Help - “New” grad working in dialysis with crazy hours

Posted
by CN101 CN101, BSN, RN Member

Specializes in Dialysis. Has 1 years experience.

I put new in quotation marks because I graduate over a year ago but didn’t start working as a nurse until March of this year.

Since I’ve started working at the dialysis clinic, two nurses have left. One left the company (from what I know), and another is transferring to another facility where she’ll be getting paid more. This leads me (and my other “new” co-worker) to be overworked. Some days I work from 5 am - 7 pm, then have to wake up the next day to start work at 5 am again. For the first two weeks of August, I’ll be working 90+ hours in total because two nurses will be on vacation. 

Dialysis was never my first choice. I never really wanted to work with adult patients either. It was just the first real nursing job I received an interview for. However, I went into it with an open mind. I was excited at first, but now I dread going to work. Dialysis doesn’t truly interest me. I see it as an excellent place for your career but not the best place to start it. 

I want to leave, but I don’t want them to be even more understaffed. I know that isn’t my problem, but I don’t want to burn any bridges. I’m hoping they’ll hire two or three more nurses, and then I’ll hand in my resignation letter. 

Tl;Dr: I’ll be working 90+ hours combined the first two weeks of August. Sometimes I’ll work 5 am - 7 pm and have to come back the next day to work at 5 am. Does anyone else work crazy hours like this? Would you quit in my situation? We’re already super understaffed. Sometimes I feel like maybe I’m complaining too much. The other “new” nurse doesn’t complain — at least not to me. 

Wendy Carmona

Wendy Carmona

2 Posts

Yikes! 90+ hours sounds incredibly unsafe! Your dialysis unit manager can't ask other local clinics for some assistance? I've worked at many dialysis units and I have worked very long shifts. It was too draining for me and I eventually switched to home hemodialysis nurse. You have to do what you feel is right but dialysis can be very tough. Some people do very well, unfortunately, I could not tolerate the long hours. 

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 25 years experience. 20,958 Posts

I can't say this is the norm for dialysis clinics in my area. We have floats and travelers to fill in. This is unsafe. Maybe apply elsewhere?

I wish you well, OP!

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 29 years experience. 3,561 Posts

90 hours in 2 weeks is 45 hours per week if I'm reading this right which really isn't bad, or is it 90 hours per week for 2 weeks?  That's awful, but some of us have had worse in other specialties at any given time, there's never any guarantees in any setting. 

If you hate it so bad, look for another job, then leave. There's no sense in hating your job, which starts messing with your health. Just make sure you have another job lined up, and don't burn any bridges when you go. Good luck on the job hunt

CN101

CN101, BSN, RN

Specializes in Dialysis. Has 1 years experience. 196 Posts

On 7/25/2021 at 8:09 AM, Hoosier_RN said:

90 hours in 2 weeks is 45 hours per week if I'm reading this right which really isn't bad, or is it 90 hours per week for 2 weeks?  That's awful, but some of us have had worse in other specialties at any given time, there's never any guarantees in any setting. 

If you hate it so bad, look for another job, then leave. There's no sense in hating your job, which starts messing with your health. Just make sure you have another job lined up, and don't burn any bridges when you go. Good luck on the job hunt

This week is 49 hours, next week is 45 hours. So, 94 hours in total (but I put 90+ instead) for the first two weeks of August. If I wanted to work 5 days a week back-to-back, I would've chosen a 9-5 career. I would love to leave but I would be burning bridges by leaving. My co-workers will be in an even greater hole than they are now. However, I am updating my resume and I'm leaving in November if things don't change. 

I completely understand that other people have had it worse, but that doesn't make my situation okay. I know every specialty has its negatives. I just find it funny how people "escape" to dialysis for more stability/better hours, and I am experiencing the exact opposite. 

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 29 years experience. 3,561 Posts

3 hours ago, CN101 said:

This week is 49 hours, next week is 45 hours. So, 94 hours in total (but I put 90+ instead) for the first two weeks of August. If I wanted to work 5 days a week back-to-back, I would've chosen a 9-5 career. I would love to leave but I would be burning bridges by leaving. My co-workers will be in an even greater hole than they are now. However, I am updating my resume and I'm leaving in November if things don't change. 

I completely understand that other people have had it worse, but that doesn't make my situation okay. I know every specialty has its negatives. I just find it funny how people "escape" to dialysis for more stability/better hours, and I am experiencing the exact opposite. 

