Cruel, or appropriate?

  1. I recently asked for a day off 2 days in advance because my doctor had scheduled me for a CT scan. I work 12 hour night shifts in LTC. The scan was for the middle of the afternoon, and being anxious, I knew that I would get no sleep. My DNS told me that it wasn't an emergency and to reschedule it for my next day off because no one else could work for me!

    I rescheduled it, I also spoke + cried with the adminisrator, who then spoke to the DNS who then apologized to me, but also stated that she still didn't see why I couldn't have worked that night.
  2. Visit Joybug profile page

    About Joybug

    Joined: Jan '01; Posts: 24; Likes: 1
    Registered Nurse


  3. by   NursePooh
    People who don't work nights will NEVER understand what it's like. Give your DNS something to compare to...ask her if she had a CT scan scheduled for, say, midnight, would she be in any shape to show up for her day job?
  4. by   night owl
    What gives with people working nights and always getting screwed when we request a day off? Is your DNS the same one I have??? I'm supposed to be going to an all day seminar in NY next week. Topic:"The Changing Role of the LPN". I live in PA,work in NJ. Seminar starts at 9am and is over at 4pm. I'll get back to work after the seminar about 5:30 or so depending on traffic. Drive home which takes me an hour on a good day. With the rush hour traffic going back to PA, I'll get home at maybe 8pm. Now I leave my house at 10:30 to get to work by 12mn.(I leave some time to stop for gas and grab a cup of coffee from 711) The thing is, the DNS said you can go to the seminar, but you'll have to double back, meaning I'll have to go to work that night. Are they out of their fool minds?
    I've asked for the day after off and of course, "I don't have the coverage" is always their answer and I'm sick of it! They had two weeks to figure out how I could go and have the day off that night. I'm just tired of getting screwed all the time because I work the night shift. All inservices, seminars are scheduled for the day tour. They go and get paid for it. They should start scheduleing these inservices for the night shift and let days and eves come in at that time for them. Bet they wouldn't like it one bit!!!
  5. by   Nebby Nurse
    You sound like a dependable employee who is considerate of your fellow nurses and the staffing needs of your facility. Quit being so nice. Next time you have an urgent medical appt. Call off sick. You probably won't get fired since it sounds like the place is short of staff. Then if you are overwhelmed with guilt call them on your next scheduled day off and offer to come in in exchange for the sick day. Good luck!
  6. by   majic65
    I have worked 12-hour nites for years--no more! A perfect example of how even the hosp. management does not recognize the differences--I once needed to see someone in Human Resources--but of xcourse, they are NEVER there at 7P or 7A. Finally called the HR manager,left a voice mail. He called me back--wondered why I couldn't just "come in during the day--you don't sleep ALL day, do you?" I replied"Do you sleep all night?" Apparently he got the message, because from then on there was always somebody in HR at 7AM!!
    Folks just have no clue about those 12 hour nites!!!!
  7. by   Sharon
    Have you formally requested Family Medical Leave. Regardless, both the Director of Nursing and the Hospital Administer have violated the federal law if they have not informed you of your rights under the FMLA Act of 1993. You may have a complaint and should check with your local office of the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Divison.

    No employer with more then 50 employees are exempted from this law. Following is the URL for the law at the Department of Labor web site. I recommend you down load the forms and apply immediately. Any time taken for FMLA reasons cannot be held against you even during a review.

    FYI recent case law/ enforcement guidelines define Key Employee as an employee who earns in the top .5% of an employer’s payroll i.e. CEO, CFO, etc. (Not just any nurse or doctor)

    The following is from:

