Overtime! Boon or Bust? Poll

  1. How many of us do overtime?

    How many of us do mandatory overtime?

    How many of us don't really think of it as overtime, but stay overtime to finish up tasks?

    About how many hours a week does this constitute, on average?

    What's your opinion of overtime?

    All comments are welcome.
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Mar 1, '05
  2. Poll: Overtime! Choose as many answers as you need

    • Mandatory

      11.67% 7
    • Voluntary

      63.33% 38
    • Not really OT, but I stay OT to finish--ON the clock

      55.00% 33
    • Not really OT, I stay OT to finish--OFF the clock

      8.33% 5
    • 0-8 hours a week

      48.33% 29
    • 8-16 hours a week

      13.33% 8
    • >16 hours a week (do you get a Spa Day with that?)

      3.33% 2
    • Do you like to work overtime?

      16.67% 10
    • Do you hate overtime and refuse to work it?

      11.67% 7
    • Have you ever left a job due to mandatory overtime?

      5.00% 3
    60 Votes / Multiple Choice
  3. Visit UM Review RN profile page

    About UM Review RN, RN

    Joined: Aug '04; Posts: 9,280; Likes: 4,300


  4. by   Rena RN 2003
    overtime at our facility is done voluntarily. if there is an open shift, a person can sign up ahead of time for that shift. if there is a call off, we are all called to see if we want that shift (with some $$$ thrown in as incentive).

    i work ER and there are times i'll have something big come in the door at 0755 and need to stay 20-30 minutes to finish up a few details. i don't mind that as it doesn't happen often and i'm usually out on time (0800).

    i don't mind working overtime at my leisure but would not work for a facility that required mandatory overtime. i generally pick up 2-4 shifts per month if the times work to my advantage. there are times when we work short because no one picks up the shift. generally, someone will "drop down or up" on their own shift to make sure the prime times are covered. if not, we do what we can do with what we have to do with. that means the big stuff is covered and the fast trackers will have to wait.
  5. by   Dixielee
    I work in a very busy ER from 1500-0330. It is difficult to get out on time, altho I am usually out by 0400. There are generally 3-4 nurses working this shift, and when we leave, sometimes there may only be 4-5 nurses left. When we have a full house and charts in the rack to come back, it makes it difficult. The charge nurse tries to close some zones so the remaining nurses won't be killed with so many patients, but that just leaves more in the waiting room who still will need to be seen. We try to make sure everyone has had a lunch break, anyone who can get admitted gets up before we leave, tie up all the loose ends we can, but there comes a time, when you just have to leave, especially when you have to be right back the next shift at 1500. It just seems like a never ending stream of patients, and lately we have been holding floor and ICU patients for 24-48 hours or more. One night last week, we were holding 18 patients. 2 were ICU's on vents, 2 were in isolation, the rest telemetry. That does not leave much room for walk in or ambulance ER patients, and we have a "no divert" policy. Sure makes for a long shift sometimes.
  6. by   madwife2002
    I often stay late if there are problems on the next shift. I stay late when not enough qualified RN's on duty and we cant get cover.
  7. by   UM Review RN
    If I stay late, it's on the clock to finish up or to help get the next shift started--for instance, if someone's IV blows at shift change, I'll stay to get it restarted.

    We don't have to stay for mandatory OT, and I'm glad of that. Sometimes I'm just too exhausted from my scheduled shift. Other times, I'm happy to come in extra to help out (I can always use the extra money, too).

    I hear a lot about mandatory overtime, and I was wondering how many of us on this Board have to put up with that. I think I'd probably leave a job that made me stay extra shifts; I just haven't the stamina for it anymore.
  8. by   begalli


    4-8-12 hours per pay period (q 2 weeks) Time and a half when called in from a day off and double time for staying over past my regular shift.

    I love it!

    I had a heck of a year last year with 2 deaths in my family and having to put one grandmother in LTC. With all of this happening 2000 miles away and by the end of the holiday season I was stressed and stretched so thin that I HAD to do something for my own mental and physical well-being.

    So I decided to cut my hours from 3 - 12 hour shift/wk to 2 - 12 hour shift/wk. This still makes me eligible for full benefits and I only have to commit to it for 6 months, I can increase my hours again when that time is up if I want to.

