On call with no pay

  1. Where I work, the RN's are expected to carry a cell phone and be on call 24/7 every 6 weeks. While it does not seem to be that much to ask of us, we feel it is. We live in northern New York State and cell phone service can be spotty in places. This means our travel is limited. I can not attend my daughter's soccer games if they are anywhere near the mountains.

    Because we are salaried, they tell us it is part of our job and offer us no compensation other than our regular pay. I just got off call on Wednesday. In the week, I had the phone, I had 30 calls. Some are in the middle of the night and others require us to go to the building to assess an issue. There is no compensation for the calls or going in. They expect us to take time off later in the week which is usually not possible.

    I'm wondering if anyone has a similar issue. If anyone is on call like this, could you tell me if you get compensation and what kind of compensation? We are going to write a proposal and need some comparisons so we can see what we should be asking for. We're thinking a dollar amount per call because some weeks are very busy and others are not.

    Thanks for your input!
  2. Visit crystal106 profile page

    About crystal106

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 3
    Nurse Manager of an Intermediate Care Facility
    Specialty: 11 year(s) of experience in Developmental Disabilities

    24 Comments

  3. by   neygray
    WOW, unbelievable!! The facility where I was last employed had their cath lab nurses on call since they got off at 8P. They received $2/hr to carry the beeper from 8P-7A, approx 2xmonth, and time and 1/2 if they had to go back in for however long they were actually there. I would definitely take this up with management. What type of facility do you work?
    Last edit by neygray on Sep 9, '06
  4. by   bargainhound
    Oh my Lord.

    A week on call? That is horrible.

    It is definitely asking too much.

    I do call and just work the weekend and that is my job.
    I get salary.

    Others who take call during the week get extra pay per hour
    and also per visit and mileage. They only take one night at a time.
  5. by   banditrn
    When I worked at the hospital, I hated 'call' worse than anything!! We did get call pay of $2 an hour, but I'd rather just work.
  6. by   ncbeachgrl
    At my current hospital, all of the nurses have to take transport call one week at a time. It sucks because you have to be available to go out on transport within 30 minutes if you are called. We receive 1.75/hr while on call which seems to be about the going rate, but it still sucks because for one week you essentially can't do anything. Luckily we don't get called out very often, but it would be my luck the one night I have a sip of wine or go to the movies, I'd get the call.
  7. by   CritterLover
    [font="comic sans ms"]unfortunatly, i think that you will find that since you are salaried, there isn't much you can do. they have to give you "comp time" (time off later in the week) for any work you do, but they don't have to pay you extra for being on call or for coming in. and they often leave it up to you to find the "opportunities" to take your comp time. look at it this way: managers have 24/7 responsibility for their units, but don't get paid "call time" when they are not at work.

    some places are nice and recognize how aggrivating it can be to have to carry a beeper/cell phone all over the place, and will give some money for call. i worked for a hh agency once where we all rotated call (one week at a time), and we were all paid (the grand total of) $75 for the week, including those who were salaried. so, it can be negotiated. but most places seem to think taking call goes along with the salaried position.
  8. by   SimonJester
    I work not in the medical field, but in IT for my company. Part of my job is that I am on call 24x7 365 a year! Since I am salaried I receive no additional pay for this.

    I get calls all hours of the day or night to work issues all over the country…

    For us we have a chain of command if they try to call me and I cannot be reached they try another person and another person until they get our boss… Then its bad…

    SO I don’t let the fact that I am on call interfere with my time off.. If I want to go out of town.. I go….

    We too are told we can take off later in the week, however we all know if we take off our work load double the next day

    In the end we are all great full to be employed…. Unlike the nursing field IT is taking a beating… After 2000 the IT sector took a beating and now there are plenty of IT folks to go around… Not to mention lots of our jobs are going overseas

  9. by   clee1
    Quote from StudentSpouse

    In the end we are all great full to be employed.... Unlike the nursing field IT is taking a beating... After 2000 the IT sector took a beating and now there are plenty of IT folks to go around... Not to mention lots of our jobs are going overseas

    I definately resemble that remark. I'm a former IT worker that is now in Nursing school d/t the DotBomb.

    However, I'll say this to every salaried employee that has to pull on-call... it comes with the territory.

    If you want to get the best pay, benefits, and treatment from your employer: stay hourly.
  10. by   emllpn2006
    Could you use pagers instead of cell phones? I know in the area where I live in West Virginia there is alot of places that cell phones will not work but pagers do. Maybe if this is the case in your area you could be paged then drive to a payphone and call back in case of a emergancy I know this would take a little longer but in the amount of time a soccer game takes you may not be paged anyway.
  11. by   ZASHAGALKA
    One of the reasons I would never accept salary to be a clinician.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    nope not this chickie-boo.
  13. by   911fltrn
    For 5 years i did the on call thing.

    Heres the deal, I work for money! If your not paying me I dont do it.


    I have plenty to do helping my family and friends. Im not going to be at your beck and call for free
  14. by   Noryn
    When I worked in a hospital years ago, if the census was low we would get called off however we had to come in if called. We did get time and a half if we came in but we didnt receive anything for being on call, basically staying at home waiting for a call. That changed in the past few years I dont know if the hospital got in trouble for that or what.

    When I worked home health we got paid 500 dollars to be on call for a week and we were on call about 1 week a month. you got paid the 500 dollars if you didnt go out or if you went out 10 times. You also got mileage if you went out.

    I will probably never take another job that requires being on call, I like my time off and dont like to share it with anyone. It actually sounds like I got paid very well compared to others and I still dont think I was payed enough. :wink2:

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