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Downstaffing

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I completely agree with all of the comments here, however this is a reality in many health systems throughout the country and is becoming increasingly popular. There is zero benefit to the employees in agreeing to this arrangement other than keeping their jobs but worse yet are the 'on call' rates paid to be at the beck and call. Sorry, but I think my time is a little more valuable than $3.00/hr!!

They don't even pay $3/hr for call. It's like $2.50 but what they like to do it reduce or put you on call for 4 hour increments. Like they will reduce you from 7-11 then put you on call from 11-3 then reduce you from 3-7 or something crazy.

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

This sounds crazy and dangerous! It's difficult to get a good picture of so many different patients in one day and try to provide comprehensive care in only 2 hours! I really hope you can find a new job with better working conditions because this sounds super stressful.

TriciaJ, RN

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

I can't "like" this one enough. It's difficult to unionize, and if management gets wind of anything they'll fire the culprits on some pretext.

However, when they are pushing the envelope to the degree you're describing, they so need a union. I hope you can help get the ball rolling on your way out the door.

Leader25, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 38 years experience.

I was warned about this multiple hospital trend over 20 years ago by a very wise organized union person,looks like it is really happening now.

I was warned about this multiple hospital trend over 20 years ago by a very wise organized union person,looks like it is really happening now.

Gosh, it's making me kind of nervous. Like do I need to find a new career path. If this is how nursing is going to be and if it's only going to get worse I cannot deal with the added stress. What is the point of being fulltime. Might as well just be prn and make your own schedule and get paid more. I will surely never work over time for them again. I think their biggest problem is they have both 8-12hour shifts throughout the hospital. Maybe they need to implement 12 hour throughout except for the grandfathered in nurses or whatever. Who knows. This is where the biggest issue it....all your 8hour people go home and then the 12 hour people are all getting shuffled around at 3p to fill in these gaps. It's not worth the headache especially now that I know they are paying me an average of $5 less then all other job offers. Some as high as $7 more/hr and this is without negotiations. Oh did I forget to mention they don't give performance raises! Everyone gets a 1% raise yearly. Guess this is why a majority of their staff nurses are new grads...one of my coworkers applied at a nearby hospital and was offered $10/hr more for the same exact position-staff ER nurse.

Edited by KSjo88

My experience with downstaffing, aka 'flexing', is that hospitals will progressively ratchet down on their staffing numbers until it becomes untenable for many to continue employment there. Let's face it, most work full-time because of they need to, and many don't have the financial resources to afford some time full-timework. When it reaches the tipping point and so many are fed up that a mass exodus ensues, management then miraculously seem to get the picture and lightens up-until the next cycle in 6 months. Welcome to Corporate health care!!!

My experience with downstaffing, aka 'flexing', is that hospitals will progressively ratchet down on their staffing numbers until it becomes untenable for many to continue employment there. Let's face it, most work full-time because of they need to, and many don't have the financial resources to afford some time full-timework. When it reaches the tipping point and so many are fed up that a mass exodus ensues, management then miraculously seem to get the picture and lightens up-until the next cycle in 6 months. Welcome to Corporate health care!!!

It's crazy, and they keep hiring. Tons of new people. They also bring in lots of African and Filipino nurses.... then expect them to learn Epic computer systems and take on 6 patients oh and did I mention pay them less! Aweful.

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!

Do you mind telling us which hospital system you are working for so we know to watch out for them?

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

This is shocking.

I don't do massages. I don't do facials. I don't do foot rubs. If that were my purpose I would have gone to school for those things. Period. It makes me uncomfortable.

If you send me home, I am not coming back. Period.

If I take a job where I know in advance I am flexed between campuses, fine. But otherwise, heck to the no.

Run far and run fast. What a mess.

I feel you that this is an awful practice prevalent in nursing. When I was on a med surg floor, they intentionally assigned as small number of nurses possible to save money by reducing nurses/putting them on call/sending them to another floor. I now work in the OR, and the practice here is not much different. Once nurses are not needed for the day, they are sent home even other cases are going. The sad thing is that who helps making this horrible practice possible is also nurses like nurse manager and charge nurse...