This thread is not intended to be a discussion about the importance of keeping current in clinicals. I am well aware of the importance of it. But, as a full time instructor, I am having trouble balancing it all. In hindsight, I can now see why some instructors do not keep up... they simply cannot.
I am young and physically able to, that is not the problem. I do not feel I am 'above' the brunt work of floor nursing. I like being there, I just cannot handle a full 12 hour shift, especially when I work 5 days a week. I am a single parent, and my weekend time with my daughter is very precious. Fortunately, my parents live close by and help me out.
The unit I have a per-diem position on is a pediatric unit, which I have been on for almost 5 years. I started out as part-time there, and switched back and forth from PT to per-diem, as my needs changed.
My nurse manager told me I need to be more constant in my 'appearances' on the unit. It is kind of a running joke with the staff. They'll say "So, we'll see you in 6 months?" She said that the per-diem requirement is 2 shifts per month. She showed me my attendance over the past year, and it blatantly correlates with my school schedule. She told me I need to be here more, in order to keep up with what's going on. I absolutely agree with her, because i find myself taking time to get back in the swing of things. Policies and paperwork are constantly changing.
I don't want to give up this gig. I had to give up another per-diem job last year b/c of their requirements (they wanted 4 shifts a month...impossible, even when I was teaching PT). I am comfortable here, and don't feel like starting over. besides, how could I? Are there places that don't have per-diem minimum requirements? (I live in NY, Long Island/NYC area). I'd have to go through an orientation and get adjusted to a whole new unit, new people and all that.
I do understand the rationale for mimimums, but it is so hard to keep up. Believe me, I need
the money too. And during the summer, I try to average one shift a week, while I am off from teaching.
How does everyone else do it? Or do you not do it?