Having a hard time saying 'no' to working overtime - page 3

The word NO in this instance, needs to be in caps. Overtime, working extra shifts are a reality. Deciding to work extra though is or should be your choice. allnurses hears frequently about nurses... Read More

  1. by   WannaBNursey
    I don't think my floor could function without everybody pulling OT. Most core staff almost seems required to do overtime once per pay period.
  2. by   whichone'spink
    I'm only picking up overtime because of the huge differential offered on top of my hourly wage. And I am straight nights so I will only pick up night time hours. Night shift differential may not be much but on top of that differential and normal wage, it's quite a bit. I won't do 12 hour shifts anymore, only little 4 hour shifts here and there. I value money over sanity. And if I pick up these little extra shifts, it counts as a "mandatory" date.
  3. by   THELIVINGWORST
    I find it very easy to say no to OT, I just say, NAH. But my unit is staffed pretty well surprisingly enough.
  4. by   RainMom
    I take OT about every 4th or 5th time I get a call, just often enough to "take one for the team" but not so much to feel like I'm getting taken advantage of. I also tend to say yes when I have vacation days coming up soon, so I might avoid using up my PTO hours. Otherwise, I ignore my phone.
  5. by   FurBabyMom
    Quote from PMFB-RN
    I have zero sympathy for any nurse who finds it difficult to say no to OT when they really don't want it. If you didn't want OT why did you answer the phone? It's 2014! It's not like the old days when you never knew who might be calling and HAD to answer the phone or risk missing an emergency call from your kids school.
    Get the free app "Mr.Number" It allows you to block and unblock calls and texts from any number very easily. Not in the mood to do OT? Block the work number. Need some extra money and willing to do OT? Unblock them.
    It's not always about saying no when the phone rings. I've worked more overtime since I went to the OR than I care to admit. Very little of that time was from times I was on call (except the time I was stuck at work for days because of the weather and call outs - then I was on call for the first 12 hours of that debacle and basically got stuck...that made for a VERY nice check, we were paid for regular time, and then overtime plus applicable shift differentials for all hours in house).

    It's simple math. If we have (numbers used as an example only) 19 rooms running past 1700 (most of our staff is 0700-1700), and at 1700 we have staff for 10 rooms, say 14 rooms with evening call folks, at 1700? 10 people (scrub and circulator for each room without relief) will not get relieved until their own room comes down (and the patient goes to PACU or ICU) or until 5 other rooms come down and go to either PACU or ICU, provided that there is either an open ICU bed or PACU can accommodate an ICU patient, and that we're not on PACU hold and that no emergencies are occurring in house or are transported to us. If there's no relief using all the off shift folks and all the evening call folks, you are stuck. You can't just leave a patient on the table, that's patient abandonment. They "try" not to get the same folks stuck in a room all the time without relief, but if you do something specialized that other people either don't know how to or refuse to do, then you're more likely to get stuck. I recognize this is an issue of staff development and accountability but it still exists and creates a bias in who gets stuck. The number of staff vs number of rooms has to do with staffing (I can't control) and what the charge staff allow to happen with cases mid-afternoon when they play the shuffle game to try to get things done faster but inevitably, invariably, get folks stuck because moved cases were delayed in some way and/or surgeons have no concept of time (which is hardly a surprise but if they'd listen to the staff in the OR instead of the surgeon...we're far better at accurately estimating when the room will be finished). Again, not issues I can control but they are issues that directly affect me and my ability to have any work/life balance.

    I have on occasion offered to work my day off. One of my favorite physicians to work with famously said "No good deed goes unpunished"...and, in my experience, it's true. I seem to get the worst assignments when I agree to work 6-10 hours on my day off. If I just come in to do lunches, it's okay (sometimes a little hairy...but it's only my problem for 30-60 minutes). If I am in on my day off for a whole work day? My boss tries to give me a "good" assignment, but that usually gets blown apart by the patients themselves.
  6. by   agcaruso
    Many nurses I know have gotten into the habit of working overtime and have gotten used to a lifestyle that can only be supported by working overtime (buying a more expensive house being the biggest trap). Then when life gets busier with kids, or they simply get tired of working more then they want to stop but cannot due to finances. This is a trap that I've always been on guard against. I went into nursing in part due to the flexibility of it. I wanted to be able to work part time if I needed to, to be able to take a week off without taking a day off. I don't want to loose what I was looking for when I got into nursing just for a bigger house to clean.
  7. by   Bmarie739
    I'm a single parent, and one of my children is disabled and requires care. When I am in an interview for work, I am upfront with my interviewer about this. I let them know that I am unavailable for extra shifts, unless I make special arrangements for my disabled child well in advance. My current employer doesn't ask me to work any extra hours over my 40 hours a week.
  8. by   Steffy44
    Quote from BSNbeDONE
    I don't answer the phone on my days off. My job calls religiously in search of help for the next shift. They loooooooovvvvveeeee to get you on the schedule just so they can call to put you on call, which means your life is at a complete standstill for the shift: you can't go to work, nor can you go out because they may call you right in the middle of your doing something. And if you have to commute a distance, you can't even start dinner (night shifter here) because they might call right when the pots begin to boil. They will allow you to sign up for 60 hours per week and place you on call for 24 of those hours! Nope, I do NOT answer the phone when I'm not on the schedule. If I need an extra shift, I do it elsewhere (plan B) where they know I'm in no danger of going into overtime. That way, everybody's happy.
    ours likes to try to get you to volunteer for extra hours by offering $20 more an hour per shift. Of course these magical shifts are on the days no one wants to work. Then to get the magic money you have to work 40 hours in the pay period before you get it. THEN they cut you out of a regularly scheduled shift so you'll never get the 40 hours needed. Now they have you for the poopy shift at normal salary AND you'll probably get floated to another floor or psych because the extra gets floated before the regularly scheduled. I volunteered once. Got hosed on the $$$ and ended up being a sitter at $24 an hour. Never again. I'm not available.
  9. by   justjamesthenurse
    Love it. I sometimes feel like I have to do that to be able to say no.
  10. by   nurse2033
    Just say "no thanks". No elaboration, just let the silence hang there uncomfortably until they close the conversation. No one ever asks "why?", but if they do, make it game to come up with the most cringe worthy response. Such as:
    1. We are trying to get pregnant, I'm ovulating at 1000 tomorrow. If I come in, I need my break then.
    2. My significant other is getting out of jail then, I need to pick them up.
    3. The man who murdered my family is having his parole hearing and I need to be there.
    4. I'm almost finished with a bottle of bourbon, I don't think I'll be sober by then.
    5. My purification ceremony is then and I can't be around the unclean.
    6. I'm having my *** bleached.
    7. That's my vulvoplasty appointment.

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