Thoughts on Covering Own Shift

  1. I work on a rehabilitation unit and most nursing staff have fixed schedules. My co-worker "Beth" is very dependable and has been charge nurse for several years. Beth had been experiencing eye discomfort and eye doctor discovered benign growths on both eyes. Surgery was recommended and scheduled for the next week. Beth called our assistant director and informed of scheduled surgery. She was told that since we schedule 6 weeks in advance, she would need to find someone to cover her shifts. I have enjoyed working on my unit, but this puts a bad taste in my mouth. In a case like this, shouldn't the unit managers make an effort to find coverage? This makes me feel less valued- we cannot predict life 6 weeks in advance. Are you required to cover your own shift if situation beyond your control? Would love to hear rationale from someone working in management.
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    About Stepper, BSN, MSN Pro

    Joined: Nov '17; Posts: 89; Likes: 208

    52 Comments

  3. by   Ruas61
    It is called bull **** when there is an urgent medical need. You have a stroke and need to dial up your replacement?
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Feb 17
  4. by   ponymom
    So many pigs in healthcare. You know, I work in a manufacturing plant now (left nursing completely because of b.s. like this garbage). I make more money with better working conditions, security, benefits, blah, blah, blahblahblah...I love and miss nursing but there's no way in holy hell I'm ever going back...

    How did this crap (amongst all the other crap) of finding your own replacement *evverrrr* get started anyway?
  5. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from Stepper
    I work on a rehabilitation unit and most nursing staff have fixed schedules. My co-worker "Beth" is very dependable and has been charge nurse for several years. Beth had been experiencing eye discomfort and eye doctor discovered benign growths on both eyes. Surgery was recommended and scheduled for the next week. Beth called our assistant director and informed of scheduled surgery. She was told that since we schedule 6 weeks in advance, she would need to find someone to cover her shifts. I have enjoyed working on my unit, but this puts a bad taste in my mouth. In a case like this, shouldn't the unit managers make an effort to find coverage? This makes me feel less valued- we cannot predict life 6 weeks in advance. Are you required to cover your own shift if situation beyond your control? Would love to hear rationale from someone working in management.
    That doesn't sound typical, thank goodness. I can understand if you want to go to a concert and need to find your own coverage, but for surgery? I would simply tell them that I was NOT coming.
  6. by   Libby1987
    Coming from a mgmt perspective the only thing I can come up with is that since the schedule is out, 1 week notice will still be considered unscheduled time off aka calling off unless she finds her own replacement and then it can be considered approved scheduled PTO.
  7. by   brownbook
    I am not an ophthalmologist but even benign growths on the eye don't sound like something you want to delay for 6 weeks!

    The assistant director's attitude stinks.

    I'd tell your friend to get a note from the ophthalmologists that the surgery is very urgent and needs to be done next week. If the assistant director is still insisting she get her own coverage arrange for a meeting with her and have a lot of the staffs resignation letters ready to be submitted!
  8. by   CrunchRN
    Ridiculous. How do employers get away with this?
  9. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from Libby1987
    Coming from a mgmt perspective the only thing I can come up with is that since the schedule is out, 1 week notice will still be considered unscheduled time off aka calling off unless she finds her own replacement and then it can be considered approved scheduled PTO.
    I'd take the call-off and move on. But come on. You'd have to be seriously cold-hearted to enforce this.

    Not you, Libby, a generic "you" LOL!
  10. by   djh123
    I like things about nursing, but yeah, this is one thing I think is utter ... in my previous career, if you were sick, you were sick, called in, and that was it. So when I hear this 'find your own coverage' nonsense, I couldn't believe it. Honestly at my facility there are plenty of times when they HAVE to find someone else because someone is clearly too sick to find their own coverage, but I feel like uh, isn't that part of what mgt. is THERE for?
  11. by   Julius Seizure
    "Beth" might want to get herself FMLA.
  12. by   Been there,done that
    Beth needs a FMLA leave, might as well make it intermittent leave, as who knows what will happen in the future. FMLA takes a couple of weeks to process, but she will be covered in the long run.
    While Beth is recovering, she should start looking for another position, because being expected to cover yourself for unexpected surgery, is outrageous
    .
  13. by   Orion81RN
    Quote from Libby1987
    Coming from a mgmt perspective the only thing I can come up with is that since the schedule is out, 1 week notice will still be considered unscheduled time off aka calling off unless she finds her own replacement and then it can be considered approved scheduled PTO.
    In that case some compassion should be shown, and the SUGGESTION should be made to try and find a replacement for her own benefit of getting PTO. That doesn't sound like the tone that was given, however.

    We ALL need to stop taking our work frustrations on othdr people. It must be very challenging for management to deal with call offs, many times with some pretty bogus excuses. But especially when its an employee that has proven themself to be reliable, no attitude should ever be given. It truly does show a lack of gratitude for the loyalty the employee has given them.
  14. by   Apple-Core
    This same thing was standard in my previous workplace (not nursing), and I hated it too. I didn't mind if I was *requesting* personal time off, but there was one time I had to call off because of a serious family emergency (child rushed to ER, very serious situation, ended up in hospital for 10 days), and they expected me to call around finding a replacement. I was livid - I wanted (and needed) to be with my kiddo - not sitting in the waiting room trying to locate a replacement; at that moment in time, I didn't give a flying **** about work.

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