Shabbat issues

  1. I am RN for the last five years. Recently i went back to my jewish roots, and started observing Shabbat meaning I cannot work fridays evening and until saturday evening. I was working two part times positions and was able to manage it with a lot of stress to switch all those days. Now I got married to an observant jew. I started looking for a full time position and I realized that I am not getting any jobs because of my religion.
    What can I do? If someone was ever in the same situation plese share how you managed. Thanks a lot.
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    About savotinaRN

    Joined: Feb '14; Posts: 9


  3. by   SHGR
    I've heard of situations where a Christian was willing to work all the Saturdays and a Jewish coworker worked all the Sundays. Apparently this was a satisfactory arrangement for all concerned.
    Or if possible find a M-F day position in an outpatient department.
  4. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    Are there any Jewish health care providers in your area? They would probably be the most willing to accommodate a sabbath-observant RN.

    Could you work night shifts without working Fridays? An 11p-7a shift should cover the "3 stars in the sky" rule.
  5. by   RNperdiem
    If you don't need benefits, or are ready to fund your own, consider per diem nursing. A lot of places will let you make your own schedule.
  6. by   not.done.yet
    I work with several Orthodox Jews. They work every Sunday in order to meet their weekend requirements (four per month) and are wonderful about working Christian/secular holidays so that they are able to take off on Jewish holidays.

    What has happened that makes you convinced it is your religion that is causing you not to be hired?
  7. by   Here.I.Stand
    Saturday-Sunday weekend (vs. Fri-Sat), 11-7? That way you'd be going in after sundown on Saturday. Also make it clear that you're willing to work Christmas and Easter, even if it's not your holiday or weekend?

    Otherwise yeah like PP's have suggested you might have to be willing to work per diem...actually if you can get bennies through your husband it's a great option! I've done that myself; you generally get paid more per hour in lieu of the bennies, and you can set your own schedule. Or else in settings where care is not 24/7--clinics, dialysis, case management, etc.

    Not.Done.Yet, I'm guessing it's not so much her religion itself that has gotten in the way of getting jobs, but the inability to work on Friday evening through Saturday evening. Same way Christians are expected to work on Sundays and Christian holidays (Reformed gal here--I've probably worked more Easters than not). Hard for a hospital to make such a big accommodation--it becomes more than a "reasonable accommodation." Sorry OP, I know you can speak for yourself--please correct me if I'm wrong.
  8. by   himilayaneyes
    I have to agree with what the other posters have said. I don't believe it's being Jewish that's preventing you from being hired, but the inability to work Friday evenings and Saturdays. Christians are expected to be able to work on Sundays and Christian holidays since it would be burdensome to the hospital to try and accomodate everyone. I knew a Seven Day Adventist who was off every Saturday and worked every Sunday (he traded with a Christian colleague). They had an arrangement. I also have been working per-diem for the past 2 years and get to make my own it, but it does have its down sides.
  9. by   nurseprnRN
    Since I don't hear you saying you have done so, I would consult with your rabbi. There are many, many, many references to the fact that physicians, as healers, may work on the Sabbath, because healing and lifesaving is so important. I would consider that in modern times that opinion would likely be extended to nurses.
  10. by   mclennan
    (See 4.1.5)

    Please speak with your rabbi. Explain the situation and ask for guidance on 'divine work.' I worked in a Jewish hospital for a year and most observant and Orthodox Jews received permission from their temple/rabbi to work Shabbat. I also live with my Jewish boyfriend who is a special ed teacher and also works some Saturdays. And, search this board for past discussions about this.
  11. by   Ruby Vee
    Catholics are supposed to go to mass every Sunday (or Saturday evening) and on the Christian holidays. Several priests have told me, however, that as an ICU nurse I'm doing God's work when I go to work on Christmas, Easter and Sunday. I would anticipate that a Rabbi would tell the OP the very same thing. That being the case, not working Fridays and Saturdays becomes a personal choice rather than a religious requirement.
  12. by   Meriwhen
    OP: the reality is not that you're not getting hired because of your religion, it's because you're no longer willing to work certain hours...hours which hospitals happen to have a pressing need for people to work during.

    I'm all for practicing your religion. But as I've said in another thread, I've never heard of hospitals in Israel shutting down entirely come sundown Friday and reopening after Shabbat ends. Nor does my local Catholic hospital shut up shop on Sundays. Clearly someone is manning the fort there on those days, and I'll bet they're not all atheists.

    I would talk to your Rabbi for guidance as to what you should do. Also see if there's a coworker that would be willing to split the weekends with you (you work Sunday while they pull Saturday). Or you may have to consider jobs away from the bedside and/or going per-diem.
    Last edit by Meriwhen on Feb 13, '14
  13. by   Alisonisayoshi
    I will pose to you the same question my pastor posed to me (we also keep strict Sabbath): Does God intend for no one to care for the sick on the Sabbath? Who then should care for the sick if I cannot due to God's law? I advise you to talk to your rabbi. I felt better after speaking to my pastor. Also, when I did not have strict restrictions with employers, I was more easily hired, and often my preference due to religion was respected.
  14. by   RNsRWe
    Been there and done that......while in nursing school, and continuing on as a new grad, I had to work on holidays. Never had that issue before, and discussed with Rabbi at length. Bottom line was it was a greater mitzvah (obligation, not "good deed" for the uninitiated or misinformed!) to care for the sick and dying than it was to observe any holiday, shabbat included. It was a greater evil to turn away from the injured, ill, or terminal because of "holy" requirements....and that worked fine for me.

    When I had the opportunity to shift my schedule (paid my dues?) I arranged to work Saturday nights into Sunday, Sunday nights, etc....and when I went to days, I worked every Sunday through Thursday instead of Friday or Saturday. I often switched holidays when it worked best for myself and someone else.

    Irony is that I have a non-Jewish husband and have had to do some seriously creative scheduling to accommodate his family's holiday visits/desires along with my own! Yes, it CAN be done