Speaking of... Getting to work early - page 4

by jrsmrs 8,736 Views | 47 Comments

Reading another thread got me thinking about this...I always get to work at least a half hour before my shift starts. Do I want to or like to work for free? Hell no! But I really don't know how else I would ever get out on the... Read More


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    Back when I worked in the hospital I worked on a busy OB/GYN floor. Our patients were less complicated but I had surgical patients, high risk OB patients, pre-term patients, admits, discharges and had a patient load of up to 12 patients, no CNA or techs. I did it all--meds, baths, IVs, catheters, vitals, fetal monitoring, hang blood, I/O, discharge instructions, new admits, was charge nurse, took off orders, etc. I would sometimes get pulled from the floor at times to go work L&D, then have to go back to my patient load. I never clocked in early unless asked to do so. Each shift checking orders and MARS is crazy, that should be changed immediately. Quit working for free, it only hurts you in the long run and like another poster said--your co-workers won't appreciate it much. I couldn't imagine working in the hospital these days.
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    Wow I can't believe there are actually hospitals where there's no overlap between shifts! That's horrible.

    I think it's admirable of you to go into work early to be prepared and informed about your patients. Of course, like everyone else said, it's not right that you have to do that and it shouldn't have to continue.
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    I get to work 30 minutes before my shift starts. If I can get my report, check my patients then check my MARS I'm doing good. The nurses that get there at 7pm (which is shift start) are way behind waiting for a computer to use to check their MAR and to complete their computer work. The doctors show up starting at 730pm, so good luck then. We do not get paid, and they will not pay us for this. I don't care, this 30 minutes does a world of difference for the quality of my day. What annoys me to no end is the nurses that come to me during the shift to ask me for help, "are you busy? can you do me a favor? I do not get to work early to free up my time for starting ivs on their patients, taking their calls and their transfer and admission. These nurse also run out the second their shift is complete. Giving a crappy report and leaving a sloppy mess for the next nurse is not on their mind. I usually get out about 730pm (our shift ends at 715PM). I would get out on time if the next shift was a courteous as me. I think the nurse that started this post cares about the quality of care she gives her patients. When you get a chunk of your work out the way, you can spend more time with your patients and carefully review the chart. I think my 30 minute sacrifice helps more than just me.
    siRNita and anotherone like this.
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    When I discovered that if I signed on to certain jobs, I was expected to work without pay, I refused. I let them know that I'd be happy to do the work, but that I had to be paid. They responded that they realized that these shifts took additional time and effort, and that they appreciated my hard work, but that the official policy was not to pay - I responded by requesting that they remove me from those shifts. Sadly, other nurses gladly took them, and work between 25-45 minutes per day without pay. If we all refused to do this, they would have to start paying. It didn't make me popular with the management, but it did keep me from feeling exploited and disrespected.
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    Quote from ColimaDog
    When I discovered that if I signed on to certain jobs, I was expected to work without pay, I refused. I let them know that I'd be happy to do the work, but that I had to be paid. They responded that they realized that these shifts took additional time and effort, and that they appreciated my hard work, but that the official policy was not to pay - I responded by requesting that they remove me from those shifts. Sadly, other nurses gladly took them, and work between 25-45 minutes per day without pay. If we all refused to do this, they would have to start paying. It didn't make me popular with the management, but it did keep me from feeling exploited and disrespected.
    This is against the law, you can't have a policy not to pay your workers. Good for you for not putting up with it. They should be reported to the board of labor.
    NutmeggeRN likes this.
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    Quote from Aurora77
    Something to think about--if you're giving a half hour of volunteer time to your work, in 52 weeks that comes out to 78 hours of free labor. 2 weeks of time you're not being compensated for. That's assuming 12 hour shifts; if you're working eights, the numbers are worse. Of course your employer is going to allow this, they're getting 2 weeks free from you. If 90% of the staff is doing the same, your employer is saving all kinds of money. I'm not sure why you guys are letting yourself be taken advantage of in tis way. I thought Canadian nurses were unionized? What does the union say?
    worth it to me. thise 30mins i exclusively look up pt info. i do not help on the floor. bells, alarms, or not. our break room has a few computers and i sit in there until 7pm. the shifts i started without looking pt up before i felt way off and unprepared. maybe if i got better reports i would feel differently
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    I come in early because I do not want to feel harassed. At least when I am early, I feel prepared and still fresh and ready to take on the duties assigned to me.
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    Wow, it sounds like things very different where I work! We are not a teeny hospital by any means, and actually a smallish regional center, with lots of pts coming from outlying areas.My floor is not so bad, as we do get more break time than our CBA allows (assuming you can get to them, which the majority of nurses do the majority of the time), however that is not at all true on other floors. I worked a surgical floor for awhile, and the majority there come early, but still only get their union-allotted breaks. If anyone should be complaining, it's them. As it works out for me personally, unless I have an especially heavy pt load, I certainly don't put in more hours on the floor than I'm getting paid for. This is only because the manager allows these longer break times... And because we don't have a clock-in/out system. Unless you call in sick, or put in for OT for missed breaks or staying late, you simply get paid for the shift you're scheduled for.
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    I don't work for free. I'm happy to stay late or come in early, but if I do so I am clocked in. I don't think refusing to donate time to management makes me a bad or thoughtless nurse. I also fill out the exception form if I do not have the opportunity to take my lunch break. I refuse to support any expectation that nurses volunteer their time to their employer.
    chevyv, wooh, and morte like this.
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    I get to work 15 or 20 minutes early so I can review my orders and recent lab work, and plan my day. When I take report (1:1 handover) I can actually ask relevant questions about the patients. The moment I take report, that patient is my responsibility - I don't want to be just reviewing my orders then if my patient calls out. But that is our unit culture, it's just the way it is. We don't have personal support workers to help us with our care.


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