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Do you ever pick up your phone on your day off when work calls you?

Updated | Posted
by DK123 DK123 Member Nurse

Specializes in ACE.

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I do get my days off but I feel the need to pick up my phone because I want to have peace of mind that they are not doing an investigation on me or something. Most of the time they call because they want to work, but one time a staff called me and asked me where I last put eye drops of a patient to which I said I do not know and then they found it under the med cart drawer.

The charge Nurse did tell me that she was once called because of an investigation for a pressure ulcer that was not reported earlier.

But I read my Union book and it says that work cannot call you on your day off or if you are not present at work. If they want to do an investigation or ask you questions, they have to wait until you show up to work and such.

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

No I don’t pick up any work calls on my days off, regardless of what it might be about.

I also don’t work in such a toxic environment and/or have anxiety about investigations at work.

JBMmom, MSN

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

If I've got nothing going on and I would be willing to pick up extra or go in early I'll pick up the phone. It's usually a last ditch effort that they actually call- I get about 46 automated text messages asking people to pick up shifts before that happens. 

I have only been called about another incident once, early in COVID when we were exposed to a positive patient that wasn't on precautions. Anything they need to tell me can wait until I'm there in person. 

Why answer the call?

They will either leave a message or they won't.

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

Nobody will say "amo, it's critical that we're short staffed.  Can you come in? Call back".

But they will say "amo, we have a serious narc issue. Can you call us back ASAP"?

That's the difference bet staffing calls and others. They usually don't tip their hand announcing this was a staffing call. If it's another important reason, they'll impart the message to you. Like they'll try to catch you attn right away! 

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

If it's not important enough to leave a message, they have no business calling you on your day off.

Back when Flo and I were in the Crimea, there was no voicemail or caller I.D.  You actually had to answer the phone to know who it was and what they wanted.  No reason nowadays to let work annoy you at home.

 

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

TriciaJ - Bravo!

NightNerd, MSN, RN

Specializes in CMSRN, tele, palliative, psych. Has 7 years experience.

@TriciaJ you crack me up!!

I do not pick up. I let it go to voicemail. If it's a staffing issue and I can't or don't want to pick up, I'll text my manager back and let her know. I rarely do want to pick up. ☺️

I've had two instances when it was something important and the manager asked me to call back as soon as possible. Both times, each manager was calling to tell me our unit was being closed permanently and that they'd work to help me find a place on another unit. I won't ever fall for that old trick again!

I work when I WANT to work, no exceptions. 

A few years back during one of those strikes my hospital was short, like VERY SHORT! They need charges and nurse managers like YESTERDAY. It was so bad that they had to ask some of the higher ups to come in. I know they had RN degrees and I assume Bachelor's and Master's.  Not ONE wanted to work.

The higher up as in the ones that show up in a suit/tie and/or heels on the unit in at 7am handing out Jolly Ranchers like a fox.

Closed Account 12345

Has 14 years experience.

I'm most curious about why you think you'll be "investigated" on a semi-regular basis. If you are prone to getting investigated, are you willing to give up your days off to hear suspicions about your performance and get terminated? That should be a factor in whether you answer the phone.

As a side note, hourly employees are to be paid for all time worked. Accepting a work phone call during your free time is work. Start writing every call you answer into your unit's overtime/un-clocked time log to get paid for your work. It's not a unit decision whether or not hourly nurses should be paid for time working; it's the law.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

Nope.

On 7/21/2021 at 12:10 AM, DesiDani said:

Not ONE wanted to work.

Hindsight, I guess it was a good thing. I don't think that the RNs would of wanted an admin who hasn't worked as nurse for decades being their charge and giving out new admits to them. Worst promising a patient/family something that was impossible. 

So maybe it was okay if none showed up.

Edited by DesiDani

Hannahbanana, BSN, MSN

Specializes in Physiology, CM, consulting, nsg edu, LNC, COB. Has 51 years experience.

On 7/20/2021 at 3:02 PM, TriciaJ said:

If it's not important enough to leave a message, they have no business calling you on your day off.

Back when Flo and I were in the Crimea, there was no voicemail or caller I.D.  You actually had to answer the phone to know who it was and what they wanted.  No reason nowadays to let work annoy you at home.

 

I was a probie with Flo before there were answering machines, and certainly no cell phones. We loved it when answering machines were invented— I think they sold bazillions of them to nurses, and I got one of the first ones. They made a number of staffing coordinators decide to seek other work. 

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

Answering machines, yea great. Caller-ID greater still. I don't have to listen to anything. I can delete the message if I want to, without ever hearing it.

Rionoir, ADN, RN

Specializes in Mental Health.

My manager picks up last minute NOC shifts all the time and helps us out on the floor regularly. If she calls me I will answer, sure. If they need help and I don't want to go in, I say no thanks and that's the end of it. If they are short and need help then I'll go in pretty frequently, it's not like I do it for free it's usually overtime and they offer really good incentive pay on top of that most of the time. We have plenty of people that never answer their phones or have any interest in anything except a paycheck.

I'm honestly not sure why people think being asked to work an extra shift here and there is so awful. A day here and there really pads your paycheck pretty nicely.

On 7/27/2021 at 3:58 PM, Rionoir said:

I'm honestly not sure why people think being asked to work an extra shift here and there is so awful. A day here and there really pads your paycheck pretty nicely.

Because they promise when you do come in you will work on a particular unit or run, only to float you to an entirely different unit or run. They give you the absolute worst run on the unit.  You happily come in for them many times and any shift when you ask for ONE day off, they can't find a way to accommodate you. 

My BIG QUESTION OF THE DAY!

So they ask you to come in to work. Most hospitals have 6 allowed call offs in a calendar year. At 3 you get a warning, 4 write-up, and 5 almost out the door, and 6 terminated. Why aren't those "PLEASE can you come in we REALLY NEED YOU 😩😭  😰TO COME!!" days used to erase a call off day?

I forgot my favorite they beg you to come in and when you get there they send someone home early and it is NOT YOU.

A truly SNL moment is the stomach turning "Good God I don't want to do this" just shoot me look on the Charge Nurse face's when its time to call and ask people to come in to work. Especially when the calls have to be done at 5am in the morning.