How to deal with constant calls to come into work?!


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74 Posts

Before quiting, why not speak to your supervisor and explain the situation? You were hired to work x amount of hours, and each week you do that. It is ok to ask for the ocassional extra shift or extra hours before/after work, but cannot be expected to do this on a daily basis. Be specific! Give them "Do Not Call" times or days when you are in class or at your other job. Explain that you will not have your phone on at these times, nor will you check for messages. If they can't work with you on this, then it's time to leave. Good luck in whatever you decide!

I did speak to my supervisor :). I have already gone in there and discussed my hours with her (I was working a lot more than I had wanted), and she was completely nice and understanding, saying she could work with me on the hours but there was nothing she could do about people calling me. Also, when someone calls in and it is not during "business hours" (when she or the main LPN are gone), we are supposed to do the calling to find a replacement, which I think is ridiculous, If they are already short staffed that shift, who is going to have time to call everyone on the list?

OP, i really dont think you should quit. this is just a taste of what nursing is. Besides you cant quit every time a job/working situation is not perfect. No nursing job is ever perfect. You need to grow a backbone and start practising how to say no without feeling guilty :)

I hope it works out for you.

I hope not all nursing jobs are like this one! I hate the fact that I really want to quit after only 2 months, but I haven't liked the job from the start, even though I have really tried to. I definitely don't plan on job hopping when I am a nurse, and I have been in worse working situations (bouncing paychecks!!).

There are also other factors as to why I would like to quit, the main being that I am pregnant, and don't want the added stress affecting the baby. I dread my next shift before the current one even ends.



Has 3 years experience. 187 Posts

My work also does this on a daily basis, and I can understand your frustration. If I don't answer the phone, I usually don't answer my phone and get a nasty message. If I have a lot going on, I will let them know, I'm not looking to pick up any additional hours this week. I think it's a budget thing, at least for the company I work for. We are definitely short staffed but they don't want to spend the money to hire an additional nurse. You just have to suck it up and learn to say no, no matter how bad they try to guilt-trip you into picking up more hours.



Has 14 years experience. 1,188 Posts

I don't see what the problem is. Tell them no, or don't answer the phone. End of problem.

Your guilt complex does not override the employers need to find coverage. I don't understand why you feel guilty if you can't or don't want to work extra. If you work your hours, you're done. No need to feel guilty.



1 Article; 29 Posts

I totally sympathise with people who have this situation ongoing, caller ID or no.

I worked on a busy unit where we were responsible for our own staffing. We were very supportive to one another which was the only thing that kept us going. All for one, one for all.

If we had a sick call or other staffing shortage, we had to find replacements from among our own group. If you couldn't persuade a colleague to come in to cover a sick call, you worked short. We all knew how stresssful that was and tried to extend ourselves to help each other. Management could have beaten the bushes to add to our casual pool (pretty well non-existent as the casuals worked elsewhere) but they never did. The only way the place functioned was by us all coming in for extra shifts.

So yes, I could ignore pleading messages from my colleagues to come in--"pleeease, you are our last hope", but I'd feel guilty if I said no or even ignored them. But I felt guilty if I abandoned my husband AGAIN to go in.

And if I were in charge and calling for staff, I could hardly hope for help if I had said "no" too often when I had been called. So it was stressful all round.

At 65 I retired and only after that did we realize how really bad it had been...we finally stopped cringing when the phone rang. It took a couple of months for it to sink in that Nicholson South, which ruled our lives, was not ever going to call again! Blessed relief!

We all know about call screening, but as posters have noted, there are many reasons that nurses have problems with handling call-ins. Effects on careers, loyalty to colleagues, need for money versus a much-needed day of rest...if it were simple, nobody would have a problem.



650 Posts

I didn't read all the replies and don't know if this has already been said, but why don't you just tell them exactly what you wrote here and they will put you on the do not call list. I am sure they will understand. To me that is simpler than quitting your job.



Specializes in Oncology. 17 Posts

I don't think you are whining and I understand what you are saying. I think someone might have missed the fact that you work 2 jobs and go to school.

Sometimes I go to work when my job calls me. Ya feel bad knowing they are short handed. The last time I helped them out it was supposed to be regular pay but they decided to give me time and a half.

Anyway, if you feel like you can work answer the phone. If not just say, I'm doing work for school or whatever.

groovy jeff, RN

Specializes in Telemetry & PCU. 348 Posts

this is the word track that you use when they call: " i would if i could, but i can't today." this lets them know that you are a team player and you want to work, just not today.



Specializes in Obs & gynae theatres. 144 Posts

Yeah, baby!

I would say it in a slurred speech just to sound believable and when the inevitable question comes "but it's only 9 am!" then "but it's 5 o'clock somewhere...." Cheers!


If it's 9am tell them you just got in :yeah:

wolfhound lover

wolfhound lover

4 Posts

If you do not take care of yourself you will not be able to take care of anyone, don't answer. Once they know you are likely to come in you are the first to call..... don't answer or learn to say sorry, no. They actually do understand and they will respect you more for it in the long run.

Yosemite, RN

Yosemite, RN, ASN, EMT-I

Specializes in Med./Surg., Diabetes, Med. ICU, home hea. Has 35 years experience. 194 Posts

I'm certainly not going to speak for other parts of the state or country, but in Central to Northern California (where EVERYONE knows there's a "nursing shortage" -yeah, right!), I'm seeing a trend in job postings for "full time" positions (those in themselves are getting rare). More and more I'm seeing as part of job description is something to the effect "Must be available for overtime," "must be available for short notice," ect.

With the "nursing shortage" (i.e. nurses flocking from all over the world to work here and new grads being churned out at an ever increasing amount that can't find work) and the economy, it's an employer's market. Those of us that can still easily "just say no" or "screen calls" enjoy it while you can. Change is coming to you soon.



Specializes in Psychiatric, MICA. Has 4 years experience. 1 Article; 103 Posts

Just say no. The stress is a perspective - do you have trouble saying no?




10 Posts

Wow, what a crazy world are living in today. Someone is literally whining about getting phone calls to come in to work when some people can't even find ANY job. Listen, quit your whining and don't answer your phone. Simple solution. Problem solved. Are you going to school for nursing? How will handle bigger stress? Sigh....

It's not a simple solution. I've been there and the calls came in a 3 and 4 a.m. Just because I have a job does not mean I can't also have some sleep. The problem is, if you agree to come in just once then they think you might. I used to work 12 hour shifts and would tell the night supervisor ahead of time- don't call me, I'm off tomorrow and I'm not coming in.