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How can I go from full-time to part-time status without angering my team?

Nurses   (1,668 Views | 7 Replies)

RN1981 has 5 years experience and specializes in Hospice, OB, Telemetry.

2,136 Profile Views; 44 Posts

In November I took a job as a hospice nurse. I was told it was M-F 8-4:30. I'd be on call every fifth weekend. I was told that we have an on-call nurse for during the week although when she is off the other nurses do have to pick up the slack. I told them I was going back to school in Jan 2010 to work on m BSN. They asked me would it interfere with my work schedule. I said no.

Boy was I wrong!

I love the job! I really do. I love my patients, the driving and chill-out time I get to do in my car inbetween patients, and I really like the people I work with. But I'm exhausted. We're short staffed (apparently it's really hard to find hospice nurses due to the on-call component of the job), w're crazy busy (we get tons of referrals everyday) making all the nurses stressed out, the charting is insane (apparently we're the only ones around doing some special charting called Guidelines to make sure we meet Medicare standards), and the on-call nurse is on leave (so we're all rotating weekday call in addition to our weekends). Meaning if somebody dies or has pain at 0230 in the morning then you have to get out and go take care of them even though you're expected in at work at 800 in the morning. It's a lot. Plus it can be emotionally draining.

I really feel that with school and other things going on in my life I need to be part-time (three days a week and of course doing on-call). I don't plan on broaching the subject until late March/early April, letting them know I'll have to cut back starting May 1st (summer semester starts).

What do you guys think? Would you be pissed if you were my team? We all depend on each other and it's not a regular nursing job where you just do your shift and go home. Often you're staying over and charting on a patient after you're officially supposed to be "off". Or you're at home writing out your schedule for the next day and trying to remember what to do for what patient. It's a full-time job PLUS. I can't work full time plus and finish my degree and have a life. I love the job (and that's the first time I've ever been able to say that since I became a nurse!) but I need to cut back.

In my situation what's the best way for me to proclaim my love for the job, but let it be known that I simply cannot continue to work the schedule I currently have and ask to be switched to part-time status.

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mustlovepoodles is a RN and specializes in OB/GYN, Peds, School Nurse, DD.

1,041 Posts; 9,870 Profile Views

What do you guys think? Would you be pissed if you were my team? We all depend on each other and it's not a regular nursing job where you just do your shift and go home. Often you're staying over and charting on a patient after you're officially supposed to be "off". Or you're at home writing out your schedule for the next day and trying to remember what to do for what patient. It's a full-time job PLUS. I can't work full time plus and finish my degree and have a life. I love the job (and that's the first time I've ever been able to say that since I became a nurse!) but I need to cut back.

In my situation what's the best way for me to proclaim my love for the job, but let it be known that I simply cannot continue to work the schedule I currently have and ask to be switched to part-time status.

It doesn't matter whether they like it or not. If you can't do it, you can't do it. I would never recommend someone to try working on their BSN while working full-time. I'm sure it can be done, I just think it's a bad idea.

I would say just what you said. Preface it with something like "I love working with hospice patients. It's personally satisfying to attend to someone in their last days and hours of life. But it's equally demanding. After working these past X weeks I realize that I will not be able to give myself 100% to working full-time while I work on my BSN. Therefore,I'm requesting a change of status from full-time to part-time. I believe that I can continue to be an asset to the company and I hope this request can be accomodated."

I think the main thing is, if you tell them the truth you have to be willing to accept the fact that they may say No Dice. Play hard-ball. If you truly can't work full-time and do well in school, all the wishing in the world won't make it happen. Don't risk your schooling because you're afraid of ruffling some feathers.

Edited by mustlovepoodles

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DLS_PMHNP has 11 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in Psychiatry.

1,301 Posts; 12,237 Profile Views

You physical and emotional well-being come FIRST. It's admirable for you to think of the rest of the team, but you will have a long road ahead of you if you try to 'duke it out' and work full time while going to school.

My hat's off to you for just working part time while going to NS. It ain't easy :nurse:

Best,

Diane, RN

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1,459 Posts; 9,574 Profile Views

Sometimes, that's just the way the cookie crumbles. Let them know in the gentlest way possible.Do you have an ally in the team?

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571 Posts; 8,113 Profile Views

you really have to think of yourself first in this kind of situtation. the first response is a good one to go with

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RN1981 has 5 years experience and specializes in Hospice, OB, Telemetry.

44 Posts; 2,136 Profile Views

Thanks guys for the encouragement. I'm only taking two classes now and it's extremly difficult to keep my head above water with weekly quizzes, reading assigments, research papers, and tests and then keep on top of my caseload at work! I feel like my head is gonna explode sometimes lol. I'm gonna finish it out for this semester though.

mustlovepoodles, that was a wonderful response to go with. That's how I'm going to put it.

Thank you all for your help and encouragement guys!

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1 Article; 1,350 Posts; 10,280 Profile Views

You need to think of what you need to do to keep yourself sane and healthy! It is an inconvenience to the team, maybe, but that's not your priority. You are your priority. I know how you feel. I work hospice, too, but if I need a break or I need to take time, I will. And I will fill in for others when they need to take a break. Hospice really needs to get rid of the on-call thing for anything other than a death. I know it's good for the patients, but it's he$$ on the staff. One hospice in our area has no call and tells their patients to go to the ER if things are going bad. I kind of want to work for them.....

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mamamerlee has 35 years experience as a LPN and specializes in home health, dialysis, others.

949 Posts; 6,181 Profile Views

The point of hospice is to keep the patients home, and not have to send them to the ER!

I think you should go to part-time as soon as they can accomodate your request. Whenever the next schedule starts, or when they can get someone in to cover for you. It's admirable that you want to keep your on-call.

Best wishes!

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