84 hours = Full Time?

  1. So my hospital is starting something that sounds very strange to me. Every so often I look at the jobs page of my hospital because why not? Full time hours used to list 72 hours in the job details (we are paid bi-weekly, so 3 shifts x 12 hours x 2 weeks = 72 hours). That makes sense to me.

    Here lately all full time job listings are for 82 hours. I asked my manager what that was all about and apparently every new hire will now be required to work 3 shifts one week and 4 shifts the second week. All current employees won't have to do that, we're "grandfathered in" unless we decide to take on the additional 12 hours as part of our work commitments.

    This just doesn't make any sense to me, especially financially as every two weeks an employee would be earning 8 hours overtime pay. Are any other hospitals doing this?
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    About MissHaleyDawn, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jun '10; Posts: 88; Likes: 34
    Staff Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in Nephrology, Oncology

    10 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    They could make it work to their advantage by requiring employees to be available, then canceling them when they're not needed. They'd only have to pay overtime if they used the employee on the extra required day ...which would still be easier and less expensive than calling in an agency nurse.
    My hospital does this for employees who volunteer for it. It's never been a requirement and I wouldn't work at any place where it was.
  4. by   MunoRN
    They usually can't get out of OT pay with that requirement, but even so it's still probably cheaper to pay OT. Straight pay is only a portion of what an employee costs a company, a large portion is benefits, and whether someone is working 72 hours or 84 the benefits still cost the same. So to cover the same number of total hours with fewer employees saves money even when paying OT.
  5. by   MissHaleyDawn
    I understand that it would be less stressful having an employee committed to that 4th shift but being able to call them off.

    Two things stick out to me though, even though I'd personally never want to work 4 shifts in the same week on a regular basis I know some would. Since you're hired for 84 hours there will probably come a stink of people getting mad and quitting if it becomes habit of being called off frequently. Two, I'm a newer nurse (only 4 years) so my pay grade isn't as high as some of the more experienced nurses. With the standard bonuses they've been paying out for extra shifts even at my pay grade the bonus comes out cheaper than having to pay me OT for 8 hours. Getting a nurse for 12 hours at a cheaper price versus 8 is simple math to me.
  6. by   Princessachula5
    Yea mine does it. But now you get hired at 72. Those that are working 84 get paid overtime.
  7. by   llg
    That type of scheduling has been an option forever, but not many hospitals chose it. I can see why they are doing it now, though. They get 1 extra 12-hour shift out of each person who wants "full time" benefits -- thus reducing their need for expensive agency nurses, travelers, and more staff members. Currently, full time at my hospital = 72 hours. So they are paying full time benefits for people who are working less than 80 hours in a pay period. I can see where it would be easier and cheaper to pay the built-in overtime.
  8. by   Maygone
    My full time job (corrections) does it. An honestly, I didn't know anywhere DIDNT have to work 84 hours in 2 weeks until I started working PRN at the hospital and realized the full timers there only do 3-12's a week!

    My job does it because we have a small staff and there are 7 days in a week. So if I'm working 4 days one week, the next week the other shift is working 4. So every week, all 7 days are staffed with full time staff. So they have way fewer staffing issues because if everyone only worked 3 days every week, they'd have to cover a whole day (a day shift and a night shift) every week with PRN people. Does that make sense?

    Honestly, I think it makes you have a better work ethic. I get so irritated when I hear people at the hospital complain when they get scheduled 3-12's in a row. Because I have to work every other Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It made it easier for me to pick up a PRN job too because I'm so used to doing 3 in a row, that when I have 3 days off in a row at my full time job, it doesn't phase me to pick up at my PRN job. Also, you have built in overtime in every check. People complain a lot that nurses don't make enough, but that extra 2 days a month is thousands of dollars a year! That was the difference between me being able to buy a house or not!

    As far as the employer goes, I agree with the other posts that it makes more sense for them to pay fewer employees benefits but a little overtime, in addition to the stress it decreases on staffing issues.
  9. by   kbird03
    I'm confused? You work 3 - 12 hour shifts Friday,Saturday, Sunday and are fine with thst?
  10. by   Maygone
    Yes. I have a set schedule with rotating days on a 2 week schedule.

    So week 1, I work Monday, Tuesday, then have Wednesday Thursday off, then work Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

    Then week 2, I have Monday, Tuesday off, work Wednesday, Thursday, then have Friday, Saturday, Sunday off.

    So so it really "feels" like working 5 days week 1 and 2 days week 2 because of the 3 days on the weekend. But it's technically 4 days one week and 3 the next because Sunday is considered the start of the week.

    The shifts are all 7a-7p. This makes an 84 hour pay period. I always assumed this is how all nurses worked. Because only 3 shifts a week would be less than an 80 hr pay period. So this is just what I am used to I guess...
  11. by   LadyFree28
    I've worked 80, but never 84 unless I chose to work OT.

    I love my 72-gives me days off where I can pick up OT and work 20 hours within 2 days and still have enough of stretch off to enjoy the fruits of my labor.
  12. by   ThePrincessBride
    I do something similar but it is between a fulltime job of 72 hours per pay period and a prn job. I would NOT want to work a full time job that required that much out of me and I imagine burn out would be high working at the same place all the time. I wouldn't have a prn job if I had to work an extra twelve per pay period at my full time job. No way.

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