Quote from Silentfoster
Hi, I wonder if anyone would be able to help me with this problem.
I work in PACU. We do have mandatory stand by time, wich is 8 times a month for a 12 hour period. This was increased from 7 times a month without consulting with staff due to a sudden shortage. We open a new pavillion and a lot of RN's transferred there.
While I could accept the stand by time to cover for emergency surgeries I am starting to get really mad because the tendency is that we are not really covering emergencies but whatever the hospital, manager or doctors want to do.
I think the situation is intolerable but I have been unable to find realiable info on an internet research.
I explain the details:
We do 8 12 hour call per moth.
It is very frequent that when we are on call in a weekend we do have to work a fulll shift to do nothing but scheduled, elective surgery. So we work our three 12 hour shift and if we are on call, we are oblied to do an extra shif to cover non-emergency surgeries.
On top , we have nights when we do have to attend emergencies, remember that we do 8 on call a month so that is 2 on call every week plus our full time employment.
Not happy with the level of abuse. The manager of PACU and the hospital is requiring us to attend to the hospital to cover ICU patients that have no beds in the physical ICU and are overflowing to the recovery unit. This is in our on call time. So we are actually covering the shortage of beds and staff for the ICU as well on the time that we are supposed to be covering only emergencies.
Of course, emergencies do happen and when that is the case, we are requested to recover the patients out of OR while, the night supervisor sits, and thats what she literally does, just sit as an inert body, whit the ICU patients. We have to catch up with charting, meds, vitals and anything to be done with those patients.
I want to formally complain an do something about this abuse and lack of respect but I would like to put my alegations together and get the right legal information about this.
I should mention that I work in California.
Thank you very much for your help.
My first question is whether your facility has union representation for nursing. (From your description of the situation, I'm guessing you don't).
So my next question is do you think it's time to contact the CNA http://www.calnurse.org
for some info on whether these activites violate any state or federal wage & hour laws and what union representation could do in this situation.
Certainly you can complain to the powers that be in nursing administration about the situation; you can even threaten to quit. But chances are that such efforts will have a nil effect. Nursing admin is banking on the reluctance of nurses to leave bad situations, especially if they've been at the facility for awhile and are vested in both the employment benefits and the culture of the place.
This scenario of "If we build it, they will come [to staff it]" occurs on a regular basis--new facilities or current facilities opening new wings/pavillions/units that aren't fully staffed initially (that's what travelers are for).
But if you want to get nursing admin's (and hospital admin's) attention, starting the ball rolling for union representation is SURE to do it.
Best of luck to you in this situation,
HollyVK, RN, BSN, JD