on call nightmare

  1. I have been doing hospice for a few years and just moved to a new company. This company has you do on call 16 hours to 24 hours at a time. You work your regular 8 hour shift and then your on call for 16 hours and then you work your next 8 hour shift back to back. Am I crazy or does this not sound right? And you do this 2 times a week. :angryfire To me this is insane. Work full time and on call 2 times a week. If it's the weekend then you are oncall for 24 hours. I think I'm going to find a different company. What do you think???

    pixienurse
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   vamedic4
    Run Run Run and find a new company. The same exact situation happened to me in 1994 when I first became a paramedic. I went to work for a critical care transport service that worked me 40 hours during the week, and I was "on call" at the mercy of the pager for the 16 hours a day that I wasn't "in the office". Never, ever again...unless they ante up MAJOR cash every hour that you're on call. It's not worth the toll on you (I was newly married and it was a source of tension between my wife and me).

    vamedic4
    going home at midnight!
  4. by   hospicemom
    I worked for a company in the past as well that had me on call one or two nights a week, I did try to schedule a day off either before or after my oncall nights, which didnt always work out. Its a gamble in this line of work...depending on your census you may be up running all night and then there are nights that the pager doesnt go off at all. my company was pretty good though, If i was running all night I would sleep in a few hours or reschedule my patients and take the day off. I think you would be hard pressed to find a company who didnt work this way unless they hired someone for weekday call only.
  5. by   RNDYN2CU
    Run don't walk!!! There has GOT to be a better way
  6. by   doodlemom
    I would imagine that a more established hospice would have a better system - this seems like more aof a start up. If they're not, then you should run really fast and even if they are - find a better place to work. There are better places to work. I don't do any on call at the hospice I work for.
  7. by   BeExcellent
    Of course that's just crazy. Those things happen when hospice's are run by bean counters. Fly little pixie, fly...
  8. by   pixienurse
    thankyou everyone!!! I have applications out everywhere I can think of. This is a huge company....so I think it's a management issue. The company I worked for before had on call one time a month for one shift. I miss that company!! I wish I knew where to fly to.


    pixienurse
  9. by   nursetams
    When I first started at this Hospice, all the rns would rotate weekends(fri pm-Mon am). We would be "2nd call" because we had a weekend call-RN. During the week the rn's would be on call "once a week" if it wasn't their weekend.

    Now, we have recently changed on-call to 2 RN positions. Each will be on-call for 7 days, then off for 7days. (ie: 5pm- 8am Mon-Fri, 8am-8am Sat&Sun, then off until the next Mon 5pm. )

    We have a 2nd back-up RN on the weekend, if needed. We are going to hire a LPN to see scheduled visits on the weekends as well. It's working progress, but so far is working out well.
  10. by   hcan
    When I first started hospice, we had to work during the day, and then take call for a full 7 days at a time, with a 3 week rotation. I lasted 6 months before I switched to another hospice. Now I find myself at a 3rd hospice as the on call nurse Mon- Thurs. 5p-8a and off every Fri-Sun. I have call for 60 hours per week, whatever may come, including admissions. Some weeks are sweet, and some are, uh, otherwise. It's a salaried position with all the benefits of a full time job. On the sweet weeks I feel kinda guilty, but I've had enough busy weeks that justify the position and salary. It's a dangerous job, what with the night driving and going who knows where into who knows what environment and being expected to make everything alright. We also have a weekend call nurse, so the case managers only need to do backup call, and I know in the 7 months I've been doing this, I haven't had to call one yet.
  11. by   EmptytheBoat
    Quote from hcan
    When I first started hospice, we had to work during the day, and then take call for a full 7 days at a time, with a 3 week rotation. I lasted 6 months before I switched to another hospice. Now I find myself at a 3rd hospice as the on call nurse Mon- Thurs. 5p-8a and off every Fri-Sun. I have call for 60 hours per week, whatever may come, including admissions. Some weeks are sweet, and some are, uh, otherwise. It's a salaried position with all the benefits of a full time job. On the sweet weeks I feel kinda guilty, but I've had enough busy weeks that justify the position and salary. It's a dangerous job, what with the night driving and going who knows where into who knows what environment and being expected to make everything alright. We also have a weekend call nurse, so the case managers only need to do backup call, and I know in the 7 months I've been doing this, I haven't had to call one yet.
    God Bless you! Don't feel guilty for the sweet weeks, the bitter weeks all
    but compensate. They're lucky to have you!
  12. by   HPN9
    I agree with Doodlemom; not all hospices are created equal. It seems like the ones who have been around the longest tend to have the best systems in place and tend to attract people with experience. I've considered going back to Denver, I worked for 2 years as a Case Manager for an excellent hospice organization there; that may still come to pass if I decide against the south after I have taken a trip or two and have had some interviews.
  13. by   RN4hospice
    I hear what you are saying! I have worked hospice for over 12 years. I have taken as much as 10 call per month including 1 or 2 weekends. It can be very exhausting . Our management would be understanding if we needed the next day off to sleep. NOW, after 12 years, we are doing a trial period of having a call nurse. Our busiest call outs are thursday-sunday. One of our regular nurses went salary and is being the weekend on call nurse. She can be really busy or really slow. So far it is working out. We are considering hiring an LPN to take call also with RN backup. You have to take care of yourself to survive this type of nursing or you will get burn out quick.

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