Spouses scheduling conflict - page 2

What happens when spouses work in the same hosp. (different depts) and scheduling does not work? We have 2 small kids and no family around, are put to work the same night/weekend day or late shifts... Read More

  1. by   bagladyrn
    Your best bet to be able to plan things may be to find out if a coworker on your unit would also like to have a "set" schedule and talk to the manager about scheduling the two of you on a regular rotation opposite each other. Then with a known set schedule the other member of the couple can request that their manager schedule as much as possible opposite this. It helps the manager if this is a set thing and they know way in advance what the preference is. Again it won't always be possible to accomodate you, but it may reduce the number of days you need to depend on a sitter.
  2. by   RNgonewild
    The two of you need to sit down and make up a schedule for each of you. Then present your managers with your "availabilities". I'm sure whoever is making up the schedule would love to have someone who is sure of the days they want off each month. Another option is for one of the partners to go parttime, but you still need to make arrangements. Talk to your managers like the professional adults you are and arrangements can be made. Just make sure you hand things in well in advance.
  3. by   birdgardner
    Okay, I'm a student nurse so I don't get this. I assumed shifts would be something like "nights, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday." Something fixed and predictable so you could arrange the rest of your life. You're saying it's common to get one week's notice which days and which shifts you'll be working?

    What kind of infinitely accomodating fairy godmother childcare do they expect you to have?
  4. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from hm2viking
    i think its better if coworkers work together to help each other meet their needs. after all we are supposed to build work teams.
    working together is great -- however most of her coworkers aren't going to be thrilled about multiple switch requests every time the schedule comes out. in fact, people are going to start avoiding her! it sounds like she and her spouse need to sit down and agree on some changes. one can work days, one nights. one can work weekends, one weekdays. one can work prn or agency . . . there's lots of ways to arrange your lives to avoid paying for childcare, but it's up to the two of you to arrange it. it' s not up to your managers or co-workers to facilitate your desired schedules.
  5. by   ktwlpn
    Jurt keep in mind that this problem is up to the 2 of you to solve and work at it.Accept that it is not management's responsibilty or your co-workers.They are YOUR kids.One of you may have to cut back your hours drastically while the other puts in OT until the kids are older. My schedule comes out the week before the current one ends and it is for 6 weeks-we must submit requests no later then 2 weeks into the current schedule for the next one.If anything comes up we must work it out on our own.I do have the same days off-I like a regular rotation and I won't work where I don't have one-can't even schedule a PAP without regular days off..When my son was little I worked evenings and my husband worked days-our son went to a licensed daycare at my husband's company for 2 hours 4 afternoons a week...I did not work for 2 years (we had NOTHING-one car,ragged clothing,etc-) I went to dayshift when he started first grade.We paid for day care every summer.I was never comfotable with any one other then family or very close friends-my ex-husbands son was sexually molested by the son of a babysitter...Your kids are TOO important to take chances with-I've seen too many problems with neighbors and casual "friends" Make up your mind that you are going to be making do with a lot less for a few more years....
  6. by   wayunderpaid
    Thank you for all the responses on this thread. Those who were understanding, and those who were not. It is interesting to see how different people have different opinions according to their experiences and their roles in nursing, their family values, etc.

    I guess when I started this thread I was not explicit enough regarding the nature of the conflicts, the rules about scheduling in the hospital where I work, and miscellaneous information that would have made the thread more specific instead of generic.

    So, I will finish explaining my position, and if anyone wants to comment, they are welcome, or we can let the thread die a natural death (since I fixed most of the issues myself), and hopefully this won't happen again to the extent it did.

    First of all, I work on different units at the hospital on floors which are short on nurses. So it is a welcome relief for the manager of a specific floor to know that they will have an extra nurse for a block. It does not fix their problem, it merely puts a temporary patch. The problem is, the rules for scheduling nurses like me, who are full time (not PRN), are the same: Every other weekend, 1/2 off shifts, NEVER three kinds of shifts on the same week, thanksgiving and the day after (and Christmas off), etc.

    In my case, the nurse who does the schedule thought that I, and other flex nurses would fill the wholes after the rest of her staff got whatever they wanted. That is not how I am supposed to be treated. I simply count as everyone else. So, miracle of miracles, I got nothing I asked for. I am working every weekend, Thanksgiving and the following Saturday (so, no weekend off to go see family), and a couple of weeks when I am working days, evenings and nights, on the same week. On top of that, there were off-shift days when both my wife and I were working, so day-care would not work.

    I just want to clarify that I do not get any pay extra for doing flexible nursing. It is not agency work or travel work, I am part of the full time nursing staff of the hospital, and the rule is that the unit is supposed to treat me as such.

    I also want to reiterate that I fully understand the concept of staffing units to protect patient safety (that is why I started the thread on this area), perhaps I was a little upset, because in previous units of this hospital, I did not have any problems. I was able to fully abide by rules, do my nights and weekends without problems and if there was a conflict (a day or 2 in a schedule), I always took a proactive approach and found someone to switch. I this unit, it is really hard to do, because I am working an inordinate amount of holidays, weekends and nights, so who wants to switch with me?

