not professional and in some states employer harassment.
  13. by   caliotter3
    As stated many times, there is no law that states you must answer your phone or pager. Just screen everything, better yet, turn it off, when you don't want to be bothered, and when they ask you about it, tell them you were occupied or asleep. Just keep on being occupied or asleep. If you have to have the big meltdown with your employers you might end up not working for them anymore. Most employers will push you as far as they can, then when you stop it, they will either respect you or find another employee to push around. You have to set and maintain the boundaries.
  14. by   river1951
    I am a supervisor at a hospice and I wouldn't dream of treating one of my nurses this way. Everyone knows you need your time off to regenerate your energy.
    With a nursing shortage, there is no reason you have to put up with this behavior.
    I think you love Hospice itself butthis employer will burn you out if you are not able to set limits. Please take care of your self, we need great hospice nurses

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