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Need your thoughts about night shift call


Specializes in L&D, OR, travel. Has 37 years experience.

:typing About 5% of our OR staff RNs and techs live more than 1 hour away from the hospital. They put in their required call after their scheduled shift. Due to some staff fluctuations we all have to do some night shift call now. This has become a huge problem and those staff have to stay somewhere in the city or in the hospital for their call shift. We are thinking about exempting them from the night call. In return they would have to "give" something else, like maybe an extra weekend or holiday or something else. Anybody have an idea? A problem for anyone else? This has been a huge dis-satisfier for our team members, and a change from when they were hired. Would love to get some thoughts from the great forum here.

Deb in Lousville


Specializes in O.R., ED, M/S.

Unless something changed from when they were hired they should be required to take their required night call. I know of no OR that would allow the staff to be more than 15-30 minutes away. yes, they will have to stay in town or the hospital. I think they are getting the good end of the stick whereas everyone else is getting the shaft! Nothing has changed therefore these individuals should be responsible.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 15 years experience.

The hospital I work at owns many of the houses around, and the OR has an apartment in one that those on call who live more than 30 minutes away can stay there. It's also nice for days where it's snowing and the roads are impassable for anyone to stay in. Would that be an option?

As for whether they should be exempt, I think that would be a morale killer and there could be potential abuse of the system if those over 30 min away aren't required to take call. The system we have for call is one eight hour shift per week, not including your assigned weekends. It can be any combination of a full shift either 2nd or 3rd, or it can be 4 hour blocks. Those who don't sign up for call are assigned whatever's left. We don't have a system of who gets to sign up first- it's first come first choice. Night call is not mandated if you fulfill the 8hr requirement elsewhere. We also have a marker board where people can post when they're on call if they want to get rid of it.


Specializes in L&D, OR, travel. Has 37 years experience.

Poet, Looks like you have a few nice ideas working in your OR ie a marker board and ROOMS for staff to spend the night. We could look into a room perhaps. This is an additional call that's been recently added, since these staff have been hired - those living far away. We had a stable night team that has changed their status.

Your point about a morale killer is important, we definitely don't want to add that. Part of the job working in the OR, though is call......Just tough, for the staff who are 2 and 3 hours away, and this is now an ADDitional part of their job.


Why not hire new grads on the condition that they are willing to work night shift? Train them for a year on day shift and then switch them to nights.

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