Extended hours at work with no time off

  1. We are RNs working in a busy PACU. Since our census has been so high we are routinely working 16 hour shifts with only half an hour lunch break around noon. Lately, we have had no beds so we have been forced to stay overnight working 22 to 24 hours straight. We are getting tired and frustrated.What is the actual Labor Law for Florida, Anyone know? HELP!
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   Speculating
    Quote from btrfly76
    We are RNs working in a busy PACU. Since our census has been so high we are routinely working 16 hour shifts with only half an hour lunch break around noon. Lately, we have had no beds so we have been forced to stay overnight working 22 to 24 hours straight. We are getting tired and frustrated.What is the actual Labor Law for Florida, Anyone know? HELP!
    It's certainly illegal to make someone work a 24 hour shift in any profession, exceptions would be the hurricaines when no one can come or go, you very well could loose you license for working it - neglectful and very poor judgement of your coworkers to tolerate such behavior.
  4. by   meownsmile
    Your personel office should have your labor laws posted somewhere in the office. If they dont, call the state labor relations board and ask for a copy to be sent to you. Good luck,, you are overworked to say the least.
  5. by   ARNPsomeday
    Quote from btrfly76
    we are rns working in a busy pacu. since our census has been so high we are routinely working 16 hour shifts with only half an hour lunch break around noon. lately, we have had no beds so we have been forced to stay overnight working 22 to 24 hours straight. we are getting tired and frustrated.what is the actual labor law for florida, anyone know? help!
    hi btrfly76,

    i tried the florida dept. of health web site, but found nothing about being forced to stay and work too many hours.

    Last edit by ARNPsomeday on Apr 7, '05
  6. by   ARNPsomeday
    my friend, btrfly76!

    i have been doing some intensive searching on the web. i tried the federal d.o.l., www.myflorida.com under labor law, state health dept., and many, many more.

    finally i wrote an email to someone
    at the florida nurses association under the heading of legal matters. this is what i was told, in my own words: in florida there aren't any laws or regulations, either federal or state, that limit the number of hours a nurse has to work. some hospitals have policies regarding this, others do not.

    the only thing that labor law addresses is: if you are an employee who is paid by the
    hour, then you usually have to be paid time and 1/2 for all hours worked over 40 in a work week.

    we should send letters and emails to our officials and join organizations that are doing something about his horrible situation.

    it seems to me that you would look for a new job where the written policies are better for your own health. maybe it's the beginning of a good change for you!

    take care and best of luck.

  7. by   stidget99
    No legal limits??? Wow! That just boggles my mind. My first thought was...hmmmmm after working so many hours, one would become impaired. And, if something happened to one of your pts while you are impaired, the BON could bring you up on charges. After all, if you report to work under the influence of prescription/non-prescription drugs, ETOH, etc....and some kind of sentinel event happened, the BON would have your butt! If the hospital doesn't think enough about you to allow you some time off in a 24 hour period, would they stick up for you if something happened while you were sleep deprived? I doubt it.

    Also, why is it that hospitals think that we don't have personal lives???? We are supposed to be loyal to the job first and then our families??

    I say get out ASAP.
  8. by   Judee Smudee
    Contact your federal and state Rep. and tell them what is going on. If their are no laws their need to be some.
  9. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from stidget99
    Also, why is it that hospitals think that we don't have personal lives???? We are supposed to be loyal to the job first and then our families??
    Because we allow it. Hospital administrators are like little children. They need consistent limits. If one nurse will put the job first and jump whenever administration calls, they will try to get everyone else to do it. When every nurse demands respect for his/her personal time and interests and refuses to be subject to the whims of the hospital (or the poor planning of management), then they get the message.
  10. by   mercyteapot
    This sounds like one of those situations that is only going to change if there is a tragedy of some sort. Or if someone refuses to play alone, gets fired, and files a wrongful termination lawsuit. I can't even imagine how hard this has to be!
  11. by   studious
    This is absolutely outragious. Over here in Britain, we now have a national working directive that states we need the minimum of eleven hours between a shift in order to be deemed safe to work the next day(doesn't always happen of course), but never would we be expected to stay overnight, That's what the Docs do and get paid for. I am unsure to be honest if it's National or International but there simply has to be a policy somewhere. Do you have health and safety at work guidelines, health and safety reps, union reps, policy on safe working environment. There has to be something, your bosses will love the fact they are getting all this work for nothing from you. If there is a mistake made are your bosses going to cover your asses, or are you considered dispensible????? Really bizarre. I'm in complete shock here, so apologise if I'm coming across as upset or angry. I do hope you find something to help you get out of this.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    It IS outrageous. Time to work for serious change.
  13. by   studious
    ooops! looks like someone's spelling is better than mine
  14. by   BittyBabyGrower
    What would they do if you just said no? Fire you? No great loss there.

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