Mandatory Overtime

  1. Just curious--is mandatory overtime to finish scheduled cases an issue at y'all's hospitals? Where I work (20 room OR) in addition to the people on call, there are people assigned "lates"-- anywhere from 6 - 12 people are scheduled to stay past their shift if needed to finish the schedule. There is a 3-11 shift, but many days the evening shift staff isn't adequate to cover cases still going at 3P.
    Depending on what sort of day it is, late people might not have to stay at all, or they might have to stay over anywhere from 1 to 5 hours late.
    This is one of the biggest sources of employee dissatisfaction at this facility, especially since the majority of cases at this hospital are elective.
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    About spineCNOR, DNP, RN

    Joined: Jun '02; Posts: 577; Likes: 11
    Staff Development Coordinator - OR


  3. by   CCL"Babe"
    We do the same in our cath lab. Of course it always seems if you schedule something on the day you are scheduled late, you will be late. We get designated late about once a week for fulltimers.
  4. by   chartleypj
    Yes, it is sometimes.

    It is usually compounded by the fact that we have less staff scheduled than needed because of summer vacations. When just 1 person calls in sick this adds to the problem. The sad irony is the staff knows they will be mandated so the attitude is 'why bother volunteering?'.

  5. by   carcha
    our mandatory overtime is our conscience. its very difficult to refuse your nurse manager when she asks because if u do the case is cancelled and u feel bad for your patient
  6. by   angelaADSN
    At our hospital we only have one shift. 6:30am to 3pm. We have had problems with the past year of this mandatory overtime. Around March we put our foot down as a team and said no more!! So administration gave us approval to have a back up crew until scheduled cases are over. We get 200.00 plus 26.47 bonus for a couple of hours overtime until scheduled cases are through. This past 2 weeks I got an extra 600.00 for back up and didn't even get called to help the call crew. I was feeling like you were around Jan and it is not right! There should be some kind of incentive for staying after hours for scheduled cases.

    Angela, RN
  7. by   spineCNOR
    Wow Angela--that is a pretty good incentive! The hospital where I work is offering $8/hr incentive on days staffing is short, but this does not apply to people who are assigned late days.
  8. by   stevierae
    Originally posted by carcha
    our mandatory overtime is our conscience. its very difficult to refuse your nurse manager when she asks because if u do the case is cancelled and u feel bad for your patient
    Carcha, never, never, NEVER fall for this classic management guilt trip!!!! Learn to say NO--just NO; no excuses or reasons why you can't stay; just NO. Staffing is a MANAGEMENT dilemma--one for which they are paid big bucks to handle. They know at 9 in the morning if they are going to have a case, or cases, run over after the day shift is scheduled to go home--they need to plan accordingly.

    How do they plan accordingly? In California, they call registry--that is, an agency that supplies temp nurses to come fill in the gaps, whether for vacation, emergencies, sick calls, etc. The can also hire more per diem (on-call) nurses, or they can PAY people to take call after their scheduled shift, and pay them WELL--or, hey, here's a thought!!! Instead of just walking out and leaving you there--how about if THEY (management) stays over for a change, and actually circulates or scrubs a case! Might give them a good idea of what it's like to be "in the trenches!"

    Let this be your mantra: "Staffing is not my problem."
  9. by   shodobe
    Being basically in charge in the evenings, I will try my best to get relief for the day people so they can go home. Very rarely will someone get "stuck" with a case because there is literally no one to relieve them. I will not start a case if this will happen and will tell the surgeon and anesthesiologist this. I usually get no grief if I explain to them these people are not on call and they must go home. I put any added cases in the on-call anesthesia room. We work out the schedule so only late people get the longer rooms. This usually works well and only sometimes does it become a problem. No mandatory overtime, but you can ask, they can only say no. Mike
  10. by   carcha
    I know what u mean steverae but on some days my manager lets me go early so its really difficult to say no when she asks me to stay. I know it sounds selfish that I'm left go early and dont want to stay late but it bums me out when I can predict when we run late, it depends on the manager and how much she likes the surgeon. So if she really likes him hey we get to stay late. what really really makes me mad and I'm on a roll today, is when I was asked to stay late for a short case last week. Being spineless I said yes, it was a short case folks, anyway the lead surgeon thanked us all and then left to play golf leaving his junior to do the case!. it took 2 hours AND my manager left at the same time as the lead surgeon. Sometimes I hate my job because of the abuse by my managers. Does anyone know of a good book article I could get to give me some guidence. I have another problem now but will post it seperately
  11. by   calienicole112
    not only do we have mandatory overtime almost every night because we never staff enought people we also have mandatory down staffing. so the people working 7-3 will get down staffed if we are slow. but then come 3pm or 5pm we do not have enough staff so the 7-3 late and 7-5 people will end up staying for several hours. this is also because we have schedualed cases starting at 5-6-7-8 even 9 at night. just because the doctor is else where in the morning. it gets to be very frustrating.
  12. by   Ferret
    G'day All,

    It seems to me that unless you agreed to madatory overtime in your original contract it is not "mandatory". Managers need to learn how to cancel cases, and if they don't, the nursing team need to get togeather and make sure they learn. I've worked in a public hospital where cases are cancelled and a private where they weren't, and believe me, I MUCH preferred the public system, and am returning to it in a week or so.

    If nothing else, think of the patient safety, one list I did was a Neurosurgery list where the surgeon often did cases untill 0300 AM and kept his team with him, then he was doing ward rounds at 0630 again, I don't know how he does it, but I'm certain that fatigue is an issue with him, his registrars and nursing team who have to suffer these lists with him. It's crazy!

    The nurses on the floor need to stand up for their rights on this issue, and as has been mentioned before, "Just say NO!" Don't fall for the management guilt trip, they are relying on you to suffer for their own bad management skills, rather than cleaning up their own act, and either cancelling cases or arranging for more staff.

    Don't you guys have any sort of nurses union? The discrepancy of overtime mentioned is disgusting!

    Amike, Jason 8^)