    All I need to do now to make up for most of the money I'm losing by cutting my hours is work a shift of overtime. Of course the overtime is not guaranteed and that's okay, I can still make it on the 2/12's/wk. My nurse manager actually recommended that I do this! Why didn't I think of it earlier!?!?

    We have excellent staffing. I've never had to stay over to finish up work or like Angie said, to help the next shift get started unless I'm in the middle of a code or my patient crumps during report. Even then, the next shift is raring to go and I'm pretty free to leave once I give report.

    Also when working overtime, my unit is very appreciative. I can usually expect a great, interesting assignment!

    p.s. There is no mandatory OT unless there is a crisis situation going on such as a disaster like a giant earthquake.
    Last edit by begalli on Mar 1, '05
  9. by   jeepgirl
    However... I would definetly leave a job if mandatory overtime were started. That and that would make their situation even worse, and honestly, I don't care. I just wouldn't / couldn't mentally take someone forcing me to stay at work longer than I had to. I'll do it voluntarily though.

    I did cut down my hours recently so I could help more without hurting my family time. Since I am working less, I can work OT more since the ES will make my hours what I used to be working all the time.

    My family life and my school actually takes priority over work. No, I won't call in due to these things... I'm not that gungho about it... but I need to spend some of my waking hours at home. Sorry.
    Last edit by jeepgirl on Mar 1, '05
  10. by   van_de_meer
    In the hospital where I work, overtime is mandatory as we are really short. I work in a renal medical floor, it's the heaviest ward in the hospital and most per diem staffs avoid our ward. I don't mind doing the overtime but I give up after my third night. I applaud my colleagues for being able to tolerate 4 or 5 nights in a row. I hate looking at my paycheck in the end and find out that Uncle Sam took almost half of my earnings.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    OT is not mandated for me. It's a boon that I keep a cap on. My family time is irreplaceable and irretrievable. So I do some OT or Incentive Shifts, but only to a point.
  12. by   hollyster
    I left my position as staff nurse/charge nurse(I would not officially accept the title,Hate the politics,and have a tendency to say what is on my mind) in CCU/PCU due to overtime. I would have up to 24 hours a week of overtime, most of it mandatory. I actually went a full month without a day off. Not all of it in the Unit. I was also responsible for UR/QA for the unit so some days were spent trying to catch up on quarterly reports. I would not have done it if I had not had a nurse manager that was wonderful, hands on. She did not expect anything out of me that she was not willing to herself. We spent a lot of time together. Somehow the assistant nurse manager was never able to cover.
    We could not get staffing in. The local nursing students told me that they were told not to work at our facility because of our terrible staffing. Administration did not want to here how the nurses were burning out. The bottom line was all that mattered. At times more then 50% of our nurses were agency.
    We opened a new Critical care tower and could not staff it.
    I could not compromise pt care and I really missed my family. I quit the nurse manager left a month later and most of the nurses have that were there have moved on.
    Last edit by hollyster on Mar 1, '05
  13. by   Spidey's mom
    No mandatory OT and I wouldn't take a job that had it. I work part-time two days a week to keep my benefits. I also do one on-call OB day that varies from once a pay period to twice. My schedule is not set in stone, in fact it changes every pay period. I just had 8 days off and I'm working two on, one off and two on.

    I rarely have to stay overtime to finish charting.

    When I work ER, there are times I stay to help out if we are slammed. There is only one ER nurse at a time.

    When I work OB sometimes I will stay if the birth is imminent because I've bonded with the couple and want to stay. But I don't have to.

  14. by   Tweety
    I stay late on the clock.

    I haven't worked overtime in quite a while since I started school.

    I used to work a lot more overtime voluntarily.

    I am completely totally against mandatory overtime.
  15. by   lovinghands
    We were recently threatened with mandatory overtime unless we became more "flexible" with our hours.

    I have no problem staying in a crunch (ex: can't find a nurse for the upcoming shift) but I think it's complete hooey when overtime is a consistent problem. I don't care to be a part of that problem. My hospital needs to learn to recruit and retain their employess - unfortunately, they won't do that if they can get by. So frustrating...