Orientation period- strange requirements, is this legal?

  1. So last week was my first week in a new location. When I arrived, I went to the office to sign the typical paperwork. I am an acute dialysis travel nurse. The next day I headed to the hospital for orientation, which lasted 8 hours, as I was about to head home, the office called and said I was credentialed and allowed to be on my own already and told me I had to perform a dialysis treatment that same evening. If you're in dialysis, you know it's the same everywhere, but is this legal to have me on my own on the first day of orientation? Seemed a little excessive, my mind was frazzled, but I took my time and everything went smoothly. I got home after midnight on my first day!

    Another strange requirement is that I am scheduled to work 3 days per week. I am required to do 2 treatments a day. Yesterday, (Sunday) I was scheduled to work but there were no patients. I got called in at noon to do a treatment, then got another one late into the evening. I was not getting paid for standby pay in the morning, but starting at 6am until they called me at noon, I had to standby the phone and wait to be sure. I have to do 2 treatments a day, and apparently one can be a 6am, then you can get called back at 6pm to do the other one. The in between time is not paid, but you still have to be ready to go in at any time! This sounds crazy right? I should be getting paid for my standby hours at least.

    What should I do as a traveler?
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    About NurseRies, BSN

    Joined: Jan '11; Posts: 475; Likes: 460
    Nephrology Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in Nephrology, Dialysis, Plasmapheresis


  3. by   nursinadream
    Good for you for getting your first treatment done safely on your first day. The hours your expected to work - or the 2 treatments per day were in your contract weren't they? Hope so. Don't know how you can object if you didn't have it clearly spelled out in your contract.
    Good luck
  4. by   NurseRies
    Well I wish it was in my contract, but it isn't. So I guess I'll work 6am-midnight one day, 11am-7pm the next, 8am-10pm the next. It's just sporadic. It is only an 8 week contract so I will deal with it. Live and learn. You know when I asked specific questions about a typical work day, they said you come in at 7am and do 2 treatments and go home. They also said id be on standby only one day a week, but im on standby a lot. Most days the doctors don't even round until late morning, early afternoon, so we don't get ordered treatments until then. I've never worked at a place like this.

    But it's only 8 weeks, and I'll just try to enjoy the potential to sleep in a little more. Just not used to working into the night.
  5. by   NedRN
    Strange to be sure! What does your agency say?
  6. by   NurseRies
    Quote from NedRN
    Strange to be sure! What does your agency say?
    Haven't talked to them quite yet.. It hasn't been a full week. Want to try to get more of a feel for it. And I do know that in the acute dialysis world, we do work really weird hours. What do you suggest I say to my agency if the hours become an issue?
  7. by   TravelNewbie
    I work as a floor nurse but the unit has acute dialysis on it...she is there at 6am and sometimes stay until 8 or 9 pm. They are not travelers...so if it happens to a staff dialysis, I can imagine it happening to a traveler.
  8. by   NurseRies
    Right, and believe me, I'm no stranger to 15-20 hour days. I've been doing acutes for several years. My last assignment, I was lucky to get done after only 12 hours. My complaint is that I go home after one patient, then they call me back late into the night, but IM NOT on call. Not getting paid to be on call. I'll work long hours, no problem. But how can they tell me to go to work at 6am one day, then the next tell me to standby until noon, then come work my 12 hours or more. It's like a whole 24 hour period is dedicated to them without the compensation of call pay. That's my complaint, not the actual hours themselves.
  9. by   icunurse42066
    I would definitely talk to my agency and find out what is going on!!!
  10. by   NurseRies
    Quote from icunurse42066
    I would definitely talk to my agency and find out what is going on!!!
    I told my agent, also talked to fellow traveler with same job. He completely agreed and was planning on talking to his agent. We are from the same company and he is much more experienced with traveling, so I think this will help. Will wait for any answers... Lesson learned.
  11. by   NurseRies
    Well, assignment is almost over. Nothing really changed, the job is what it is.
  12. by   NurseRies
    Quote from NurseRies
    Well, assignment is almost over. Nothing really changed, the job is what it is.
    Oops, also meant to say, I learned that sometimes, no matter how many questions you ask, you just don't know what you're walking into. I also saw on the highway hypodermics sure a fellow dialysis traveler described this same area as his nightmare assignment. So I'm glad it's not just me. I love the location (Southern California) and the weather, but I want more out of an assignment. I want to feel helpful, I want to feel like people are glad I'm there. I barely got 30 hours a week, at least I had the guaranteed pay for 36 hours.

    I hope I can really help at the next location. And it would be nice to actually meet my supervisors. Never met anyone. 4 hours orientation? Ugh. I'd like 2 days minimum.