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Downstaffing

Posted

Have decided to take a break from my current job. I have been consistently put on call or reduced this past month. Ok fine. But today was what absolutely pissed me off. I came into work at 7am, discharged 2 of my four patients and at 11am they wanted to put me on call until 3pm when they would have more admits. They also wanted me to float to another campus. I explained to them that I did not have my vehicle as it was at the dealership getting work done and I received a courtesy ride to work. I was told that's too bad and I would have to figure it out or call a taxi. Let me reiterate I am not resource, float or anything. I never agreed in hiring to float between hospitals multiple times throughout the day. This is insane. Essentially asking me to clock out for a few hours but standby until their admits get there. This is the most unprofessional thing I ever heard of in what's suppose to be a professional career. What a joke. Burned out and I haven't even worked over 30 hours a week in over a month because of this sporadic work schedule!

Apparently they found an effective way to get rid of you. Sounds as if this job was not worth the aggravation. Good luck on your next job.

Maybe I'm a complainer, or ungrateful or whatever. But it's disheartening. I really enjoyed my job until recently when they started plucking me around. This isn't just me but many staff nurses. Alright great if you didn't need me I would have gladly went home. Or even if they started me on call that would have been fine as well. But to have me come in, discharge half my patients and have another nurse discharge half their patients then want me to give report on my remaining patients to another nurse on the floor at 11a so that essentially they can put me on call until their surgicals were expected around 3p. I've floated so much all over the hospital that they don't even give me a free lunch card for floating anymore, lol. Not kidding, in two years I have worked on 12 different units even went and got some certifications(this is how motivated I was) only to get to my yearly eval and got a few cent raise. Just feel unappreciated and burnt out.

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience.

Do they rotate who they mess with or is it always you? That's insane. I've never heard of that bad of a situation

Do they rotate who they mess with or is it always you? That's insane. I've never heard of that bad of a situation

No they rotate, however this has happened to be most shifts that I have been scheduled the past month. We got a new VP of nurses and all incentives and such were cut and now everyone is required to float except for the first 6 months. Well lucky me I'm the one that has floated so much that I am usually the lucky one that has worked or been cross trained to the unit that is short half way through the shift. They have a resource pool but the problem is that the pay is not competitive at all and you are required to float between three different hospitals in the same metro areas....miles apart and many times half way through the shift. Because of this many people don't stay because it's stressful and "too much work". It's not like three connected hospitals. Sometimes being floated to another hospital for the 3-7p portion of a 12 hour shift...many times not getting there until close to 5 because you half to give report, drive there, Park, get report on new load of patients and then late with no break because you only had two hours to assess and chart and care for 5 patients.

NurseCard, ADN

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

No they rotate, however this has happened to be most shifts that I have been scheduled the past month. We got a new VP of nurses and all incentives and such were cut and now everyone is required to float except for the first 6 months. Well lucky me I'm the one that has floated so much that I am usually the lucky one that has worked or been cross trained to the unit that is short half way through the shift. They have a resource pool but the problem is that the pay is not competitive at all and you are required to float between three different hospitals in the same metro areas....miles apart and many times half way through the shift. Because of this many people don't stay because it's stressful and "too much work". It's not like three connected hospitals. Sometimes being floated to another hospital for the 3-7p portion of a 12 hour shift...many times not getting there until close to 5 because you half to give report, drive there, Park, get report on new load of patients and then late with no break because you only had two hours to assess and chart and care for 5 patients.

That is absolutely insane. :( I'm sorry.

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

My first job in south Texas was like that. They'd send nurses home on call, then call them back a few hours later and float them to an entirely different unit with all new patients. Every nurse on the new unit gave up their worst patient, of course.

I was always willing to go home, but always made it clear that I would NOT return. They threatened to write me up, fire me, etc. I didn't care and stood my ground ...so sadly, I never got sent home.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 28 years experience.

They must figure that (on paper) the money saved covers the cost of inevitable patient care screw-ups that will result from this much "do-see-do" moving of caregivers.

I mean, I'm of the sort who thinks that people cry wolf at times about "I'll get sued, I'm 'scared' for my license", etc., but this system sounds like a royal recipe for disaster...

They must figure that (on paper) the money saved covers the cost of inevitable patient care screw-ups that will result from this much "do-see-do" moving of caregivers.

I mean, I'm of the sort who thinks that people cry wolf at times about "I'll get sued, I'm 'scared' for my license", etc., but this system sounds like a royal recipe for disaster...

Believe me, it feels out of control. All at the same time as attempted to get magnet status...oh and try to change the staffing ratios to Less patients. It will never happen because even a month of dealing with this is too much. They just keep messing with people...a good example is a nurse that just finished her 6 week orientation, was hired to work 8 hour shifts because she is a single mom and there is not a daycare available for 12 hour shifts....as soon as she got off orientation they changed her schedule to 12 hour shifts. She went to management to try to have it corrected and their response was can you're child's father quit his job and stay home so you can work your schedule. She said no at that she would be turning in her notice! Day two off orientation! Unbelievable. They have been treating us like we are to be at their beck and call and to not have a life!

wondern, ASN

Has 20 years experience.

That is cra cra about going to another facility! Is that how you spell it?

