Process of signing up for call

  1. We have mandatory call on my small LDRP unit, and since we're short-staffed right now we've ended up having to take a lot more overtime and calls recently. Our basic problem is that we have no good method of signing up for call time. A list of times is posted at the beginning of a new time block, and there is a rotation for who gets to sign up first, but beyond that the process is a crazy free-for-all that turns grown women into vicious 1st graders who don't consider anyone's needs but their own. It's very difficult to get to get times that work for your schedule if you don't get to the call sheet immediately (or to even find times when you're not already scheduled to work), and it's a huge stress for everyone in an already stressful work situation.

    We also have a problem with day shifters taking night calls because they feel they have less of a chance of being called in at night (true, because we're more self-sufficient), leaving night people to take day call, which is rough. Another issue is that call time is in 4-hour blocks, so people who want to lump their blocks together to spread the call over fewer days can't always do so if people who prefer single 4-hour blocks get to the sheet first.

    I know this is not the most exciting OB issue to discuss, but I was just wondering if any units have a different way of approaching the sign-up process, or methods of making it fair. It inherently stinks to devote so much non-working time to sitting around waiting, but to have so little control over the process makes it even worse.

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    About Barkow, RN

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 111; Likes: 59
    Specialty: L&D/postpartum


  3. by   mitchsmom
    I don't have much to offer here. I feel the same way. We have the same issues. I am part-time, so lately I've gotten ours when it has already been attacked. Plus I have kids and can only do it when dh is off work (cutting into our few days off together!) (plus dh also does shift work, further complicating it), so it's just about impossible. Further, there isn't much flexibility because we have to do 12hrs of call/wk so most people don't have much wiggle room to move -they are already working! Our unit is just too small to support a call system, we are burning out alot of people and losing people at least in part because of it, but of course they won't hire more staff either.
  4. by   christine_chapel
    Ours is online. At a certain day and time every six weeks, call "opens up" for us to be able to claim our 4 hour blocks. The time of day rotates so that it's not always, say, the middle of the day, which compels night shifters to lose sleep if they have to wake up to sign up for call.

    The sign up period is open for a few days, but everyone tries to get in during the first hour to claim the spots that work best for them. It works OK since most of us have internet access from home. But it's still a free-for-all, just not face-to-face.
  5. by   mom2michael
    Right now our scheduler does everything including our call days that way there is no fighting, bickering or nitpicking about it.

    If you need a day off, put a request in the book. She won't schedule you that day, you won't have call that day. If you don't put in the request - then she doesn't know and to bad. She's very reasonable with accommodations as well such as, I need to work all my days in a row or I can only take call on the weekends, etc..... Day shift works days and night shift works nights. She will post via email any additional shifts and/or call available and if you would like to grab an extra shift or an extra amount of call, then she'll put you down. Otherwise the supervisors have to pick up the extra slack.

    If she happens to get multiple requests for the same days off, then she is forced to use seniority to determine who gets the shift off. It really doesn't happen that often though.

    We are a very small unit, we staff 2 in PP/L&D and 1 in the nursery with a person on call 24/7 along with a supervisor on call 24/7.

    If you are full time you work 6 regular shifts and 2-12 hour call blocks a pay period. Part time works 3 regular shift and 1-12 hour block of call every pay period. PRN must work 1 shift and pick up 1-12 hour block of call every schedule (4 weeks).

    It works somehow, someway. I could not imagine what it was like before this system though.
  6. by   LDRNMOMMY
    Where I used to work in NC you were required to sign up for one 12 hr call shift per schedule period (about 4 weeks). Weekend call was assigned for you and about every 3-4 months it was your turn (and you did not need to sign up for a non weekend day). Night shift took night call and day shift took day call.

    If you were not working on the day that the schedule came out you had to come up to the unit or have the charge nurse sign you up for call. If you did not sign up for call one week after the schedule was posted call was assigned for you.

    If you called out on your call day you were supposed to sign up for 2 call shifts the next schedule, but that seemed to not really be enforced. It depended who you were if you know what I mean.
  7. by   smbmlt
    I have been completing our regular schedule and on-call schedule for our staff members. We do 12 hour call shifts/one for night mon-thurs(you can always pull from PP unit during day shift)/ two for the weekend day-night. I start alpabetical and go down the list and place each person with two call days for the entire month. Then the next month I start with what I left off with the previous month, and sometimes we get to miss a month on call, it works great!!!!! We had the same issues, people getting mad if they didnt get to sign it first. This way it saves all the fuss...