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I'm feeling very naive, new nurse, no clue how to handle this...

Posted

Specializes in Hospice. Has 10 years experience.

I live in a very, very small town that has a LTCU attached directly to the hospital. It's an absolutely beautiful place to work. The nurse to pt. ratio is very low (10:1), our DNS is very nice and it's just a very caring, awesome place to be.

I just graduated in August and was hired as a new grad the week after I graduated. I was informed that I am PRN because (verbatim) they "don't want to have to pay for benefits." I know this is typical and I'm not complaining, even though it's a VERY poor business ethic imo, but most of the nurses are classified as PRN, but our schedules are made 1 month in advance.

Again, my DNS is VERY VERY nice, but we had a long discussion when I was hired about the fact that I cannot work evening shift as 2:00-10:00p.m. is the time that my kids are home after school, and I'm a single mom. She was SO EXCITED! Because they have a nurse who's husband got orders to Germany that works nights and I can just take over her nights when she leaves. That way I'm always home with my kids when they aren't at school or sleeping.

I'm suddenly now scheduled for the entire month of December on evening shift. Another girl who failed her boards, was fired because of it, and was allowed to come back after she passed, was given the night shift. She has no children.

None of this is my bosses problem, but frankly I'm angry because I'm being taken advantage of. I showed up at work and had to bring my girls with me because I needed to pick something up, and 1 of the nurses heard I was there, called me on the radio, and had me do an NG tube with my kids in the day room with an aide. She wants me to come back to work at 6 tonight.

Earlier today I wasn't scheduled to work at all, and they penciled me in, pretended that I was scheduled the whole time, and told me I had to come and assist with wound care. I've set a precedent of doing whatever I'm asked, when ever I'm asked, and now I'm being pushed into choosing between my kids and my job.

The kicker is that the town I live in is so small, I have to drive 50 miles in either direction for another job that pays less, if I want anything else.

So I guess I'm asking, exactly how do I approach my boss about her going back on her word. I guess I'm venting a little too because I'm livid that I'm stuck in the middle of a popularity contest, and I feel like the hospital wants it both ways. They want the convenience of not having to guarantee PRN nurses anything, along with being able to have us at their disposal without regard to us. I was left stranded the day of a big college football game last weekend because EVERY SINGLE NURSE called off for 32 hours and NO ONE would come in because they were all at the game. Even the DNS said..."you know you can work up to 20 hours before we have to let you go home by law. I can't come in, I'm at the game."

:angryfire:crying2:

When the DNS says the last comment that you put in your post, you know it is time to consider looking elsewhere. Sooner or later you will find it necessary to drive that 50 miles or make other arrangements. You have to do something about this or be able to keep yourself from seething over the fact that you are being messed over.

HeyHeyitsMaay

Specializes in Hospice. Has 10 years experience.

The first lesson I'm learning is that if I don't figure out the art of asserting myself in the correct, healthy, productive and mature way, I won't last a year in nursing.

I apologize for dumping this on all of you. I just felt like it was time to ask for advice from someone wiser than me when I found myself running down the hall in 5 inch boots with my children watching from the day room looking for a stethoscope to auscultate for placement.

You and I both know that was wrong. When your children are waiting in the dayroom you are not supposed to be at work. If it was your idea to get around childcare responsibilities you know they would have been down your throat about it.

nyteshade

Specializes in A lil bit of this and a lil bit of that. Has 18 years experience.

I think you need to research what the federal gov says about keeping you 20 hours. Run from this place!!! If they screw you on this, I'd hate to see how they throw nurses to the wolves when survey is there. Also, when you are off the clock, why are you working? There maybe liability associated with this...

HeyHeyitsMaay

Specializes in Hospice. Has 10 years experience.

I had my children waiting at the front of the hospital in a waiting room for me. They were sent to the day room to be with the other kids that were in the LTCU this evening for activities. My kids have never been to work with me. I had to go pick up the bag I left earlier. I think perhaps, I REALLY need to learn how to be assertive quickly. I shouldn't be asked to work when I come pick up something I left behind on my shift.

It's funny that you say that about the kids, because an aide brought her kids to sit in the break room with her one day while she did some paperwork and the boss embarrassed her in front of everyone for it and told her to go home.

