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First time ON-CALL and freaking out a bit!

anangelsmommy specializes in Home Care, Peds, Public Health, DD Health.

I recently switched jobs to a PT position with a home health agency as a supervisor/case manager. I really love it. They just added one week of on-call every third week. I don't get paid anything for on call. I am a little freaked out by the disruption of time that I normally claimed as "me time" such as church, or work out classes and not sure how to handle it


I normally put my cell phone away when I got home, and now I am so afraid that I will forget to keep it with me. I don't know how I am going to do some of the things I normally do without missing a call. What do you do if you are in a really intense workout class, packed with people and loud music, I take classes like this at least 5 times a week.

How do you attend church if having a phone with you is frowned upon? Please share your tips!

An angels Mommy

No pay? Are you clinical or supervisorial? Unless you're paid a generous salary I can't see taking every third week but being paid on a part time basis. Our clinical nurses are paid a flat $50/day and then additional if they need to make a visit, but it's mostly advising on the phone.

I'm salaried and take a month of admin call every other month and I get a few calls on the weekend. Because I'm salaried I'm not paid to take call but it's a,so limited to admin issues, not patients needing an on call visit.

What I do now and did when I took clinical call is inform the answering service if I'd be unavailable for an hour and let them know when I was back in service and pick up messages. Our phones don't ring off the hook so I literally can go days without a call, an hour here an there doesn't have an impact.

Everything Libby said and this: As often as I have not received a call back from the on-call nurse or the call came long after it could have done any good (like an hour or so after my shift had ended), I would not worry so much about disrupting your routine. Just insure that you take your phone and check it often. For no pay, they can't expect you to put your life on hold.

anangelsmommy specializes in Home Care, Peds, Public Health, DD Health.

I am am not salary because I am part time. I am a supervisor. This is exactly why I was asking. husband has a different position - not nursing but makes many times what I make - he is salary plus bonus and on top of that gets paid for on call. And if he has to go in for an emergency he gets "on call" pay which is a nice chunk of money. And they pay his phone bill. I am using my own phone. Nothing additional for on-call, nothing toward my phone. NADA. To be honest, I wasn't sure how this was going to work, but I am realizing it isn't that horrible, I am not getting tons and tons of calls. And I can let the service know if I go to church, I may have to call them back in a few minutes, but the other nurses don't want to take calls for me if I am in church. We had a nurse get in trouble for not answering a call, she slept through it. I do NOT do on call visits. It is all admin, emergencies that need handling, notifying families, depending on the situation. I think as I have done it a while I will be less bothered by it or afraid I will miss a call but I am bothered that I am not paid for it or get a phone. Literally everyone else on call in the company has a phone.

anangelsmommy specializes in Home Care, Peds, Public Health, DD Health.

I am getting the feeling that they do more and more. I already made them give me a raise. But it doesn't cover this. Everyone I know gets either a phone or money toward their phone bill and pay for the on call. Even if it is just a nominal amount. Especially since I have expressed to them that I am OFF several days a week, I am part time and that is my time. But now I feel very much tethered to the job that is supposed to be part time. We had a nurse that slept through a call and missed another, she has little kids, she was just let go. I think it will just take some time for me to adjust to the situation.

The only way this could be fair is if you are paid for at least 40 hrs every 3 weeks and your call is on your days worked. I do call on the weekends but I'm FT and being on call doesn't affect what I do during that time. Except for drinking. But I can be out of the area and I don't need to return calls immediately.

If I were part time I would not take call on my unscheduled days without some amount of compensation.

Hi Libby 1987

you asked specifics about how to manage call - attending church or a movie - sit in the aisle seat near the back so you can exit quickly to take a call with minimal disruption to others. Remember when you put your phone on vibrate to have it close so you hear or feel the vibration. In exercise class have it on your towel or mat and check for calls every 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure you have blue tooth for your car. I live in a rural area and find I have to avoid certain activities/locations while on call due to poor cell phone coverage. Swimming while on call is one of the more challenging activities. I have a calendar hanging in a public area at home with the call days flagged so family is aware as unfortunately call impacts them too! A common comment , "oh Mom is not on call so we can. . . name the activity."

Yeah - so taking call is a major disruption to your life and also negatively impacts interactions with loved ones as calls come at unpredictable and inconvenient times. I have received calls just as dinner arrives while dining out, middle of the night (sleep in a room separate from my spouse with phone on vibrate so he is not disturbed); and perhaps worst of all, taking call while unexpectedly in the ED with my own child who had been in a car accident!

I am salaried making over 6 figures but I refused to take call more than a few days a month without additional compensation I am paid 4.50 an hour to take call - and it is no where near enough! For my job taking call is critical to the services we provide. Even though it is rewarding to help people solve problems and I know being on call has made a difference for others- If I had it to do over - I would never have agreed to take call.

Take care of yourself. No one else will.

Edited by daffymom


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