Comparing Wages in the OR setting - page 3

I work in a small town ambulatory surgery center.There are only five of us nurses. 4 Rn's and 1 LPN. The patients who come in only receive conscious sedation. We have no general anesthesia. My... Read More

  1. by   ~FloridaCCRN~
    Originally posted by mmckinneyrn
    I want to go to CA and work with Mike!
    Me too!
    As a staff nurse in the Great Cheap state of Alabama I made a (hold your breath) a whopping 16.00 and hour and 5.00 for call
    As a traveler
    Nebraska: 32.00 plus all housing and travel paid (I fly in from Egypt business class) and call of 16.00 and hour ( I take all the call they want to give) sure Ill hold a beeper for chits and giggles
    plus a ending bonus of 1000.00 from the hospital and 1000.00 from the company
    California: 32.00 hour and all housing and usual stuff plus same travel package as stated before and I flew from South Africa
    10.00 call pay an hour
    All of this is the OR and I do all cases , I specailize in Cardio-thorasics but I can circulate and scrub any case that happens in the OR from Ortho, Hearts,Gen,Gyno, and trauma...
    Other countries well there another story all together....
    After my first assignment and I got my first paycheck I almost had a stroke.... I called the company and told them that there had to be a mistake , because my first check was more than what I had made a month humping it in Bama
  3. by   Shevalove
    Wow KC Chick you can go right into the OR out of school??? I haven't seen anything like that in my area.
  4. by   dindy
    This is for Poopsiebear, where in PA are you working and what are the working conditions there? I am looking for a good place to work in the OR. Please let me know!!!
  5. by   heartholder
    I went into the OR right out of school. The orientation is longer for new graduates now. It was six months for me. it is now a nine month orientation for new grads. and 3 months for nurses with experience. I love the OR and have never worked in any other part of the hospital. But a part of me has always wondered about working in the units or ER. what do you all think, can I do it?? I have been a nurse since 91. and have done nothing but OR, but I have done some traveling.
    Last edit by heartholder on Aug 25, '02
  6. by   chartleypj
    It looks like salary is driven in part by the general cost of living in a particular part of the country. Here, south of Boston, an RN with 25 years+ of experience makes about $33.00 / hr. Call pay is currently approximately $5.00 / hr with time and one half regular salary when called in. ( 2 hour minimum paid for that). The facility has a union (thank goodness). I ask myself every day whether or not the salary is worth the stress of dealing with poor management, low morale and lack of teamwork.
    Do any of you still feel as passionately about your work yet feel the same frustrations on a daily basis?
  7. by   heartholder
    OH yea in the south. wages are LOW. I am a nurse with 11 years experience and at my hospital (which is the only one in East Tennessee) top wages for a RN is a whopping $19.24 /hour with $20 an 8 hour shift call pay. we have voted down the last contract offer. because of mandatory overtime and lack of staff. Management is poor and yes there is a lack of teamwork also. I love what I do but get so frustrated on a daily basis. I hate the bull****. I am one of the lucky ones, I now work occasionial ie: 4 days a week. and I get premium pay. an extra $5 /hour.
  8. by   Rottie1
    I have been in the OR for 4 years now, getting $19.86 an hour with $1.50/hr for call, which can range from 1 night a week to 4 nights a week, we average 1 1/2 weekends in a six week period. Our call pay is stopped if we go in to work. We only get time and a half if we are over 40 hrs in a 1 week period. Brand new nurses coming into the OR get aroun $14 and change an hour. plus of course everyone gets some kind of sign on bonus, but then you are stuck there for however many years you signed on. They do offer a tuition assistance, as an incentive but that is pretty much it. not too much to brag about.
  9. by   stevierae
    Originally posted by Esther
    I have been in the OR for 4 years now, getting $19.86 an hour with $1.50/hr for call, which can range from 1 night a week to 4 nights a week, we average 1 1/2 weekends in a six week period. Our call pay is stopped if we go in to work. We only get time and a half if we are over 40 hrs in a 1 week period. Brand new nurses coming into the OR get aroun $14 and change an hour. plus of course everyone gets some kind of sign on bonus, but then you are stuck there for however many years you signed on. They do offer a tuition assistance, as an incentive but that is pretty much it. not too much to brag about.
    On-call pay should be HALF- TIME, period!!! Call-in should be time and one half, with a 4 hour minimum.

    This $1.50, $2.00 an hour thing you guys are settling for is ludicrous.

    Do you think any of your management types would settle for that pittance? I wonder what THEY get for being "OR supervisor on call" for the weekends--and when do they ever get called in? NEVER!! Most Or nurses are glad to be free of their lazy a**es and have some autonomy in their rooms when they have to work weekends.

    Not only that, but I'll bet you are all doing elective cases on the weekends. The call crew should be for EMERGENCIES ONLY. If there are truly enough elective cases to warrant a weekend schedule, then there should be a 7 day elective schedule, rotating staff, or staffed with people who like to work weekends and have 2 days off during the week. Those people should also get a weekend shift differential.

    How would you feel if you had to bring your child in unconscious with an acute epidural hematoma--or your father with a ruptured AAA--and the surgery had to be delayed BECAUSE THE CALL CREW WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ELECTIVE LAP CHOLE!!!!

    Guaranteed, this scenario has and will happen one day--perhaps not to a family member, but to you weekend call nurses who, while doing an elective case, get an urgent call from CT scan saying they have a ruptured AAA who will die if he isn't brought into surgery RIGHT AWAY!!!

    That is a lawsuit waiting to happen against your hospitals.

    Think about it. Your time is as valuable as the next person's. You are worth more than $2 an hour, regardless of WHERE you live.