Cra cra, not facility. :down:

If you came in at 7, weren't you going to be there until 3 or 7 anyhow, working with your other patients and taking new admits or whatever?

Ohhh, they're sending you home on call? Is that right?

They're so desperate/resourceful yet you can't get 30 hours. That's strange. Get away from them.

Edited by wondern

What a pigsty of a system you work for. Leave and don't worry if they try to trick you by bringing up 'patient abandonment'. You're better off working at Wal-Mart. Find some way to make this public somehow, start informing families and caregivers, the news, law firms, the dog, etc. It is a recipe for disaster, patient harm and/or death at some point. And just plain unprofessional...

I'd like to see one of those pigs come on here and (try) to defend that business plan. 'Cuz It sure ain't no patient-care plan.

kbrn2002, ADN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis. Has 25 years experience.

Wow, what an unorganized cluster! Don't blame you at all for getting out. Moving staff around like that is insane. Expecting nurses to go home, come back, move to a different building for part of a shift? I've never heard of such nonsense. Taking away all incentives and only giving a few cents raise is just adding insult to that injury. If this is their standard treatment of nursing staff I am kind of amazed they have any nurses.

That is ridiculous. There is no way I'd come back. I'd make it clear that if you make me clock out my shift is done, and my phone will be off. Is this legal. Are you in a right to work state? I'd definitely have to find another job. I can't believe they told you to take a taxi to another location. What kind of hospital operates like this? Good luck in your job search!!

This is a trend that I have watched develop over the last several years and was a major impetus in my decision to travel. This practice is know by various names in different hospitals, but is commonly called 'flexing'. I remember when it used to be that a full-time position was an implicit verbal agreement (contract)-i.e. you(employer) provide me with the agreed upon 40hrs/week and benefits, and I return(employee), agree to be a competent and productive employee. However, those days are gone and in niche nursing units (mine is CVOR/General Surgery), this has, unfortunately, become more and more commonplace-I predict, it will become even more popular among managers in years to come. Just another way for the suits to balance the books off the backs of the workers. It seems to me that this is a major breach of contract though I'm sure there's some legal loophole, but if you or I don't fulfill our obligations, we are pretty quickly fired. Doesn't seem right and it's hard to tell a creditor that you won't be paying your mortgage, car payment, student loan.. this week because you didn't get your full hours!

I'm surprised that this is apparently off-the-hook unheard of in other places, based on responses.

I know of a large organization that basically posts all open RN positions as variable this, that, and the other thing, and it's for the purposes of covering themselves to do crap exactly like this.

It's a good place, though, really...Magnet and all...

My first job in south Texas was like that. They'd send nurses home on call, then call them back a few hours later and float them to an entirely different unit with all new patients. Every nurse on the new unit gave up their worst patient, of course.

I was always willing to go home, but always made it clear that I would NOT return. They threatened to write me up, fire me, etc. I didn't care and stood my ground ...so sadly, I never got sent home.

You nailed it! Float to another unit and end up with 4 high-acuity patients as 4 nurses give up the worst ones; this is in California where we have staffing guidelines but patients are much sicker; the ones who were tele are now Med/surg, the ones who were ICU are now tele etc...

I escaped bedside nursing 4 years ago and my only regret was not doing it sooner.

That is ridiculous. There is no way I'd come back. I'd make it clear that if you make me clock out my shift is done, and my phone will be off. Is this legal. Are you in a right to work state? I'd definitely have to find another job. I can't believe they told you to take a taxi to another location. What kind of hospital operates like this? Good luck in your job search!!

What's even worse is that I live nearly an hour drive away. They don't reduce or put you on call until 30-45 min before the beginning of a shift. By this time I am already on my way. I was put on call once for an 8 hour shift they called me in so I went and took my kid to daycare and drove to work. Got there in one hour and was belittled and told I needed to be there within 30 minutes. So the next two days I was put on call....so to avoid getting in trouble I took my child to daycare paid the $35/day fee drove to the city the hospital is in and putz around all day to never be called in either day....so I spent $70 plus gas and my time to wait and walk around the mall waiting to get called in. I'm livid that I've been treated this way. I checked in this morning before heading to work and they said they wouldn't need me as the census was low but they would call me back to let me know if they were going to use me somewhere else. I went off! I firmly let them know that I am not hospital resource and that if I'm not needed I'm not needed, that I'm not waiting until 30 minutes prior to my shift ever dang time I'm scheduled to find out where I'm working. Not to mention the one campus can be 10 minutes further and the 3rd campus is about a 15 minute extra drive!

What a pigsty of a system you work for. Leave and don't worry if they try to trick you by bringing up 'patient abandonment'. You're better off working at Wal-Mart. Find some way to make this public somehow, start informing families and caregivers, the news, law firms, the dog, etc. It is a recipe for disaster, patient harm and/or death at some point. And just plain unprofessional...

I'd like to see one of those pigs come on here and (try) to defend that business plan. 'Cuz It sure ain't no patient-care plan.

Is this what we have to look forward to with cuts in Medicaid? Maybe I just need to continue on with school or do something entirely different. I've been a nurse for nearly 6 years. I feel overworked and severely underpaid. I'm making $2 more/hr then when I started. I made more as a cocktail waitress at a nightclub in the southeast!