    I have the highest standard regarding professional responsibility. A weekend that was particularly difficult for my wife and I, we made plans to drive my kids 4 hours (8 hrs round-trip) to nearest relatives to have them in a safe place, so that I could come back and work (of course, all my money would have gone to gasoline nowadays).

    Thankfully, things got turned around, and we did not have to make the needless trip. So, between my wife and I, the mean scheduler, and really nice neighbors, we resolved everything. No Sat after thanksgiving though, I will say at home, since that was not a conflict.

    I have a great manager (not unit manager, but flex nurse manager), who stuck up for me and the nasty scheduler's attitude changed immediately. How do you like this threat: if you are going to use flex nurses in the future (hint), you have to treat them as well as you do your own. Please work with so and so to ensure safety in staffing and resolve conflicts to the best of your ability. She was a lamb when I went to see her. It took her 20 minutes of her time, since I had resolved other issues on my own. To show my goodwill, I also picked up extra time during times when they were short.

    I had the sensation in this particular unit, that I was merely a number, that I did not count as a human. That she could treat me as a "thing" that does "things" whenever needed. This experience reaffirmed my idea that nurses are human, and standing up is necessary when management treats you inhumanely (i.e. sorry, I can't help you) BTW previous places in the same hosp were absolutely amazing about the schedule. Most requests were granted, and just about everyone was treated fairly and nurses were happy on those units. Patient satisfaction was much better too. What?? Is there a correlation between patient satisfaction and happy nurses?? Really?? What a novel idea!

    So, in wrapping up, thanks to all positions and opinions, they were appreciated, and many of them useful. Sorry for the long response, I am glad you didn't fall asleep!

    Wayunderpaid
  7. by   vamedic4
    Wayunderpaid...thanks for the update!! I'm glad things got solved, albeit not to everyone's total satisfaction.

    "I have a great manager (not unit manager, but flex nurse manager), who stuck up for me and the nasty scheduler's attitude changed immediately. How do you like this threat: if you are going to use flex nurses in the future (hint), you have to treat them as well as you do your own. Please work with so and so to ensure safety in staffing and resolve conflicts to the best of your ability. She was a lamb when I went to see her. It took her 20 minutes of her time, since I had resolved other issues on my own. To show my goodwill, I also picked up extra time during times when they were short."

    Good for your manager!! Now that's a nurse with some balls!! And that person is correct - you should absolutely be treated the same as other nurses...and it blows my mind that this isn't common *******'s sense to everyone. Then again, when was common sense a job requirement??

    And as someone else put it, smart managers are family friendly. While it isn't their problem that you have kids, it will very quickly become their problem if you decide to call in and leave them short. All because they didn't want to work with you?

    Glad everything worked out!

    vamedic4
    It was 80 degrees again today.
  8. by   ragtopnurse
    I disagree with the advice to call in. We all know what it is like to work short because someone called in and ultimately it is patient care that suffers. The suggestions of prn so you can choose your schedule is a good idea. I was a single mom with 2 children for 8 yrs so I had to do what many families do, use daycare. It might not be ideal and it is expensive but there are good ones out there. You can't really expect your department to be able to work around your spouses schedule so you have to take the initiative to solve this problem without causing your coworkers and patients to suffer.
  9. by   wayunderpaid
    Quote from ragtopnurse
    I disagree with the advice to call in. We all know what it is like to work short because someone called in and ultimately it is patient care that suffers. The suggestions of prn so you can choose your schedule is a good idea. I was a single mom with 2 children for 8 yrs so I had to do what many families do, use daycare. It might not be ideal and it is expensive but there are good ones out there. You can't really expect your department to be able to work around your spouses schedule so you have to take the initiative to solve this problem without causing your coworkers and patients to suffer.
    I don't think you read my post, b/c I was scheduled against their own unit rules, then denied the opportunity to fix my schedule. Also if you had read the thread, you would see that I pay full time daycare as well. My problem was not a ploy to get away from using daycare. It was simply discrimination for not being part of the unit staff (though a ft employee of the hospital). I would do a lot of things to avoid calling in. But in the end (I don't know if you have children), if I had tried everything and still I couldn't resolve things, I could never leave my children alone to work at the hospital. I pay full time daycare, and have a prn babysitter who is not always available. I have never called in, but I will instead of leaving kids at home alone.
    Someone said that it is not their responsibility to help families. This is the same attitude that I found on this particular unit, and guess what, everybody is leaving!! Now they have all kinds of incentives to work, and they are calling me at home even though I am long gone to another unit... I am not coming to do extra hours. Can't pay me enough! It is called enabling... Let management face the fact that unless nurses are treated with dignity and respect, no one will work for them.
    BTW, hospital is great and nursing support is fantastic overall. Love my job.
    wayunderpaid
  10. by   ragtopnurse
    I think maybe you misunderstood what I was saying. I was actually referring more to the advice that someone had given you to "just call in". I wasn't criticizing you in any way but apparently you thought I was. And in answer to your question, yes I have two children and for the first 11 yrs of my nursing career I was a divorced parent with very little, if any, help from their dad, so yes I have paid for daycare and I also went from an LPN to my RN degree while raising my kids. I never left my kids at home alone to work either and I never would have done that. Sorry that my reply upset you so much.

close