On-Call and other related concerns

Nurses General Nursing


I am currently the"Nursing Supervisor" of a large facility that serves children and Adults with Developmental Disabilities/Behavoral difficulties. We serve well over 150 clients in residential settings, as well as a main campus that includes 4 secure units . I am the only full time RN. I have one full time LPN and one 10 hour a week RN that basically does paperwork for 5 of the Group Homes. I am really a Nurse Director without the pay or the Control. My boss is a "Clinical Director" who is a behavoral psychologist. I could write chapters about the frustrations that myself and the Nurses who work "for me" live with 24/7! But I do have a specific issue that I am hoping someone can enlighten me on from their experience or expertise. I get telephone calls 24/7 from any and all the units and residential staff. The LPN that works most closely with me gets a few calls as well. I also was given an Alpha Numeric Pager. I have had a pager for the entire 5 and 1/2 years of working for this Facility. I do not get on-call pay, and am not considered "on the clock" at any time while not at work. I am concerned about both the liability issues, as well as where does my responsibility to this agency stop, and to my own well-being begin. I find this type of nursing very challenging and rewarding, I must add, however, I have been seriously looking to leave the current situation. It is not my greatest desire to walk away from the clients I serve, or almost 6 years of sweat and tears. Please, can anyone offer any suggestions, or views on my current situation? PS: My position is salaried, and I have worked my way up from 14/hr to almost 21/hr over these years.


I would like to commend you for working in that area first and foremost, so I would hate for a nurse to leave that avenue due to the fact that the pay isn't that great and many are out for the money. I'm still pretty new at this. But, I would like to say that when I took my second job as a Unit Manager in a nursing home and it required on-call days , who ever had the beeper was paid for the entire time they had it. We would get $50.00/day. Normally the only time you got it was on weekends. Maybe they need to do a roatinal thing with your beeper. Maybe you should look into asking one of your part-time RN's that has been there a while if she/he would like to share the responsibility of the pager and being on-call. But, just be prepared to pay that particular person for there time. I hope this helps some. I know that it is hard on the RN in those types of agencies because they don't staff as hospital's and nursing homes do so it makes your job that much more difficult, especially when you receive every call about every problem.

Honey, you are being screwed without a kiss. You should be sharing that beeper with the clinical director. NO ONE should have the beeper 24/7! If he/she refuses to share (because he's not a nurse), they need to hire another nurse. I have worked for several agencies requiring carrying a beeper. The going rate is $2/hr. and minimum pay for two to three hours if you are called out. In essence, you don't have any days off! Your situation is unconscionable! I don't know how it works in your state, but my bet is that there are big bucks being paid for each patient you serve. Granted, this population is very expensive to provide for, but I would be interested in what the clinical psych makes and,is this a for-profit organization? Take a few of those hours you spend advocating for your patients and spend them advocating for yourself. I know money is not your foremost concern, but what they are paying you is insulting. Your first responsibility is to yourself, not to this agency. Family/self/health first, THEN job. Read your post as if someone else wrote it, and write yourself a reply. Good luck!

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