You have an excellent point.

ktwlpn, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

Our perdiem staff have no requirements-no weekend or holiday rotations.They are also sometimes scheduled weeks in advance (to fill holes in the schedule) In the future make sure you get everything in writing-including your shift availibility. Also ask for a hard copy of your schedule.Then they can't play with you( -well,in some states they CAN) but you have to do what is best for yourself and your family. NOt much you can do now except make it clear to your DON that unless she sticks with your original verbal agreement you will be giving notice-and be prepared to do so.There are plenty of nurses around that will take prn

sethmctenn

Specializes in Holistic and Aesthetic Medicine.

I'd just be very straightforward with your boss...

If your boss is very very nice, just be openminded and straightforward.

"I'm having an issue and wonder if you have any ideas about how it can be resolved" Keep it non accusatory about her changing things up on you. Just be open and honest with her and give her the opportunity to come through. Maybe you won't be disappointed in her. If you start super nice (which it sounds like suits your personality), you always have someplace to go if you need to be more assertive about it.

RNsharkinaj

Specializes in medical-surgical. Has 2 years experience.

Please look for a better place to work, if what youre saying is true, nurses should never have to jeodardize their license caring for patients in a place that will not support appropriate working conditions.

Upon hiring did you and your boss put into writing the hours you could work and the ones you couldn't? I had to learn to do this the hard way. With every job, upon hiring, I get everything in writing and try to communicate with mgmt so that everything can be verified later. PRN or no PRN, if you were promised something at jump and have documentation of it, I would definitely fight. Not literally, lol, but very professionally. Don't give ultimatums or threats

:no:. Maybe start by writing a letter and being very assertive. "If you don't stand up for something, you'll fall for anything". If you're going strictly off verbal agreement I would reference that conversation and explain what you were promised and what you promised them. But choose your battles. Is it worth it right now to push for this issue? Jobs are pretty scarce. Is the shift just not doable? Is it your pride that's making you upset because you were lied to....or are your values really being threatened?

It sucks you're getting this treatment and I understand where you're coming from..Im like a single mom also.

It is however a little disturbing that nurses would "abandon" patients to go to a football game though. ALL of them went you say?? Hmmm, I don't think I could work in such unethical environment...but then again who would be the 1 to give the patients real, compassionate care?

Well I hope everything works out. good luck

When the DNS says the last comment that you put in your post, you know it is time to consider looking elsewhere. Sooner or later you will find it necessary to drive that 50 miles or make other arrangements. You have to do something about this or be able to keep yourself from seething over the fact that you are being messed over.

I absolutely agree. The last comment was just **shudders**...arrgh.

greenbeanio

Specializes in mental health. Has 3 years experience.

I'd just be very straightforward with your boss...

If your boss is very very nice, just be openminded and straightforward.

"I'm having an issue and wonder if you have any ideas about how it can be resolved" Keep it non accusatory about her changing things up on you. Just be open and honest with her and give her the opportunity to come through. Maybe you won't be disappointed in her. If you start super nice (which it sounds like suits your personality), you always have someplace to go if you need to be more assertive about it.

That's how I would do it. No blame - just here's the difficulty I'm running into - can you help me figure out how to resolve it?

kimima01

Specializes in telemetry, ortho, med-surg.

I really feel for you :(. I hope things work out for the best.

Ginger's Mom, MSN, RN

Has 41 years experience.

You are PRN, when the schedule is a time you can't work just say you are not available, of course you may not get any hours but that is what PRN is about.

Second, Never practice nursing while you are off the clock, your co worker was wrong and you were wrong to help. If she was having issues I would offer to call for back up....that is all you are required to do.

Last you are low man on the totem poll, you must be a team player you need them more than you they need you.

Best of luck, you sound like a very caring person, as a mother you have to set limits, this is also true at work.

CapeCodMermaid, RN

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health. Has 30 years experience.

Sorry to hear you're having such a rotten time. As far as I know, and I've been doing this for eons, you can't work more than 16 hours straight unless it's a true emergency...and football games DON'T count! As a PRN nurse you should expect to work all sorts of shifts, but if you can't you can't. Have an honest discussion with your DNS. Tell her you love your job, but your kids come first and if you can't work evenings, you can't work evenings. And to echo someone else's advice...don't work off the clock...why did YOU have to do the wound care?

cowboy up

Specializes in geriatric/long term care. Has 16 years experience.

Ma'am your DON might be very nice to your face but believe me when i tell you this. Behind that sweet smile and those tender words beats the cold blooded heart of a reptile who WILL THROW YOU UNDER THE BUS THE FIRST OPPURTUNITY SHE GETS!!! This "person" has no integrity, no morals she has already lied to you she has already deceived you and I doubt talking to her will do any good. I would leave that place immediatly before that "person" costs you your license. God bless you and your family:twocents: