By law, how many hours can you work?

  1. I
    Last edit by BabyNurse513 on Jan 22, '05
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    Joined: Jan '03; Posts: 97; Likes: 4
    NICU Nurse


  3. by   NRSKarenRN
    Quote from BabyNurse513
    IMy question is, if night shift people don't make it in, how many more hours can I be mandated to work? Can they make me stay all night and work day shift (which I am scehduled for ) tomorrow?
    Very few states have regulations re number of hours you can be mandated to work. Unaware of NY state regs.

    Yes they can make you stay all night to work--called MANDATION due to weather emergency. Can they then ask you to continue working another 8 hours = 24hours on duty? Again that is a state employment law question. Have heard of it happening before.
    Now is ia safety and patient care issue....yes. Is it smart of a hospital to allow/encourage 24 hours working? NO, but it has happened.

    If you are in a unionized facility, get a copy of the contract and READ IT!
    You do have a right to refuse ....along with the facility firing you if an emergency's been delared. If you are asked to do more than 16 hours, put it in writing that you are exhausted, requesting relief, concerned re potential errors and inform your supervisor.

    If people can't get in, then people are also unable to leave to get home due to roadway conditions. Best bet is to talk with the charge nurse: can staff work out a plan to only work 12 hours....some sleep in empty room.....return to unit after 6 hours. If true emergency, you do have to be creative re staffing and doing the minimum needed to keep patients safe.

    We did have advance warning of a major snowstorm. When I worked in the hospital, I'd always take an extra change of clothes just in case couldn't get is part of the job.

    Yes, I did work today.... homecare office closed at 2PM, sent my clerk home then. By time I got pertinent work done regarding homecare referrals it was 3:20PM, office complex deserted and 8" snow on ground. Fully prepared to stay overnight if need be. Shoveled out car, and slowly creeped home arriving intact.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jan 22, '05
  4. by   ProfRN4
    i'm in ny. i've never seen it in writing, but i've been told it's 16 hrs. and yes, you can be mandated in an emergency (but i believe you cannot be mandated because they didn't staff appropriately, which will probably not be the case tonight). good luck, and pack your bloomers!!!
  5. by   barefootlady
    16 hours straight, must have 6 to 8 hours off between shift unless it is a true emergency. Snow is an emergency but not a true emergency, supervisors are required to make themselves available during emergency too, but many do not. If you have been pushed to limit, then write a letter, make a copy and give original to supervisor, state you feel unable to continue job without rest. If she insists, make her sign original and copy. Only do what is necessary in an emergency, meds yes, baths unless necessary are a no.
  6. by   unknown99
    If I remember right, in the state of Ohio, it is 20 hours straight. But, it may have changed in the past 12 years?
  7. by   LPN1974
    I quite sure it's 16 hours in Arkansas, but my SBON says you have the right to refuse to accept another assignment if you feel you are tired and unable to perform your duties.
  8. by   begalli
    Ours is 16 hours.

    We don't have 16 hour shifts, mostly 12 hours. So anything over 12 is doubletime. I don't know of any of our nurses who work more than 16 hours at a time. Frankly, the hospital doesn't want to pay the overtime and we have enough staff to pull from.

    Conversely, if a nurse is called back to work overtime within 8 hours of the nurse's last shift, the nurse will be paid double time for the entire second shift.

    Frequently, if a nurse stays over four hours, making their shift 16 hours long, and they are due back the next day for another 12 they will sometimes be given the first 4 hours of the second shift off to avoid the double time pay, but we can refuse it and get the big bucks for the entire second shift. Not a bad deal. The assignment an RN who works overtime usually will reflect this. What I mean is that the charge nurse will not bombard a nurse who has worked overtime with a really busy assignment.

    Does that make sense? :chuckle