shift ends at 7, but you leave at 9? Why?

  1. hi, official nursing student here!


    Quick question:
    I read ALOT of these threads and how nurse leave after their shifts. My question is, If you shift ends at 7P, and the night nurse come in at 7P..how is it that you are leaving at 8, 9, or 10 if you are supposed to be reporting to the next nurse...and if you are still with your patients, is the next nurse waiting that hour or 2 for you to finish and get report from you?


    I hope you can understand my question, I'm not sure if it is clear enough ...thanks in advance
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    About RNDreamer

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,353; Likes: 804
    Nurse
    Specialty: acute care

    27 Comments

  3. by   annmariern
    Quick answer: charting. Given that your caught up enough to give report, are uninturrupted during report (pts, families, docs etc), your giving report to 1 nurse instead of 2-3, who are also getting report from other nurses, you might get out by 8 on a good day. After report, if im late, and nothing major is going on, pt going bad etc, its charting the days events, in peace now the next shift has taken over. Some days, its just impossible to do your job and chart it as you go. Thats why Im there till 9pm.
  4. by   jules1326
    sometime there are things that you need to finish up, usually it is paper work of some type.

    Best advice I have for students and/or new nurses--Do not leave your charting till the end of your shift. For a couple of reasons 1st it is harder to chart all you do and secondly other people can not chart for you, but they can do an accucheck or hang a piggy back medication. At the end of a shift co-workers will usually ask "are you almost finished" or "what can I do to help you out" if all you have left to is chart then they can not help you out and you will be there until 8,9,10 finishing up charting. This took me a few months to figure out.

    I believe that if your work is done and you have done everything you can in your 12 hours than once you have given report it is time to go and time for the next person to take over.
  5. by   IngyRN
    If you have had a very busy shift, you may be tying loose ends and documenting which can take you this long-even if you have already reported off to the next nurse.
  6. by   queenjean
    Not everyone gets out late; at my hospital, only a few people who have horrible time management skills get out late routinely. Very occasionally someone has to stay late to finish paperwork; sometimes everything just all goes to h*** in a handbasket a hour before the end of your shift, and you can't just leave it. I mean, sometimes I leave things for day shift, sometimes they leave tasks for me; but you can't leave your charting for someone else to do.

    My shift ends officially at 0715; we start report around 0700. I rarely clock out after 0730. Only once have I stayed until 0830--and that was because one of my patients coded right after my 0530 admit arrived. So I had the code, then paperwork from it, plus the admission, plus my night shift notes that I needed to do...I just couldn't get it done by 0730, no way, not even leaving some of the admit for the day nurse.

    Back several years ago, before we had computer charting, we used to get out routinely at 0800 or later. Now with the computer, report goes a lot faster. The idea is that you tell the nurse only the things that they can't get off the computer. Everything else they need to get before they get report from you. It is their responsibility to come early enough to get all their info prior to 0700, when report starts. If they aren't ready, they need to take report anyway, and can get the rest of their stuff afterwards. However, if you left stuff undone or forgot to document, then you get a phone call at 0900 or so, about the time you are turning in.....
  7. by   Cattitude
    NY Dreamer,

    In my experience, to leave that late is unusual. Even being a new nurse you should learn how to get your charting done as you go along throughout your day. I never saw new nurses staying an hour past their shift, never. I worked in a very busy trauma center and we pretty much got out on time. the only thing that would get you held up was if there was a code close to shift change.

    Don't worry about it, just make it through school.
  8. by   nursemike
    Quote from NYDreamer
    hi, official nursing student here!


    Quick question:
    I read ALOT of these threads and how nurse leave after their shifts. My question is, If you shift ends at 7P, and the night nurse come in at 7P..how is it that you are leaving at 8, 9, or 10 if you are supposed to be reporting to the next nurse...and if you are still with your patients, is the next nurse waiting that hour or 2 for you to finish and get report from you?


    I hope you can understand my question, I'm not sure if it is clear enough ...thanks in advance
    Ditto what annmarie said, although I'm getting better about it. We record our reports on a VoiceMail system, and several of my mentors advised me early on to always record report well before the end of the shift. That way, your relief can be listening even if you are busy. Failed to do that, one night, and at 0830 I was still helping a doc with a ventric while my relief waited for report. It was a mess--but I learned my lesson.
    Nurses I admire and want to emulate keep up with their charting pretty well, but always put patient care first. Management would say let day shift get the dressing change if you have to, but get done on time. Balancing the two is a learning process, but I'm working on it. Usually, though, if I'm there after the end of my shift, it's for charting.
    Still, my shift ends at 0730, and if I'm clocked out by 0800, I won't catch much flak about it.
  9. by   TazziRN
    Nice thing about working ER is that I usually get out on time. If I stay late it's sometimes due to charting, often because something gnarly just came in and I stay to help the night shift. I rarely stay more than 30-60 minutes.
  10. by   neneRN
    Maybe once or twice in 6 years have I left around 8:00, and maybe a handful of times around 7:30. Entire staff is usually in the breakroom by 7:20 waiting for the clock to hit 7:24, which is the magic number to get your full twelve hours (docked a half hour for lunch so clocking out before 7:24 causes you to lose a few dollars) Everyone watches until the clock hits 24 and then its like a herd with everyone trying to clock out and cram through the door at the same time.
  11. by   SillyLilly
    Well I feel like the odd one out. I am a nurse, 3months off of orientation. My shift ends 730pm, I get out around 830pm, sometimes later. Why? Because my floor is so hectic, and I am still practicing time managment skills, and I am still new to alot of stuff. I am slower. I sometimes feel that I am cursed with so many things going on at once. I also think I put patient care as a top priority, and charting last. We still do paper charting. I also will not depend on the assistance to get things done (not all-just some, and its alot to get into)

    Today, I got out at 830. I start again at 7am. We will see how it goes tomorrow.
  12. by   mammaoftwo
    Do you get paid for having to stay later to finish up? I mean if your shift is say, 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., and you do not get finished and end up having to stay until 8:30 a.m., are you paid for that extra 1 1/2 hours?
  13. by   chuck1234
    Good documentation....this is the reason why you don't leave on time.
    Should there is a lawsuit against anyone....yourself included....your documentation, including nurses notes, will be read by the lawyer(s).
  14. by   Kanani_Ikike
    Quote from SillyLilly
    Well I feel like the odd one out. I am a nurse, 3months off of orientation. My shift ends 730pm, I get out around 830pm, sometimes later. Why? Because my floor is so hectic, and I am still practicing time managment skills, and I am still new to alot of stuff. I am slower. I sometimes feel that I am cursed with so many things going on at once. I also think I put patient care as a top priority, and charting last. We still do paper charting. I also will not depend on the assistance to get things done (not all-just some, and its alot to get into)

    Today, I got out at 830. I start again at 7am. We will see how it goes tomorrow.
    Don't feel bad about that. It will get better with time. But, you realistically will not get out on time a lot of days/nights. If one works on a busy medical-surgical floor and is truly doing everything they are supposed to be doing, I don't see how someone gets out every single shift on time. It's just not possible. There will be a shift every once in a while that will not let you get finished on time. And I've seen nursing that have 20+ years of experience that have shifts like this every once in a while.

    It puzzled me that once, a co-worker of mine, could manage to get off on time every single shift. And I mean she never stayed late. And everytime i came back to the nurses' station, she was always there. She never seemed to be in her patient's rooms and never asked if she could help out, either. Well, finally, i had the opportunity to follow her and I saw why she got out on time. She had left a mess and so many things undone.

    So, keep up the good work and just know, no one is that perfect where they will never have a shift where they won't leave on time. :spin:

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