Don't arrive early, don't leave late


  • Specializes in School Nurse. Has 8 years experience.

I'm a Home Health Nurse. I just got an email from the office saying I often come in too early (10 minutes) and leave too late (10 minutes). They cited an instance when I left 20 minutes late.

Is the following response to their email too snarky?

"I will make more of an effort to not arrive early to my shift and to not stay late. I will also call the office the next time me leaving at the scheduled time results in the vent-dependent, pediatric patient being left alone."

Too passive-aggressive?

I swear this company I work for is a joke. I don't think anyone in the office knows how anything works in the home.

One guess who I work for...

beckster_01, BSN, RN

1 Article; 499 Posts

Specializes in MICU. Has 12 years experience.

I'm not in a good state to give advice for levels of snark- I'm feeling a little snarky myself today. But you should definitely clearly communicate that this is a patient safety issue. They are nitpicking. Very annoying!

NurseCard, ADN

2 Articles; 2,847 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health. Has 13 years experience.

Nah, I don't think your email is too snarky; at the same

time a simple "I cannot leave the home until my relief arrives;

if they arrive 20 minutes late that is not my fault".. would


Do they want you to call the office if your relief does

not arrive on time? Do you do that? I mean, not

that it matters, you CAN'T just leave your patient.

But always make sure you are following policy.

Has 33 years experience.

The company is concerned they will have to pay overtime. A snarky response is not necessary. In the future, do not show up early. If you cannot leave on time, due to patient safety issues, notify the on-call manager immediately.

nrsang97, BSN, RN

2,602 Posts

Specializes in Neuro ICU and Med Surg. Has 22 years experience.

I would let them know if you will be leaving late by calling management or on call manager. Let them know you cannot leave until your relief arrives. As far as showing up early, I would just try to not show up too early. I think your management is nit picking.

klone, MSN, RN

14,415 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.

Totally agree with BTDT. I'm a fan of snark, but not in workplace communications where a clear message needs to be delivered. As previously stated, make sure to arrive on time, not early. If your relief does not arrive on time, you need to take it up the chain of command.

klone, MSN, RN

14,415 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.
. I think your management is nit picking.

I don't. They're trying to cut down on incidental overtime. I totally understand the reasoning behind needing to stay late, and that's a system issue that needs to be addressed. But the ten minutes of OT because of arriving ten minutes early? It's unnecessary and I understand why it's being addressed with her.


1,294 Posts

The company I work for is the same way. I am almost always 10-15 minutes early - I just sit in my car till 5 minutes before my shift is scheduled then walk in.

Don't know if it is the right thing to do but I chart it in my notes if I ever need to stay over my scheduled time - just to justify the reason for staying over. I currently do PRN work and the family will occasionally run 10-30 minutes late getting back to the house if they are out and about.

Kitiger, RN

1,784 Posts

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 44 years experience.

If you are relieved by another agency nurse, when are you supposed to give report? You can't leave late and she can't come early. (?)


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 26 years experience.

The reality is, in most places, nurse pay and compensation are one of the biggest expenditures, if not the largest. It's understandable they want to cut down on any OT where they can. Get used to it. Don't bother with the email, it will only be seen as resistance to comply. You have "X" amount of hours in which to get it done. If you can't in that time, you do your best and let management know what you were unable to complete. Simple as that.

Again, Get used to it. It's like this everywhere. And try not to blame the managers; these are most often mandates from much higher up the food chain.

Has 21 years experience.

I've worked homecare before. I found it amusing that they didn't schedule an overlap in the shift coverage (say, 10 minutes) for handoff report. I've had home health care cases where the patient was sick but since they had 24 hour nursing coverage the doctor was okay with monitoring them from home at the time being. Orders can be changed, status may be different, and I like to check the MAR to make sure that everything is documented so that there isn't a question as to whether or not the med was given and not documented or not given at all. A brief recap of any changes that day was always appreciated. To think that the shift wouldn't overlap a few minutes is a bit unrealistic. I got a phone call telling me that if there was a nurse working before me then I could come in 15 minutes early but if the parent was covering the patient then I was to arrive exactly at shift change. The thing was, I had no way of knowing if the office had been able to staff the shift before me or not, as they were known for either not having a nurse available or the nurse not showing up. I'm sure they didn't want me calling and checking with whoever was carrying the pager at 5am before I left my home;)

Specializes in ICU.

I was also wondering how you are to give report?

I think they are nitpicking and if they did their scheduling correctly 10 min before or after shouldn't be a big deal.

In nursing, extra time needs to be built into the schedule. Heck, even in retail I did it, as associates were often stuck late helping customers or doing whatever. I always scheduled my full timers 38 hours to help take care of incidental minutes and make sure we didn't hit OT.

This is a management scheduling issue. Not the OPs issue. I'm surprised many of you don't see that. It's not like she's staying an hour over. It's 10 minutes. Obviously, whomever is scheduling has worked in an office their entire life and has no real world experience. That needs to be fixed.