Night nurses - being asked to come in on your night off


Where I work, I will always be asked to come in on my night off. A lot of the time when I see a call from my hospital, I don't answer because I already know what they're going to ask, and I feel so guilty about saying no.

Today I got asked to come in, and I said no and the staffing person asked, "So you're not available?" and I replied no, and she asked, "You're not available at all?" And again I replied no.

Well, it's not like I have anything to do tonight except sleep. Jeez. But I do know that some nurses go to work when they are asked and I wonder how they deal with that. I just switched back to a normal sleep schedule. How am I supposed to go back without getting any sleep?

Do-over, ASN, RN

1,085 Posts

Specializes in CICU.

For me, it is very very simple. If I want to work, I say "yes". If I don't want to work, I say "no". I say no 99.99999% of the time. Either answer is 100% acceptable.

If they badger you about it, don't answer, or say no and hang up.


82 Posts

I just feel like staffing doesn't understand. I've been awake all day. How am I supposed to go to work? And it took me a whole day to switch my sleep pattern over. Grrr.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 43 years experience.

It is not that they don't understand ....they just want it staffed. Just say no.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

same is true with day peopl. They might have stayed up half the night. Just say no and let it go

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

Agreed. Staffing the unit is not your job. The staffing office doesn't need to understand, and you don't need to feel guilty for sleeping on your night off. If the act of saying "no" and listening to any reply other than "Thanks, just thought I'd check. Have a good night!" gives you even one twinge of guilt, don't even answer your phone on your day off. It's ok! You don't have to be a "yes" woman/"yes" man!

If you do have to answer "You're reeeeeally not available?" again, I would just say "That is what I said. Have a good day!"