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How far can hospital go?

Nurses   (2,158 Views | 42 Replies)
by RNTX31 RNTX31 (New) New Nurse

RNTX31 has 23 years experience and specializes in Postpartum.

108 Profile Views; 7 Posts

Hi all!  I work on a Postpartum floor that shares the unit with Pediatrics.  We share nothing with each other, except being geographically close.  Recently our Unit Director made the sudden decision to make Postpartum cross train to Pediatrics and they will have to cross train to Postpartum.  The reasoning for this was supposedly “to be fair when it came to taking turns in being put on call/floating and backing each other up”.   (I’m sure it has more to do with saving money by making us work both areas, therefore needing less staff).  Several of us are unhappy about this, having zero desire in becoming a Pediatric or Postpartum nurse, as it applies.  They are completely different fields from each other!  
  My question is, can they do this?  How can it be mandatory to learn a field I was not hired to do and have no interest in learning??  Can I fight it? 
Thanks for any advice/insight.  

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

16 Followers; 3,907 Posts; 42,780 Profile Views

Yes.  They can do this.  As far as I know there is no legislation that spells out how hospitals can arrange their units or modify their job descriptions.  (Actually, I'm sure your job description is intentionally vague with phrases such as "... and other duties as assigned.")

It is also extremely unlikely that your union contract has any language pertaining to how the hospital arranges its units.  It's probably even more unlikely that you have a union contract.

The hospital is doing this no doubt to save money on personnel and alleviate staffing headaches.  They really don't care how much stress this causes you.

Unfortunately, I don't see any options but to embrace it or dust off your resume.

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

3 Followers; 4,501 Posts; 33,763 Profile Views

11 minutes ago, RNTX31 said:

Hi all!  I work on a Postpartum floor that shares the unit with Pediatrics.  We share nothing with each other, except being geographically close.  Recently our Unit Director made the sudden decision to make Postpartum cross train to Pediatrics and they will have to cross train to Postpartum.  The reasoning for this was supposedly “to be fair when it came to taking turns in being put on call/floating and backing each other up”.   (I’m sure it has more to do with saving money by making us work both areas, therefore needing less staff).  Several of us are unhappy about this, having zero desire in becoming a Pediatric or Postpartum nurse, as it applies.  They are completely different fields from each other!  
  My question is, can they do this?  How can it be mandatory to learn a field I was not hired to do and have no interest in learning??  Can I fight it? 
Thanks for any advice/insight.  

Yes, they can do it and it's extremely common. You can "fight it" by finding a position that does not require you to float, but that's about the only way.

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RNTX31 has 23 years experience and specializes in Postpartum.

7 Posts; 108 Profile Views

I was trying to explain to my friend, who is an accountant, that it would be like his boss telling him, “ OK, in addition to your current job, we now want you to go be a math teacher”.  Yes, it’s all numbers, but not the same and not the job you were hired to do! 

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

16 Followers; 3,907 Posts; 42,780 Profile Views

4 minutes ago, RNTX31 said:

I was trying to explain to my friend, who is an accountant, that it would be like his boss telling him, “ OK, in addition to your current job, we now want you to go be a math teacher”.  Yes, it’s all numbers, but not the same and not the job you were hired to do! 

To the hospital administration it is the same.  All those positions require "RN" after your name.  If you stuck an "RN" tag on a mannequin, hospital admin would be fine with that too and Plastic Nurse would be one of your coworkers.  These aren't people who necessarily "get it".

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RNTX31 has 23 years experience and specializes in Postpartum.

7 Posts; 108 Profile Views

😂😂 oh jeez, sad..but SO true!  And no.  They will never get it.  Thanks for responding. 

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5 Followers; 37,760 Posts; 104,853 Profile Views

Just today I was told about a similar situation.  A hospital system has determined that several positions are redundant due to decreases in business.  Specifically, several night shift people at different locations have been told they will have first dibs at openings on days where they are needed.  Of course this is good for those who wanted a day shift job to begin with.  Those who liked it on night shift are out of luck.  If any of these people do not accept the new arrangements, they are out of a job.  The person who told me this said it is justified, because money has been lost while these people have been staring into space on nights with little to nothing to do.  I guess it just depends on how badly one needs a job, any job.  Better to have an offer to transfer than to get a pink slip without so much as bye-bye as you head to the time clock for the last time.

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iluvivt has 32 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion.

2,738 Posts; 25,200 Profile Views

Our union contract does not allow this and only allows nurses to float to "like"units. The one of many benefits of being unionized. If I was in your shoes I would accept the training  if I wanted to keep the job. You never know sometimes it turns out to be a good thing and you might enjoy it.

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EDNURSE20 has 3 years experience as a BSN and specializes in ED, med-surg, peri op.

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I don’t get what the big deal is.

Occassionly floating to peds can’t be that bad!! It not like they making you suddenly work on a rehab floor. It’s An opportunity to learn something new. And you will still be a postpartum nurse! 

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14 Followers; 4,220 Posts; 32,895 Profile Views

2 hours ago, nznurse93 said:

I don’t get what the big deal is.

 

Well, I guess for some the "big deal" would be this light bulb moment where the reality of the inequality of "other duties as assigned" hits home. Given that language, there's never really been any reason to have any expectations about the day-to-day details that are usually of interest to job seekers [where will I be working, what kind of work will I be doing, what are my hours/shift], etc.  These can all be changed and your two choices are like it or don't work there any more. The whole "whatever, whenever" thing is certainly not what the employer conveys when trying to hire someone, though -- they give you some idea of where and when you'll be working and what kind of work you'll be doing with what population. 

In this case, one of the two units is going to have an increase in their called-off days; they are going to help absorb the fact that the employer doesn't currently have enough work for the other unit. I'm guessing it's the OP's unit (PP) that will be looking at increased call-offs when they start taking turns with peds. So, to be clear, that's an increased amount of time sitting at home for pennies on the dollar and/or using one's own PTO which previously did not need to be used to mitigate the employer's personal problems.

2 hours ago, nznurse93 said:

It not like they making you suddenly work on a rehab floor.

And, to be clear, they could do that too and no worker would have any right to be upset. Because worker.

**

To the OP, keep absolutely mum about this (including bemoaning it with your coworkers) since nothing you can say is going to change this. Don't waste your breath, your emotional energy, or your reputation. Check it out and give it a fair try, see how it is, and if you don't like it, leave.

Best of luck~

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience as a ASN, RN.

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This is an opportunity to learn a new specialty. Additional education can only make you a stronger nurse.

 

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amoLucia specializes in LTC.

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Maybe when all this C19 passes, the situation might revert back to its previous status. So it might only be temporary.

Maybe? Ya think?

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