    And STAND UP regarding elective weekend cases and refuse to do them anymore, when you are on call for emergencies, in the interest of good patient care. Call is meant to deal with EMERGENCY cases during non-opoerational hours. Go to the media, if need be--they would LOVE to hear what might just happen at a hospital set up for 24 hour "emergency" surgery.

    Also, call pay is traditionally calculated SEPARATELY from the normal workweek. It shouldn'tMATTER how many hours you worked during the week, or even if you worked AT ALL during the week--call-in is call-in, period, and needs to be paid at time and a half!!! It should NOT count toward hours worked in a 40 hour work week!!

    Check with your state labor boards, and lobby to get some archaic work related laws changed!!! You deserve better treatment!
    Last edit by stevierae on Aug 27, '02
  10. by   Rottie1
    Exactly! We do elective cases on saturday (supposedly only on saturday), and there have been times when an emergency comes in whether it is an appy or a crani, at that point we call in the back up crew. We have a seperate heart call crew also and there have been times when another surgeon wants to do a CABG so what do those folks do - call all their buddies and see if anyone wants to volunteer to come in - and they gather enough people willing to come in. The surgeons always treaten to tell administration that we are not doing their cases and then we hear it from them.
    One day I was in charge for a while, (before I had to do my own case - on a weekday) and a heart surgeon wanted to add something, I told him he could go AFTER the cabg that was going that would be 1730. Later after someone else was in charge I get a call from administration telling me that I should call some people in to do the case, I told them there was no one, people were ill or whatever. Next thing I know they called the front desk where someone else was in charge and told them that we had to do the case! Guess what he said - Okay. So they did it with a partial heart team and some others.
    If a surgeon calls and wants to put something on we have basically been told that we cant say no. even if we keep tagging on cases at the bottom of the schedule, our OR is supposed to be closed to elective cases at 2100. We have done Lap Choles and fx hips starting after 2100. And most of the time the call crew has been at work since 0630.
    We have asked them to close a room for staffing shortages and the director is the one that says "oh no, they won't go for that, the OR is the money maker" We will see how many rooms they close after 4 or more nurses leave within the next couple of months.
    I also wonder why patients don't refuse to have their surgery after 4pm, they should know that the surgeon has probably been up for some time now and who knows how much sleep he or she has had the night before.
    I will check out those labor laws and see if there is something we can do for all the nurses there.
    Thanks for the feedback.
  11. by   stevierae
    Good for you, Esther.

    I know--what do these admin types and surgeons think, that a second crew will just materialize out of nowhere on a weekend? especially when they are getting paid NOTHINg, virtually?

    Not only that, but don't they realize people have LIVES on weekends? Apparently not.

    They don't seem to realize that people may want to take kids to soccer or baseball games and ACTUALLY WATCH THEM.

    They don't seem to realize that some people want to barbecue, have drinks, and socilaize with friends.

    They don't seem to realize that most nurses don't have nannies and cleaning ladies like they do, that child care is expensive, and that the weekend is the only time to catch up with children and housework.

    Nowadays, most people don't even bother to answer their phones; they just let their machines pick up. Or else, if they are unfortunate enough to pick up the phone, they tell whoever is calling that they have just had 3 or 4 drinks and wouldn't feel safe driving in, let alone delivering patient care.

    That way, they don't have to deal with the standard guilt trip laid on them by management on Monday morning:

    "How would YOU feel if that was YOUR family member that they couldn't find a second crew for?"

    Oh, please!!! These managers need to get up the ba**s to say firmly to these surgeons:

    "The weekend call crew is to be called for emergencies ONLY. My staff has my support and my permission to refuse to do any case which obviously could wait to be scheduled as an elective case, when the schedule permits."

    This practice of allowing only the surgeon to determine what constitutes an emergency needs to stop. We are intelligent professionals, and we are only too aware of how "emergent" these cases truly are.
  12. by   Rottie1
    Well, yesterday we (director, clinical coordinator, 5 area specialists) had a talk with the head of the OR. We told him all about how we are unhappy with the measly call pay ($1.50/hr), too much time spent at work and not enough pay. Two of our nurses have signed on w/an agency and have given their 2 week notice. He was (or at least seemed) interested in our suggestions:
    1. Call pay should be 1/2 of our salary per hour
    2. Do not take away any call pay just because we have been called in
    3. Hire a weekend crew so we don't have to be on call on weekends
    4. Pay us time and a half when we do come out regardless if we have worked 40 hours that week or not

    Well, it all sounded good and of course he seemed to hear us and acted as if he were going to do something about it. But I won't be holding my breath. As a matter of fact I have been checking with some agencies for local work.
    Oh, well he did say he was trying to get the call pay increased sooner than January but it will be only $3/hr.
    They just don't understand. I am sure he is happy getting a nice fat paycheck every two weeks - so he doesn't see any problems.
  13. by   stevierae
    UNIONIZE!!! Form your own union, if need be.

    Did you ask him what HE makes for being "O.R. supervisor on the weekends" while you are the ones actually in there WORKING?

    Is call mandatory if you go per diem? If it isn't, and you won't lose needed benefits, you might consider going per diem.

    Then, when they are forced to raise the call pay to a more reasonable figure, due to lack of staff to take call, you can always volunteer to take call--but only if it suits you.

    Or, take a travel position or go registry. You can even do it at your own hospital, assuming they use travelers and registry.

    You can still elect to take call if you want to ---but you can negotiate what you are willing to work for, and it will be on your terms.

    And, if you do it as a travel assignment, you get a tax-free housing allowance.

    When they start running out of staff RNs to take call because you are all defecting, they'll wise up.

    What is keeping you at this particular facility, Esther?