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Keep asking full time staff to do overtime

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by MTRNlove MTRNlove (New) New Nurse

64 Profile Views; 4 Posts

I feel stressed because I have this new job, as a new nurse at a skilled nursing facility. I like the work, the ratios are good, and the other nurses are angels. But I'm upset because scheduling keeps asking the full time nurses to work overtime, come in on their days off. I saw a nurse work doubles Mon-fri, then on her weekend off, she was asked to come in...and so she did. I'm someone who, I just will get sick if I attempt to do that. Plus on my days off I need to take care of my own life, as ofcourse we all do.

I'm off orientation now, only two days and scheduling called me and asked if I can come in. I said no, that I have plans. But I'm not sure how I'm gonna handle frequent requests to come in. This place is set up where if someone calls out, there's no reserve, and then every one gets screwed! 

I would love your thoughts on this. 

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7 Followers; 3,398 Posts; 24,021 Profile Views

Don't answer your phone if the call is from work.

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Orion81RN has 7 years experience.

863 Posts; 8,584 Profile Views

Let them leave a vm and don't call back. You have to set boundaries. Don't feel obligated to give an "excuse." You simply say "I am unable to." It doesn't matter if your plans are to eat potato chips and watch Netflix. You don't need an excuse to not go in on your day off. And don't let them make you feel bad for setting these reasonable boundaries. It's that simple.

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4 Posts; 64 Profile Views

Thank you for your responses, it makes me feel better to hear your advice. 

Leaving it for voicemail I can do, but they will often approach you at work about coming in, and that's gonna be harder for me to do. Im gonna have to practice boundary setting, which has always been difficult for me. Overall, I'm angry to be put in a situation where I have to say no all the time. 

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Animal House R.N. has 23 years experience as a ADN, CNA, LVN and specializes in Geriatircs/Rural Hospitals.

52 Posts; 1,120 Profile Views

Girl this is nursing at it's finest. They will work you till you drop. They are not your friend, (except in rare cases). Their job is to cover the empty shifts.

 

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3 Followers; 37,138 Posts; 98,859 Profile Views

Accommodate them once in a blue moon, when you want to, so nobody can say you aren’t a team player.

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1 Follower; 3,334 Posts; 45,514 Profile Views

I was a house supervisor for five years 11 pm to 7 am, every other weekend, holidays, etc.

The basic staff for each unit was pre-scheduled.  However I had to cover sick calls or unexpected increase in census.  I had to ask currently working  staff if they could stay over, I had to call staff at home if they would come into work.  (This was at 5 - 6 in the morning!)

I don't understand posters thinking ???  what ??? if they just say no.  I am not so callous that I don't know staff have families, need days off, have plans, etc.  I felt bad having to ask.  

Just say no.  Your facility will be forced to hire more staff, hire more per-diem staff, learn to use agency nurses, etc. 

Perhaps your co-workers who say yes need the extra money.  They are not somehow better than you because they say yes.  Of course the schedulers love them.  I knew who would usually say yes, and that was great.  But it didn't mean I thought less of nurses who never said yes!

I thought the ones who always said yes were crazy, and the ones who always said no had their priorities straight!

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llg has 43 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

6 Followers; 13,266 Posts; 59,545 Profile Views

7 hours ago, caliotter3 said:

Accommodate them once in a blue moon, when you want to, so nobody can say you aren’t a team player.

I think this is the best strategy.   Take care of yourself by not saying "Yes" very often -- and only work extra when it truly is OK with you.    But it is a good political idea to say "Yes" occasionally to show people that you a team player.

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verene is a MSN and specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

1,595 Posts; 10,018 Profile Views

Set boundaries you feel comfortable with - you are obligated to work your contracted schedule - you are not obligated to pick up over time. Picking up a little extra now and then (when it works for you) is nice - it makes you look like a team player, and having some extra money for a vacation or big purchase is nice as well. That being said - you are free to say no, let work calls go to VM when you aren't there, or say you have plans (even if those plans are lounging on the couch in your PJs). Staffing generally does not take this personally - they are obligated to ask and to try to fill staffing holes, but they are aware that not everyone will say yes.

It could be staffing is asking some of the these full-time staff because they know these staff are looking for extra hours, or because they know they often say yes. I've had coworkers who've worked a lot of overtime to save up for a big vacation, buy a new car, or down payment on a house, paying off a loan, etc - and who let staffing know they were actively looking for extra shifts. One of my current coworkers will work 6 days per week for 2 months of every year - he does this because it allows him to take 2 months of vacation every year and that ability to globe-trot is worth it to him.

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66 Posts; 732 Profile Views

8 hours ago, verene said:

Set boundaries you feel comfortable with - you are obligated to work your contracted schedule - you are not obligated to pick up over time. Picking up a little extra now and then (when it works for you) is nice - it makes you look like a team player, and having some extra money for a vacation or big purchase is nice as well. That being said - you are free to say no, let work calls go to VM when you aren't there, or say you have plans (even if those plans are lounging on the couch in your PJs). Staffing generally does not take this personally - they are obligated to ask and to try to fill staffing holes, but they are aware that not everyone will say yes.

It could be staffing is asking some of the these full-time staff because they know these staff are looking for extra hours, or because they know they often say yes. I've had coworkers who've worked a lot of overtime to save up for a big vacation, buy a new car, or down payment on a house, paying off a loan, etc - and who let staffing know they were actively looking for extra shifts. One of my current coworkers will work 6 days per week for 2 months of every year - he does this because it allows him to take 2 months of vacation every year and that ability to globe-trot is worth it to him.

I agree with this X 1000. Set boundaries. Too many in our profession do not feel empowered enough to do so. It does not make you less of a nurse to not pick up shifts at your own expense so that administrators improve their bottom line by not hiring enough full time staff.

Edited by egg122 NP

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AnnieNP has 20 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in Adult Primary Care.

1 Follower; 529 Posts; 3,861 Profile Views

Short and sweet answer

"That doesn't work for me".

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3 Followers; 4,606 Posts; 35,972 Profile Views

On 2/7/2020 at 4:37 PM, MTRNlove said:

Thank you for your responses, it makes me feel better to hear your advice. 

Leaving it for voicemail I can do, but they will often approach you at work about coming in, and that's gonna be harder for me to do. Im gonna have to practice boundary setting, which has always been difficult for me. Overall, I'm angry to be put in a situation where I have to say no all the time. 

I know it's hard, but just say no.  Literally say nothing except no.  Don't apologize, don't feel you have to give any reason.  Just say NO and that's it.  It will get easier.  

It sounds like you might wind up having to stay over often enough if no one shows up to relieve you, so don't feel at all that you have to work on your days off or volunteer.

That other nurse is either deeply in debt, made of iron, or afraid of getting fired, or who knows what.  Don't follow her pattern if it is not something you really want to do.

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