    Employment Standards Administration
    Wage and Hour Division
    FMLA Compliance Guide
    Purposes of the FMLA
    The FMLA allows employees to balance their work and family life by taking reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. The FMLA seeks to accomplish these purposes in a manner that accommodates the legitimate interests of employers, and minimizes the potential for employment discrimination on the basis of gender, while promoting equal employment opportunity for men and women.
    Employer Coverage
    FMLA applies to all:
     public agencies, including State, local and Federal employers, and local education agencies (schools); and,
     private sector employers who employ 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year including joint employers and successors of covered employers.
    For FMLA purposes, most Federal and Congressional employees are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) or the Congress.
    Employee Eligibility
    To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must work for a covered employer and:
    1. have worked for that employer for at least 12 months; and
    2. have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of the FMLA leave; and,
    3. work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed at the location or within 75 miles of the location.
    Leave Entitlement
    A covered employer must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave in a 12 month period for one or more of the following reasons:
     for the birth of a son or daughter, and to care for the newborn child;
     for the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care, and to care for the newly placed child;
     to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent -- but not a parent "in-law") with a serious health condition; and
     when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.
    Leave to care for a newborn child or for a newly placed child must conclude within 12 months after the birth or placement. (See CFR Section 825.201)
  8. by   PhantomRN
    It is truly annoying that things are always scheduled for the day folks and nothing at night. However, if they did schedule things at night who would cover my patients so I could go, unless they did the inservice right on the unit.
    I like working nights but I hate the inequities that exist.
  9. by   NursePooh
    Originally posted by majic65:
    <STRONG>I once needed to see someone in Human Resources--but of xcourse, they are NEVER there at 7P or 7A. Finally called the HR manager,left a voice mail. He called me back--wondered why I couldn't just "come in during the day--you don't sleep ALL day, do you?" I replied"Do you sleep all night?" Apparently he got the message, because from then on there was always somebody in HR at 7AM!!
    Folks just have no clue about those 12 hour nites!!!!</STRONG>
    Or even eight hour nights. I have worked a few places that would hold inservices during the night shift, but then if you were busy and didn't show up, the manager would get all pissy. Apparently they thought nothing ever happened at night, so it was impossible for us to be too busy too attend
  10. by   lpnandloveit1
    I work night in home care and told my scheduel person I needed 1 night off 2 months in advance and was told the DAY nurse was going to be off for at least a month (day nurses is part time I am full time, I don't cover days..........ever) After I spoke with the supervisor a couple of time I got my time off (for day surgery). Work often calls during the day and are suprised that I am asleep.
  11. by   Jenny P
    I'm a night nurse also, and get really upset that the hospital doesn't understand that nights can be and are as busy as the day or evening shifts. I also find it interesting that nurses who work straight days or evenings think that nights are slow and we just sit around all night talking or something! If we are lucky enough to be able to eat some food that we bring in (after all, the cafeteria isn't open on nights, not enough people used it at night, so they dropped that service!); we have to eat in the patient care areas because you can't leave your patients alone long enough to go to the lounge to eat. And patients are so much needier at night emotionally; not to mention more often confused on nights than days also. I don't think anyone would attend an inservice on night shift, but it would be nice if they would offer them at either the beginning or end of nights so we could attend.
  12. by   imaRN
    Ok, I guess I just have a different way of looking at things..Joybug, My manager would have said the same thing too, but YOU are the CUSTOMER! Your DOC, should understand you would be anxious and get you a STAT CT Scan, and all this could have been avoided.... (believe me I am not sticking up for the insensitivity of some managers, because I have felt that, but your Doc. is just that YOURS and if she or he doesn't understand: then Dumb THEM ! and find a caring Doc.)......imaRN
  13. by   Mijourney
    Hi. It sounds to me that management feels that working nights is inferior to working days. I experienced that as well when I worked nights in a hospital.

    It is also erroneously assumed that patients sleep all night. Depending on what area you work, you may have to contend with agitated, confused, or depressed patients all night. You get no relief from this because the patient is in the room all shift long. During the day, most patients are off the floor for a period of time for testing.

    Joybug, as previous posters have written, don't feel guilty about needing to take off for a health problem. I'm sure your DNS would not think twice about coming to work if he/she had to have a test for a health problem. Calling in sick is a good idea if you can afford to. I hope you are satisfied with the results of your CT scan.
  14. by   AnneD
    The other thing that mystifies me is that you are expected to handle a higher pt ratio...this with less(read no) ancillary support. If I had a nickle for every time I had to answer the phone at the med/surg desk when the call was for ER(the phone calls are forwarded to us from admitting after 11pm) and had to interupt pt care to do so, I could buy the hospital. Forget inservices before shift(my sleep is too precious)or after(too exhausted for doing nothing )Unless people have worked nights they just don't get it. I am lucky...Both next door neighbors are kind and one actually works nights and my daughter understands nothing short of visualized fire/smoke or frank/profuse bleeding is a reason to wake me up.