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On Call policies

Posted

So, I got a wonderful job in Portland that I love, except the on call policies give me anxiety and make me kind of angry.

-If you are placed on call, you have to report to work within half an hour of being called in.

-On call lasts all day, and if you are called in within an hour of the start of the shift you are not given on call pay.

-If you get sent home, it is on standby, and you might drive all the way home just to get called back in.

My issue with this is that you are essentially giving up an entire day where you can't do anything but yet you don't get paid (on call pay amounts to something like $3 and hour). Also, I think it is extremely unrealistic to expect someone to come in within half an hour, with getting dressed, Portland's traffic, and parking. So I am curious if this is the standard among all the hospitals up here? What are your on call policies?

NurseSpeedy, ADN, LPN, RN

Has 19 years experience.

Does everyone have to take on call? That policy wouldn't have worked for me, I've always lived about an hour from my place of employment. I'd need a private jet to get there in less than 30 minutes.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

30 minutes and a paltry $2/hr is the norm in the OR where I work (not Oregon). Same for ER, cath lab, and all other procedural areas. For those who live beyond the 30 minute window, they will stay either in a hotel, with another coworker, or in the break room. Not sure how it works in nonprocedural units.

Yes everyone has to take on call, if you live far away apparently you can tell them when they put you on call how long it will take you to get there and they will decide if that works for them. That actually brings up another point- they put people on call based on how much on call time you have worked, not how many hours you've been on call. For instance, if you were at home on call for 12 hours, but didn't get called in, it'd still be your turn the next day, until you logged some of the expensive (time and a half) on call pay.

That is crazy, but I kind of get it for those type of jobs where someone needs emergent surgery. I work on a regular inpatient unit, and quite honestly they can get by for an hour (a more reasonable on call window in my opinion) till someone comes in.