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How many days off are appropriate?

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by RNathome2010 RNathome2010 (New) New

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SDALPN specializes in Peds(PICU, NICU float), PDN, ICU.

997 Posts; 16,260 Profile Views

It is not unprofessional to choose the days you don't want to work. Its part of the job. You can't compare this job to any other job. There is no comparison. What is unprofessional is repeated call outs, showing up late repeatedly, and convincing the family to let nurses leave early. Most of the nurses here may work full time hours, but your company lists you as part time or per diem or some variation of that. Yes most jobs don't have this benefit, but this isn't most jobs. I will gladly cover a call out or switch shifts with a nurse if I'm available. But if a nurse has constant call outs, I'll let the family deal with that. If a nurse chooses many days off, that is their personal business...not mine or the family's business. Not everyone needs 40 hours a week. I work my shifts and mind my business when it comes to other nurses schedules and private life. That is crossing boundaries when you get concerned with the personal business of a coworker.

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5 Posts; 584 Profile Views

It is not unprofessional to choose the days you don't want to work. Its part of the job. You can't compare this job to any other job. There is no comparison...... Not everyone needs 40 hours a week.

Why can't you compare this to other jobs, and other universal standards of work ethic?

And if you don't need 40 hrs, why essentially "hold" 40 hrs / week with a stable schedule, while routinely working less?

And I am not concerned with my coworkers private affairs. I'm questioning the standards in this industry.

Edited by RNathome2010

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SDALPN specializes in Peds(PICU, NICU float), PDN, ICU.

997 Posts; 16,260 Profile Views

So if you want to compare other jobs....I guess since other jobs get the 30 min break required by law and the 15 min breaks required by law, we should get the same. So I guess the parent should have to come home from work to allow this or they would need to find nurses to come by for 30 &15 min breaks. And since most jobs allow you to go out for lunch, we should too. Again comparing jobs, few jobs cancel last min. Jobs that do cancel last minute like construction jobs that close for weather, pay their employees a special rate generally for that. We're lucky to get a courtesy call. Few jobs call you at home constantly or while you're on vacation about work related things. This is a unique job. It can't be compared to most jobs. Maybe we should complain that we don't get paid summers off like teachers do...oh wait, that's right, its a different type of job. If you want to compare a different nursing job, look at travel nursing. Nurses work based on contact terms. When they finish the contact, they can choose to go to another assignment or they can take any amount if time off that they want. They can say no, even if that facility really needs a nurse.

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5 Posts; 584 Profile Views

I don't know of any pdn case where the nurse does not get ample downtime including paid meal breaks, even if they're not officially scheduled.

Last minute cancellations do suck. But there's usually the chance to pick up more hours during another shift or at another assignment.

As for the hours, if you don't need 40 hrs why hold then month to month instead of just scheduling for a stable number of fewer hours?

My guess: by committing to being someone's 40hr/week 5-day nurse, you get flexibility to take any if those 5 days off and still get enough pay. Rather than bring held to, say, mon-Thursday -- what if something comes up Tuesday after all? Better tell the family you'll do all the days so you have a backup day.

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maryen has 18 years experience.

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Well said SALPN! Providing Per Diem Private Duty care thru an agency is like no other job and cannot even be compared. Case in point; I took a one on one student school case for a very medically fragile student. I committed to the school year. I was to report at the school at 8:30a and meet her at the school- she didn't ride the bus. All was good for the first 2 weeks then she started missing days due to not feeling well. I was told by my agency to wait until 9a to make sure she was not coming to school and then when it was confirmed that she was not coming, I would receive 1 hour of compensation pay. And the agency often would want me to travel to another school site to provide meds/ Gtube feedings at a visit rate of 1 hour. So I would earn 2 hours pay for the day. No other employment works this way.

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SDALPN specializes in Peds(PICU, NICU float), PDN, ICU.

997 Posts; 16,260 Profile Views

I don't know of any pdn case where the nurse does not get ample downtime including paid meal breaks, even if they're not officially scheduled.

Last minute cancellations do suck. But there's usually the chance to pick up more hours during another shift or at another assignment.

As for the hours, if you don't need 40 hrs why hold then month to month instead of just scheduling for a stable number of fewer hours?

My guess: by committing to being someone's 40hr/week 5-day nurse, you get flexibility to take any if those 5 days off and still get enough pay. Rather than bring held to, say, mon-Thursday -- what if something comes up Tuesday after all? Better tell the family you'll do all the days so you have a backup day.

I've never seen a nurse do that. I've seen unreliable nurses either due to call outs or being consistently late. But I doubt most of them purposely over schedule themselves. You don't know what the nurse has arranged with the agency. Maybe they have an agreement to take a Fri off every month, but work the other Fridays. I still think that is between the nurse and agency as not the business of other nurses or the family. The agency never promised a family a regular nurse on a set schedule.

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JustBeachyNurse has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics.

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Any per diem job you are not guaranteed hours. No availability = no work. The more you call out less likely you are to be called in.

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SDALPN specializes in Peds(PICU, NICU float), PDN, ICU.

997 Posts; 16,260 Profile Views

Oh, and for the ample down time...not all cases offer that. Many higher skilled cases are really that busy. Doesn't matter if we stay busy or not. The law is the law. I have stopped to suction, change a diaper, take care of a pt having a seizure, etc while eating lunch...that isn't a break. Also the continuous monitoring isn't a break.

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JustBeachyNurse has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 13,944 Posts; 99,846 Profile Views

Oh, and for the ample down time...not all cases offer that. Many higher skilled cases are really that busy. Doesn't matter if we stay busy or not. The law is the law.

There is no law regarding breaks on the federal level. Just that if you work through/during or are on duty during your break you must be paid.

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SDALPN specializes in Peds(PICU, NICU float), PDN, ICU.

997 Posts; 16,260 Profile Views

There is no law regarding breaks on the federal level. Just that if you work through/during or are on duty during your break you must be paid.

Ok, maybe its just my state. My state requires a 30 min break and 2 15 min breaks for an 8hr shift. When I've worked at facilities, we were forced to take a break so the law wouldn't be broken.

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JustBeachyNurse has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 13,944 Posts; 99,846 Profile Views

Ok, maybe its just my state. My state requires a 30 min break and 2 15 min breaks for an 8hr shift. When I've worked at facilities, we were forced to take a break so the law wouldn't be broken.

Yes some states have such a law. The only federal mandate is if you do any work on your break you must be paid

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415 Posts; 5,158 Profile Views

I get zero benefits working PDN.

Having the flexibility to take any time off I need/want (with plenty of advance notice) is the reason that I do PDN.

Without that "benefit", PDN would not be worth it to me.

I am taking 2 1/2 weeks (unpaid, of course) off this summer, and I feel zero guilt for it. I am a good worker and show up for all of my scheduled shifts otherwise.

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