On-call in the OR - page 3

by lozstar

9,559 Views | 24 Comments

Hi everyone I have been an operating room nurse for nearly eight years. I really enjoy what I do but I have had dreadful call ins over the last month. Over one weekend I worked an extra 20 hours on top of my normal 40 hours.... Read More


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    Quote from kguill975
    If you guys have shared governance at your hospital, then you have a lot to talk about.

    First, if you're getting called in that much, then you must make a killing in OT. I think your director should open up 2 FTEs to staff a team on nights, M-F. We staff 2 in-house call teams, and 1 out-house call team, which is a day shift team that rarely gets called out. Places that aren't so busy, could just use 1 in-house call team, and use the other team as back-up call. Weekends will still need coverage, sorry.

    Second, why aren't your OB teams trained to do C-sections? Do they have to provide a baby nurse, or do you do that too? There's a nice little program specifically for them through AORN. There should be no need for anyone to come out for a C-section, when able bodied people are already at work in THEIR dept.

    Third, I'm a compressed weekender that works evenings/nights only. There are 3 of us, who work (2) 16 hour shifts for 32 hours/week, which is full-time. For a nice salary, I help keep the Mon-Fri people at home and in their beds on the weekends. That would probably be asking too much to have weekend staff.

    Ask your director to consider these options, and have your shared governance reps advocate for you. Surgery drives revenue for the hospital, so you guys should have more negotiation with call. Remember: The squeaky wheel gets the oil.
    Kguill975;
    My hospital is just the same. We have 4 OR's, 4 circulators, and we still have to do the C-sections. They do provide the baby nurse. Those girls flatly refuse to learn to circulate, even though a couple of them have done it before at a previous job.
    Our CEO allows scheduled weekend cases, we call each other for back-up & so far have not had a bad outcome...but we all say that it's going to happen one day...we'll lose a baby or Mom, or that AAA that could have been saved.
    GadgetRN71 likes this.
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    Our OR will call in the 2nd team later in the day PRN, I think around 6 pm, for a weekend or holiday daytime. I don't know what their coverage looks like overnight.

    I'm per diem in the PACU and also have to take call. I hate it; it is the only part of my job that I dislike. Once I'm there, I find I enjoy the work itself, but I really need my sleep. Our policy is that any call hours you work within 6 hours of your next-day start time are designated "sleep time," and you can either go home and come in late by that much, or come in on time and go home early. I think that this must be a house-wide policy, so the OR team must get sleep time, too. I don't think it's enough, especially if you have to go home and drive back--you lose more sleep that way.
    Nordicspirit likes this.
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    I traveled as a Circulator in the OR for yrs.. went to many hospitals, mostly on the smaller side. Did I see the OB nurse's doing C-sections... give me a break. They knew if they complained and if they did anything to break sterility or open something wrong then they would not have to do another. They just couldn't cut the mustard and laughed all the way back to their unit..
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    The other thing about call is this, it should be for true need and not scheduled cases unless the manager is going to staff that extra weekend day or shift and not use the call team and then there are the OR's that feel because you work in the OR you don't need a life.
    I worked at one on the beach area in NC that has a "10" minute call back... ridiculous. They think it's fine because you can stay at the hospital! Oh and yes, this is not a trauma center but a average everyday OR that is just trying to kiss a few shiny one's with the doc's...
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    I work night shift in the OR at a Trauma Center, we are staffed 24/7; during the week we are fully staffed for scheduled as well as add-ons & trauma during the day, 6-ish teams from 3p-7p finishing the day, 2-3 teams 7p-11p, and 2 teams at night. We have currently have 2 call teams at night 11p-7a, but will soon drop down to 1 team since we added a 2nd scheduled team at night. Weekends is staffed with 3 teams during the day and 2 at night, with 1 call team, however our weekend call shifts are only 12 hrs. Our call requirement is 2 week night shifts and 1 weekend shift every other month. AND we rarely call our call staff in. Typically if we do, it's right at 11pm finishing urgent cases and they're typically there less than an hour. Very rarely have I had to call someone in at 2 or 3am. Weekend nights does get called in a little more frequently because that's when the traumas pick up.

    Apparently they used to do silly, non-emergent/urgent cases in the middle of the night, but the hospital has worked to change that...unless the patient is febrile & CT concern for necrotic gallbladder, they do not need a lap chole at 3am. So now most of the cases at night are truly urgent/emergent...open or severe fractures, hand injuries, dead bowel, appy, crani for bleed, and good old belly trauma.
    Rntr likes this.


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