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Fair practice?

rn30 rn30 (New) New Nurse

Specializes in peds. Has 26 years experience.

I’m an RN, work in pre-admission testing making phone call assessments to pts prior to surgery. We have two Techs who work as techs/pt service rep( reception, calling Dr offices to get pre ops, clerical duties) When the techs are off, sick/ PTO, some of the RN’s are scheduled to cover the desk for the tech. I understand in an emergency someone needs to cover their duties but we are being prescheduled to cover them. They are also included in our schedule (as far as requests off/vacation) which makes it more competitive to get off as we have to cover them. In my 32 yrs of experience , RN’s and tech sched. have been separate. My concern is that I do not feel as an RN I should be pre-sched to cover the techs.  They need to hire another tech! And not all of the RN’s in my unit are required to “work as the tech”, just some of us. Is this unfair practice?

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

I don’t think I’d call it “unfair” but it does seem unwise from a budgetary standpoint to be paying RN wages for a tech role. 

Are you and/or the techs in a union? Because that would definitely be a union violation. 

What is their rationale for only making some nurses do the tech duties? Is it decided based on seniority?

6 hours ago, rn30 said:

And not all of the RN’s in my unit are required to “work as the tech”, just some of us.

This is the only part that seems off. Your unit/department could run without any techs; they aren't required if the employer wants to pay RNs to do that work. So I wouldn't bother talking about the angle of how you shouldn't be pre-scheduled to perform clerical duties as an RN.

The main point is that there's a discrepancy because only some of the RNs are expected to perform clerical duties. Is this causing a big problem? Is there self-scheduling where some people always get the best schedule because they don't have to worry about the tech piece, while others get crappy schedule because they have to cover the tech role?

^That's how I would decide whether or not this is worth addressing. The first part of your paragraph is irrelevant. No nurse ever got anything by saying, "You need to hire another _________!"


Specializes in peds. Has 26 years experience.

Thanks for your thoughts! Yes this is beginning to cause issues for those of us sched to cover the tech role. The nurse that prepares the sched( antiquated, no self scheduling here)  does not assign everyone (including herself) to cover the desk. Also our 2 PRN  RNs do not cover this tech role either which has really caused frustration for those of us required to work as a tech covering clerical duties. It is not financially sound to take the RNs aware from their duties to work as a tech. Thoughts on how to address? We of course will cover in an emergency but we all should be expected to cover and I am a nurse and that’s the job I want to perform consistently.



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

I would address from a standpoint that ALL RNs should take turns being scheduled to cover non-RN duties. That will make it much more fair. That's about as far as I would go as it's up to management if/when they will hire another tech. But why should only "some" RNs do this? That is what is, to me, unfair.

I wouldn't even suggest hiring another tech.  A non-certified medical assistant or a plain administrative 'assistant' (clerk) can be hired to do clerical duties at just a tad less than tech wages (assuming your employer is paying the techs substantially tech wages).  Grandfather in the present techs so they can keep their jobs if they want, and hire someone at a lesser rate of pay.  Get the RN's out of the picture.  This would go a long way to make things more fair.  Bring this idea up to the decision-maker.  All they can do is to say no.  At least you will have tried.


Specializes in peds. Has 26 years experience.

Thank you, I agree!

3 hours ago, rn30 said:

It is not financially sound to take the RNs aware from their duties to work as a tech.

So the main reason I wouldn't even bother with this ^ is because advocating for more astute stewardship of resources is probably not the real driving force here. Don't get me wrong, I don't disagree that it isn't the best use of resources but...realistically, that is not the most upsetting thing here. And it isn't great optics to try to artificially bolster your position when your position it can stand on its own.

The thing is that some RNs are spending more time doing clerical work than work that requires an RN, and others are not. It's just basically unpleasant if it occurs often enough.

If I chose to address this I would just state that we need to be a little more even-handed with the clerical assignments and that all the RNs deserve to be regularly performing the RN role so as to stay properly familiar with the routines, expectations, changes and skills involved in the RN role. I'd just put it out there: "I understand if it is not possible to hire another tech, but is there a good reason why everyone can't take a turn if RNs are going to continue to cover the position?"

That's all you can do. If they aren't receptive you can look for a place where you will more regularly be performing the RN role.


Specializes in peds. Has 26 years experience.

Thank you. Your are correct!