The heartbreak of part-time employment...suggestions please?

  1. Hello all.

    I am currently working in Ontario, Canada as a Personal Support Worker (CNA to most of you folks!) in order to support myself through RPN school. I have one more year to go.

    Well, here in Ontario, almost ALL healthcare jobs - in my experience and knowledge - begin as part-time positions. I work two jobs at two different facilities. Of course, each one requires you to work every second weekend. Since I would like to see my husband once in a blue moon, I have scheduled my weekend shifts for one weekend only - I work from 7AM to 1:30PM at one, then grab a quick lunch, and head over to the other for a 3 to 11. I'm lucky, many of my coworkers go 7-3 then RUN (and are late) for their next 3-11. It's exhausting, by Sunday night I'm toast. I have Mondays off. I invariably spend it on the sofa, totally exhausted. CNA work is hard work. I also work 4-5 shifts during the week, but not doubles, so this I can handle better.

    Here is my worry. I feel I cannot continue this schedule up for the next year to finish school. I have arranged for a small student loan $10,000 to see me through, and I will cut my jobs down to two shifts a week, praying that they will not be on the same day (no more doubles). I think I can do that.

    However, when I graduate, I fear I will be caught in the same trap - all jobs are part-time, requiring me to do two weekends. As a nurse, distributing medication, I worry I will make a fatal mistake on the Sunday evening after working that many hours in such a short period of time.

    I am thinking of taking one part-time job, and then working casual at another - so that I can not take weekends. It's really important to me to have that one weekend with my husband, as I never see him otherwise! Do you think I could get 2-3 shifts per week, midweek, working casual? I know of course it depends on the facility, but this really has me worried. All that money and devotion to be in the same boat I'm in as a PSW. This is very scary to me.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
    •  
  2. Visit Worthy profile page

    About Worthy

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 92; Likes: 2
    Boring office job, for now

    10 Comments

  3. by   Fiona59
    When I graduated we all started out as casuals. But here's the good news. As a part timer, you will have no problems picking up extra shifts in your facility. Check your contract. Part timers are offered the extra available shifts before they go to the casual staff. You have to let nursing office know what your interested in.

    I knew one LPN part timer (a .2 position) that never had less than 9 full shifts on her cheque. When I worked casual, I would get a minimum of three shifts most weeks, and trust me they were the shifts on units that the p/t staff didn't want to work.

    Worked part time in LTC and casual in Acute. Could have worked 3 shifts a day at certain times of the year

    Good luck. Just know your contract and let staffing know that you want extras. They will love you. Plus a box of chocolates to the staff in there at Easter, Christmas, and Halloween keeps you at the top of their to call in a hurry list!
  4. by   fergus51
    It's actually hard to get part time work on some units... In my experience you might have to be part time, but it won't be for long. Most nurses put up with it for a few months and then a full time becomes available. A few months won't kill you. When I worked in Toronto, our manager was very reluctant to hire anyone part time, and new grads were never hired part time since it was a specialty area and she felt they needed to work full time to get their skills down.
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    I have to chime in here to say I LOVE PART-TIME. I realize my goals are completely different but I would never work full-time again.

    I just thought the title of this thread was kinda funny - "the heartbreak" . . . when part-time is my godsend.

    Good luck with whatever you choose - sounds like the full-time job you want is easier to get than you think. Of course you could always come to California . . lots of jobs here.

    steph
  6. by   Worthy
    Thanks everyone. Sorry, I guess the word "heartbreak" is a little over the top, it's just that I've been working so hard for so long, I really wanted the "juggling" of two jobs to end, and it doesn't look like it's going to.

    Bear in mind, I'm going to be an RPN, not an RN. Whole different ballgame, and I will most likely be working in LTC until I get the money (and the courage) to do my RN.

    Most LTC facilities - unless you get in at a newly opening one - only hire part-time to begin with. But, on the flip side, as Stevielynn mentions, I like the flexibility of the part-time. If I have somewhere to go and need a three day weekend, I just juggle my schedule.

    My big concern is having to get TWO jobs to ensure I have enough shifts to be able to eat - I'd prefer just to have one! I do know an RPN who had a part-time position at one of my places and she said she picked up tons of shifts in the summer, but then it sorta dried up. Not sure if she was able to do it, or had to go casual somewhere else.

    Thanks!
    Last edit by Worthy on Feb 23, '05
  7. by   MzKittenRN
    Quote from stevielynn
    i have to chime in here to say i love part-time. i realize my goals are completely different but i would never work full-time again.

    i just thought the title of this thread was kinda funny - "the heartbreak" . . . when part-time is my godsend.

    good luck with whatever you choose - sounds like the full-time job you want is easier to get than you think. of course you could always come to california . . lots of jobs here.

    steph
    i agree here....i don't know what i'd do without being part-time....though i trained full-time, i told the hospital where i work at that i can not commit full-time anywhere...as long as i get full benefits, i'll always be happy working part-time. it's just that i have too many things going on in my life that i need that flexiblity.

    mzkitten
  8. by   ~Kitty~
    Quote from MzKittenRN
    I told the hospital where I work at that I can not commit full-time anywhere...as long as I get full benefits, I'll always be happy working part-time.
    You work part time and get full benefits??? Do you have to pay a lot more? Wow, that would be nice.
    I'm going to part time and could maintain my benefits but at much greater cost. I can't afford it.
  9. by   dazzle256
    Quote from Fiona59
    When I graduated we all started out as casuals. But here's the good news. As a part timer, you will have no problems picking up extra shifts in your facility. Check your contract. Part timers are offered the extra available shifts before they go to the casual staff. You have to let nursing office know what your interested in.

    I knew one LPN part timer (a .2 position) that never had less than 9 full shifts on her cheque. When I worked casual, I would get a minimum of three shifts most weeks, and trust me they were the shifts on units that the p/t staff didn't want to work.

    Worked part time in LTC and casual in Acute. Could have worked 3 shifts a day at certain times of the year

    Good luck. Just know your contract and let staffing know that you want extras. They will love you. Plus a box of chocolates to the staff in there at Easter, Christmas, and Halloween keeps you at the top of their to call in a hurry list!
    Exactly. I never had trouble picking up hours as a part timer. You are correct the rest of the staff love having someone that will help them out if they need a day off.
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from mzkittenrn
    i agree here....i don't know what i'd do without being part-time....though i trained full-time, i told the hospital where i work at that i can not commit full-time anywhere...as long as i get full benefits, i'll always be happy working part-time. it's just that i have too many things going on in my life that i need that flexiblity.

    mzkitten

    i get full benefits too . . . i have a 401k . . . all 4 of my kids and my husband are on my insurance policy.

    steph
  11. by   MzKittenRN
    Quote from ~kitty~
    you work part time and get full benefits??? do you have to pay a lot more? wow, that would be nice.
    i'm going to part time and could maintain my benefits but at much greater cost. i can't afford it.
    yeah- it's all good when u get full benefits....i only pay a few dollars more for my insurance a week....not too much of a difference from my full-time co-workers.

    mzkitten
  12. by   MzKittenRN
    Quote from stevielynn
    i get full benefits too . . . i have a 401k . . . all 4 of my kids and my husband are on my insurance policy.

    steph

    thaz great! i will be 'vested' into my hospital's pension plan- only one more year to go. you only need 3years to work to be vested; i am in my 2nd year. even it's part-time. i think hospitals these days are becoming more practical when it comes to benefits for part-timers....

    mzkitten

close