How much call do you take? How much is to much?

  1. So to preface, I'm a nurse newer (1 year) to the OR. I have worked as a cardiac tele nurse for about 5 years before switching. I took a job to circulate and specialize in the heart room. The facility I work in is small, 6 rooms with a hybrid heart/cath lab.
    When I interviewed for the job I was told that I would have a lot of call, which turned out to be 3, at the most 4 days a week. Which I was fine with. My call consisted of only heart cases.

    We have a team consisting of 3 heart specialized nurses that only take heart call, another 3 general OR nurses that pick up heart and general call, and 2 more general OR nurses that only take general call. For heart call they always want 2 nurses available for a case.

    The beginning of summer one of the general OR nurses that also took heart call had a baby and went on leave. This left only 6 nurses in our OR to take call. It was decided that only the 3 heart room specialized nurses could take heart call while the other 3 nurses would take general. With it being required to have 2 nurses on for hearts at any time, we were on call for at the very least 22 days out of the month. This, I was told was temporary. I was still OK with it since I have really come to love working in the OR.
    This amount of call destroyed my summer. Even on my days off I was usually on call. Which meant that I couldn't really go anywhere. Plus no occasional adult beverages for me. No impromptu trips.

    Now the nurse is back from maternity leave but not much has changed. We are taking a little less call. Next month only 19 days, no no full weekends off. Now we are also being used as a second team for vascular surgery if they run late. We have a vascular surgeon (great guy and surgeon) that sometimes can't start cases until afternoon, these cases can run 10+ hours. Now we are told that since we are on call to come in late for these cases so that we can stay late for them. Which staying late is OK. I'm on call so I expect it but we are not getting out call pay since we are coming in late.

    From what I understand general call only takes 1-2 days of call a week and only 1 weekend a month.
    I am wondering what other RNs call schedule is, especially RNs in specialized areas.

    As much as I love being an OR nurse, my coworkers, and physicians I work with daily I also love having a life outside of they hospital. Since this is my first position in OR I am wondering if this is the norm.

    I really don't want to leave the OR but if this is how it is I might have to.

    Thank you for any feedback, I am at a loss for what to do.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Rose_Queen
    That's an insane amount of call. When I was cardiac, with 6 people out of a 12 person team on call a day for three rooms with 3 surgeons, I wasn't taking that much call.
  4. by   Argo
    I used to work in a similar facility size with similar call requirememts. I was on call about 3 out of 4 weeks. This is prett much the norm with cvor, alot of call. I dont take travel assignments as CVOR because of the call requirements that come with them usually. If I work local again I would possibly do it depending on the call pay.

    How often do you actually get called in? We used to do 3 or 4 times the amount of hearts and call cases before they got so much better with the cath lab techniques/abilities.

    I know it sucks being on a leash but I used to just stay inside my house arrest area and still do fun stuff while on call.
  5. by   qrkid
    Our main OR people have to take 10 - 16hrs per month. I am on the heart team (3 surgeons, 2 rooms) and take anywhere from 30 - 70hrs a week (depends if I am on a weekend or not). Normally 1 full weekend every 3 weeks.
  6. by   klangelo
    How do you do your call schedule? Do you self schedule your call shifts or does someone assign them? How many people are on your team? Is it scrub and circulate?

    I’m curious how others do it. Thinking of perhaps revising our call.
  7. by   klangelo
    Quote from qrkid
    Our main OR people have to take 10 - 16hrs per month. I am on the heart team (3 surgeons, 2 rooms) and take anywhere from 30 - 70hrs a week (depends if I am on a weekend or not). Normally 1 full weekend every 3 weeks.
    How do you do your call schedule? Do you self schedule your call shifts or does someone assign them? How many people are on your team? Is it scrub and circulate?

    I’m curious how others do it. Thinking of perhaps revising our call.
  8. by   qrkid
    we have 10 people on our team (6 RN's and 4 CST's) Our manager does the schedule and the call schedule in 4 week blocks. Some RN's scrub and circulate and some just circulate. WE have 3 people on call every day (we use 2 scrubs and a circulator on a case)
  9. by   Soida
    I had 108 hours of call on my last check (2 weeks). We take a lot of call as well. I'm on the CVOR team with the same 2 nurse req. So that translates into 28 shifts a week, X2 nurses, divided by about 5 or 6 nurses. I usually do about 7 on/ 7 off call.

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