Telling My Boss I Need My Hours Cut...

  1. I have been an RN for many years. I have worked home care and office type nursing jobs in recent years, but the hours didn't work out, so I started a new, full-time Med/Surg job a few months ago, believing that I was perfectly capable of doing the job. Now, due to pain secondary to an old injury that has been exacerbated by the physical nature of this job, I really feel that I made a huge mistake and I kind of feel like I should give this job up altogether. I actually do have an interview next week for a contingent desk job, which is awesome, but I am afraid to quit my current job because I just started and feel that I will be letting everyone down. I was thinking of asking my boss if I could go contingent instead of full-time at my current position, because it's the only alternative I can think of to quitting altogether.

    What would you do under these circumstances? Would you just give up Med/Surg altogether and not feel guilty because it is causing physical pain, or would you try to stay on contingent, if that is even an option, to keep the boss somewhat happy and so that I don't feel like I wasted everyone's time and money training me? If it was just all about me, I would quit with apologies and take the desk job, but unfortunately, like most things in life, it isn't all about me so it isn't that simple. The last thing I want to do, though, is go contingent Med/Surg then end up quitting anyway.

    Any suggestions? I'm so torn right now!
    Last edit by westieluv on Aug 16, '12
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    About westieluv

    Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 951; Likes: 2,189
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 26 year(s) of experience in Med/Surg, Tele, Dialysis, Hospice


  3. by   traumaRUs
    Is this pain likely to get better with some work hardening? Or will it get worse? Maybe answering these questions would help with your decision.

    If its the physical work that's causing the pain, then I would quit all together as even a contigent (prn) would probably have to work shifts.

    Are 8 hour shifts possible?
  4. by   westieluv
    Thanks for your reply.

    There are a few nurses who work eight hour shifts on our floor right now, but in the very near future, everyone will be required to work twelves, which is what I have been doing.

    I am currently off of work with an order from my doctor to get PT for the next several weeks before going back. If the PT does not resolve the problem, he is talking about surgery. My concern is that the PT will all be undone when I go back to doing the physical work of my job and then I will be facing surgery, which I definitely want to avoid if at all possible.

    My common sense self knows that the best thing for me would be to quit. My people pleaser self feels guilty and feels the need to "finish what I started". My boss is very nice, and I don't want to feel like I'm letting her down. I'm also not sure, if I don't get the desk job that I am interviewing for next week and have to seek other options, how it's going to look that I only stayed at my current job for a couple of months, even though I have been with the same company for almost a year and a half. Do you know if employers look at how long you've been with one company, or how long you've worked at each position within that company? Knowing that would help me a lot in making this decision.

    Thanks again!
  5. by   HouTx
    OK - I don't want to be a downer, but you need to face the fact that bedside nursing may just not going to be possible for you any longer. Your first priority is your own health and wellbeing - especially if you want to remain ambulatory into your old age. Seems like you have received clear information from multiple sources (including your own body) that you need to re-write your work script. Nursing encompasses far more than 'laying on hands'. Moving away from direct patient care does not make you less of a nurse. Your knowledge and experience can also help achieve good patient outcomes by ensuring that bedside nurses have an infrastructure that supports their efforts. Jobs such as case management, infection control, performance improvement, etc. are all very important.

    As far as your job history - if you have a logical explanation for job changes, such as physical disability or impairment, no one is going to consider you a job-hopper.
  6. by   ktwlpn
    If you can get a desk job ,good for you.BUT you state you are under a doctor's care now-are you eligible for FMLA? I am not sure how the eligibility works after you start a new position. Stop worrying about letting people down and focus on the economics.You need to make a living and your manager needs to staff the unit.
  7. by   westieluv
    I am eligible for FMLA and short-term disability, but only if I return to the same full-time position, and I don't think that I can. I had PT today and the therapist told me that the injury that I have almost never gets better with therapy, but that I will probably need surgery, which is also what my neurosurgeon said, although he was willing to try conservative measures like PT and time off of work first. I do NOT want surgery, it would be my third one! Even so, with or without surgery, I believe that my days as a bedside nurse are over.

    I received a call from the HR dept. today and they told me that if I don't hurry up and process the FMLA papers, they have the right to discipline me and eventually terminate me if I miss more than five shifts, which I already have. I am so confused! If I fill out the FMLA paperwork, part of it has to be done by my doctor and there is a section where he is asked to determine if I could return to my present position with no limitations, and I don't think that he could say that in good conscience, so what happens then, do they deny the FMLA because I can't come back to the same position? Should I just quit and keep looking for less physically demanding jobs? I have the interview next week, plus, I have two home health agencies wanting to interview me for part-time home visit nursing, which I think I could do just fine, since I would get a break between visits and not have to do much lifting and it would be part-time. If I don't quit, and I collect short term disability, can they make me pay it back if I can't come back to my current job? Should I try to find a less physically taxing position with the company that I am currently with, and if I do, would they allow me to start it while under my doctor's care for this physically taxing job?

    If anyone can answer any of these questions, I would sure appreciate it.
  8. by   Chad Collins
    I'd look at changing jobs to maybe a vacination clinic or doctors office there is a lot of oppertunity out there for nurses to work maybe even a PRN home health care or a position with a local manufacuturer as a industrial nurse.
  9. by   inforn43
    What ever happened with you? I am in an almost exact same position as you. I instead started working in a nursing home a few months ago.