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Just when does a shift end???


Specializes in SNF.

I work in a Skilled Nursing Facility from 7am to 3:30pm. The shift after me comes in at 3pm. I finish charting etc when that nurse comes in. Sometimes I am there until 4:30, (actually most times!) because a doctor has come in at 2:55 or earlier with a ton of orders, and the phone is ringing off the hook. Am I supposed to stay and finish orders if they come in on MY shift, even if it's at the end of it? The DON if she answers the phone, passes it to me, even if it's 3:45pm!!! I don't care about the overtime, I care more about getting home to my son. Please, some personal experiences or input.

augigi, CNS

Specializes in Critical Care, Cardiothoracics, VADs. Has 10 years experience.

That text is quite impossible to read.

In places I've worked, we are not covered by insurance if we're off the clock. I finish when my shift is over and my notes are written. Anything else, someone else can do.

Different facilities have different policies. Where I work, the policy is that you have to clock out within 7 minutes of your scheduled workday. I work at an Assisted Living Facility, and usually everything gets done during shift. I would ask your management what their policies are or maybe another nurse that you work with to see what they do.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

If the doctor is making his/her rounds and writing orders after 3 o'clock, I would simply delegate them to the oncoming nurse.


Specializes in geriatric, hospice, med/surg. Has 26 years experience.

At a skilled LTC I use to work we had the simple rule of fifteen minutes.

If an order was received by first shift by 2:45 pm then that shift took care of implementing the new order, taking the order off, beginning whatever the order was, and the second shift started their orders for 2:46 pm until 10:45 pm, then third shift was responsible for the orders on their shift starting at 10:46 pm until 6:45 a.m....a house rule initiated by the D.O.N. It clarified which shifts would stop with new orders so that they could then finish their charting, etc. before leaving the unit...otherwise you have no definitive times for staying over regarding new orders....afternoon admissions were started by first shift, continued by second shift...for example if a new admission arrived on the unit at 2:00 pm, the first shift nurse could in no way finish that admission even tho' it was on her clock, shift wise. It was understood she couldn't possibly be held there until admission was complete which usually takes about 2 hours.


Specializes in Hospice. Has 11 years experience.

I've also worked in SNF as CN and know exactly what you are going through.Just try your best to proritize . I would at least try to have my daily charting and last rounds done by the time the next shift arrived so that I would be ready to give report to the oncoming charge nurse. If a doctor had made rounds during the last half hour of my shift and there were new orders to be noted, carried out, etc., I would simply tell the next nurse that I didn't have time to start on the new orders and, of course,include this in my report to the oncoming nurse. This was a policy that worked well at our facility.Remember, nursing is 24 hr care. Ensure that your residents are safe, comfortable, and their immediate needs met. By reporting off to the oncoming nurse you will allow yourself time to finish up any charting etc., while the other nurse takes "responsibility" for the floor. Of course, I would be avaliable to assist staff if needed while I finished my shift, but ultimately this way allowed me to get off on time in most cases. Remember--TEAMWORK. Hope this helps.

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