Many people in healthcare are working tons of OT d/t staffing shortages. I work 50ish hours weekly, by my own choice. I don't really have any advice, but will say I don't feel as bad for you knowing that 90+ hours is over a 2 week period. You can do this, just realize that it's temporary 

CN101

CN101, BSN, RN

Specializes in Dialysis. Has 1 years experience. 196 Posts

On 8/1/2021 at 8:01 PM, Hoosier_RN said:

Many people in healthcare are working tons of OT d/t staffing shortages. I work 50ish hours weekly, by my own choice. I don't really have any advice, but will say I don't feel as bad for you knowing that 90+ hours is over a 2 week period. You can do this, just realize that it's temporary 

Your own choice! That's the difference. But I wouldn't choose to work that much over time, especially not for a specialty I do not like and care nothing about. I don't feel bad for you for doing so either. You decided to do it. 

Last week, I ended up working over 52 hours, and I have no idea why anyone would choose to do so unless they're a)workaholics or b) desperately need the money.

I guarantee if I posted my schedule, you wouldn't want to work it either. Because it's not just these two weeks, nor do I only work 3 days a week. 

I know you love your dialysis because you're at the end of your career, but I like nothing about this. And yes, I will quit. My resignation letter is typed up and ready. 

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 29 years experience. 3,561 Posts

17 hours ago, CN101 said:

Your own choice! That's the difference. But I wouldn't choose to work that much over time, especially not for a specialty I do not like and care nothing about. I don't feel bad for you for doing so either. You decided to do it. 

Last week, I ended up working over 52 hours, and I have no idea why anyone would choose to do so unless they're a)workaholics or b) desperately need the money.

I guarantee if I posted my schedule, you wouldn't want to work it either. Because it's not just these two weeks, nor do I only work 3 days a week. 

I know you love your dialysis because you're at the end of your career, but I like nothing about this. And yes, I will quit. My resignation letter is typed up and ready. 

Good for you. But 45 hours isn't really a big deal, even in a job I hate. When I worked med/surg many years ago, we worked 5 12s. Everyone, no exceptions with staff nurses, due to shortages. So, please, can it with the drama, after you made it sound like 90 hours a week, which isn't do-able anyway, which is how I caught it. Right now in healthcare, many have shortages, and are working extra hours and short staffed. Welcome to healthcare. 

ETA: I never said I wanted you, or anyone else to feel bad for me. I was just pointing out that some are working way more hours and not whining about it

I don't work just 3 days a week, I work 5 or 6. Anywhere from 8-14 hours a day, some of those as a tech. Some days I start at 4a, others at noon, and others anytime in between. Dialysis has crazy schedules, anyone who works it, knows it

diabo

diabo, RN

Specializes in hemo and peritoneal dialysis. Has 19 years experience. 133 Posts

One week I worked 72 hours in inpatient dialysis.  Tough, but I got paid well. We must never forget that “Do no harm” also covers psychological harm. The patients should be made to feel that they are special and not just a routine number.  Given their lot in life, they already feel insecure.  Always give them your best.  They don’t need to see frustration and dissatisfaction from the nurse.  They don’t miss much.   You need to move on if you can’t make each patient feel safe and special.

Hopeful RN

Hopeful RN

Has 1 years experience. 34 Posts

On 8/12/2021 at 1:27 PM, CN101 said:

I know you love your dialysis because you're at the end of your career, but I like nothing about this. And yes, I will quit. My resignation letter is typed up and ready. 

Good for you! You do whatever you feel is best for you! Just because one person is OK working 100 hours a week doesn't mean we all have to be OK with it. We all have different priorities and abilities. People in this field judge if you don't work in a certain specialty, work crazy hours, etc, but at the end of the day, we're human and we shouldn't have to be in a workplace if we feel it drains the life out of us. Good luck! 

parolang

parolang

35 Posts

It sounds like the bigger problem is that you don't like dialysis. Would it really be better if you just worked 36 hours if you hate the job?

I'm not trying to minimize your complaint, I think 14 hours is too much for anyone really. But it's not being done to punish you, you know?

lawandaluxnurse, ADN, BSN

Specializes in Dialysis. OR, cardiac tell, homecare case managem. Has 24 years experience. 174 Posts

I think you have to do what is best for you!  Yes we all work crazy hours and overtime but don't feel like you have to be stuck in dialysis.   I have worked acutes for 7 years.   It NEVER changes.   We are always short staffed.   Do what is best for you!  You don't owe them anything!