On call drive time

Specialties Operating Room


Hey all! This is my first post ever on allnurses! I am really interested in OR nursing but I have a question about on call drive time. How do hiring mgrs,etc figure this? Do they use mapquest or something similar to check your distance from the hospital? I'm just worried because I'm right on the 30 min mark or a couple minutes over according to mapquest and would be heartbroken to find myself disqualified from the OR. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. :D


80 Posts

Specializes in OPERATING ROOM, ICU.

I don't know that they actually use mapquest to check that sort of thing. We are asked how long it takes us to get here should we be called in. When you factor in going a little faster than the speed limit (HaHa) it usually calculates out. At my facility, if you cannot be there within 20 minutes of being called back, you are required to stay either in a call room or rent a motel.

Good luck to you!

Editorial Team / Admin

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,632 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development.

We have to be ready to roll within 30 minutes- changed, on the floor, ready to go back with a patient. No one looks at how far away you live, but we rent an apartment about a block from the hospital that those who are farther away can stay there when on call. Depending on who's on nights, you can get away with being a few extra minutes. We staff one team to cover traumas, but if anything is running, 2 people are called in for backup.


4 Posts

Thanks for your responses. Those options sound promising. Sounds kind of like they leave it to your judgement and expect you to make the arrangements necessary. How often are you on call? A couple nights a week? More? Most of my family lives within 20 min of the hospital. Maybe that would be an option, too (stay over with them when on call).:up:


80 Posts

We also offer rooms for OR staff on-call. Usually call is once a month on the weekend here and one week night call during the week, that's it. But we are a smaller hospital, with only 6 OR rooms.

Staying with a family sounds like a good options. :)


200 Posts

Specializes in 2 years school nurse, 15 in the OR!.

Yes, we have the 30 minute rule as well. Now, we do have a couple of PACU nurses who ask for an hour notice. We call them though...The OR staff stays at the hospital if they can't make it within 30...


67 Posts

I've had a couple of different experiences at hospitals where I've worked.

Experience #1: 20 minute callback time, and we were expected to be there and ready to go in 20 minutes. It was a level 1 Trauma center in a rural area, meaning we got everything within a 2 hour radius, including farming and mining accidents (ugh) and bad MVA's on country backroads. We also did burns and transplants. We stayed super busy, and a trauma there was really a trauma.

Experience #2: 30 minute callback time at another level 1 trauma center, but this time it's one of 6 trauma centers (3 level 1's) in the 8th biggest city in the country. Yes, we get traumas, but it's really pretty laid back, and the regular staff can handle almost anything that rolls through the door until the call team gets there. So if we're a little over the 30 minute mark, no one is going to blink an eye. We also don't do burns, peds, or transplants, so it really cuts back on the number of crash and burns, and get-here-now cases.

I would suggest taking call for a little while with your eye on the clock, then see how things roll at your hospital. If you're at one of those places where time really is tight, then staying with relatives sounds like a good option.


4 Posts

Thanks for all of your responses! Very insightful and makes me feel better about my options.

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