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Anon143 Anon143 (Member)

Force to change unit in the middle of shift

Nurses   (4,439 Views 46 Comments)
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Can a RN supervisor & DON force a nurse who was hired and assigned to another department, to change & rotate to another unit 4+ hours into their shift after they have already passed meds, charted, passes narcotics in their unit, etc? Can they threaten to write them up if they do not comply in the MIDDLE of their shift?? Can legal actions be taken?

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I have no idea. But this would be a time for me to pass out. I was feeling fine a few minutes ago, now I'm dizzy. I can't practice safely if I am dizzy. Then, it will be a minor ear infection. But, how could I know this?

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Chances are this wouldfall under the "and other duties as assigned" line that is in pretty much every job description out there. My hospital does indeed have people float to other units, and it can occur at any point during a shift as the floors have a mix of 8 and 12 hour staff, with float pool also working in 4 hour blocks.

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Seeing as how I can't always master "chart as you go", I would be up a creek if they did that to me.

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oh heck yeah they can do it. You are hired for the facility, not a specific unit. I once was sent to 3 different units in the first 1/2 of my shift before they sent back to my usual unit. A write up- yep. Could also fire you for insubordination if you refuse. SNFs and NF are very much difficult to survive in.

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That happens in acute care, too. It's fairly common. I don't know about write-ups because I've never seen anyone refuse.

Every job in the entire world has "and other duties as assigned" in the job description. Unless it's out of your scope or you have some specific, written agreement about not floating, you're probably stuck.

Edited by AN Admin Team
quoted removed duplicate post

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Absolutely, the PTB have to shift resources to cover all needs.

Hate it? yes!

Legal, yes.

Legal action, what could you possible sue for? You're on their dime.

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In short, yes they can and no you can't sue for being floated to another unit for heaven's sake. You can vote with your feet and find another job but being shuffled around happens a lot in beside work no matter where you are.

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Legal action?? Lol. I don't think our legislators have made a law about floating to other units.

They can't legislate safe staffing ratios, so no there's nothing on the books about floating.

If another unit needs help, you should be willing to go. Nobody likes floating but it's a necessity some times.

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Well, if you're essentially doing more than a shift's work (double amount of charting, etc.) I'd be sure to not break my back to finish at my usual time and then insist on overtime. Denial of OT would be a legal issue...

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Floating? Yes, that does happen. If your unit is overstaffed and another is running short, a nurse can get floated mid-shift.

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This has happened to nurses before on my unit, but definitely not mid-shift. Usually in the first 2 hours. That sucks. I know I would be upset, but like everyone said it is implied in the job description and not much you can do to fight it.

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