Quote from misty720
So Im a cna and have just started doing some home health aide for an elderly woman who, at the moment requires 24hr care. So I was wondering how many hours straight is one "allowed" to work. I'm pulling 24 hours shift and I have to say I hate it already. Just this pass week I have worked 90hrs and have only slept in my bed for 2 nights. For eg just this weekend I worked from 8am sat to 8am sun then back again 6pm sun night to 6pm mon night. Is this even legal? I can sleep there so I guess its not straight through but I'm beginning to regret leaving the nursing home I worked at. I love my pay check but the money didn't seem worth the time away from my family. I'm at her house more than my own.
Did PD in both home and hospital setting as a NA years ago, and yes it is legal (though you may wish to check your local laws), for you to work several "24" hour shifts in a row.
IIRC, the law assumes you will not be "on duty" the full twenty four hours (at least when doing home care), in that your patient goes to sleep at night, and therefore you should as well, hence you aren't "working". Indeed a group of home health aides here in NY recently sued because they felt working 24 hours but being paid only for 12 or so meant they were entitled to overtime, but lost in court pretty much for the same reason listed above, IIRC.
Being as the above may, that logic does not always follow and things on the ground often vary by the patient. For instance if one's charge is an infant, young child, or restless elderly person, you may not get much down time at night, and yet are expected to be bright eyed and bushy-tailed the next morning.
I was living at home, and going to college (nursing school), so it wasn't like I was missing much on the homefront, and one simply made the best of each assignment. However when my agency called they would most always say how long the case was scheduled and would I be available or not for the duration. You can always tell your agency you aren't available for a few days, after finishing a case if you feel you need a break.