On call... 24 hours?? - page 2

I am taking this from an older post: "It's common for me to work a 7-7 shift, have call starting at 11 that night, call ends at 7 am, and i start regular shift at 7 am." Ok.. so let me get... Read More

  1. by   pyocianik
    Where I'm working we're having 12 hrs on-call shifts from monday to friday and 48hrs during the week-end. Normal working hrs are from 0730 to 2000 with a 30mn break for lunch.
    Since there are not a lot of colleagues willing to be on-call fro ob/gyn and general surgery I'm on-call tue. wed. and thursday and take 1 week end per month.
    When there still was a heart surgery activity in my facility the colleagues were nearto fighting for being on-call since it was a specific team that was dedicated to it and they were rarely called at 3am.
    I take my shifts in-house since I don't want to put my driving license at risk for speeding at night: I sleep well and my dear midwifes colleagues are very happy having me around with a 2 mn notice (I help tough cases: agressive families, pts with nearto no veins, etc..)=> I always have my coffee ready for the breakfast we share at 0630.
  2. by   Geani
    Calls work this way: 8 hours normal shift and once a week on call (it comes once a week for every nurse and one weekend in 4 or 5 weekends) from the end of the shift till next morning. If you are called out for an intervention, and you haven't completed 9 hours of break between your shift and call out, than you are entitled to a 9 hours break following your call out. So, if your shift ended at 18:00m and you have been called out at 1:00 in the morning, do the operation and go home 4:00 in the morning, than you are entitled to have break till 13:00 and than go to work. If there are only two hours left from your working shift, the manager might decide that you may take the whole day off. It depends how the surgical lists are going.
    Hope this is helpfull. I have done this for few years. The most exciting call out was when, we have been called out for a C-section, we got to the hospital and the patient delivered on the way to OT. So, we went home, had our 9 hours break afterwards and got paid for the call out (they pay you at least 3 hours even if you work 1 hour).
  3. by   ShariDCST
    Quote from Epona
    I am taking this from an older post:"It's common for me to work a 7-7 shift, have call starting at 11 that night, call ends at 7 am, and i start regular shift at 7 am." Ok.. so let me get this straight.. this person worked 12 hours- call started at 11 that night... say she was called in at 11 PM and worked through the call shift until 7 AM. THEN from what I can gather, she then stays and works another 12 hour day shift?? WOW. So this nurse only had 4 hours off and worked over 24 hours?? I am starting in the OR and I know I will eventually be on call, but that is INSANE.Can someone please clarify CALL hours?? Thanks so much!!
    Your call requirements depend entirely on the facility where you work, their staffing levels, the kinds of cases and surgeons they have and so on. Every facility has its own quirks and idiosyncracies concerning who takes call, how long, how often, what your callback time limit is (how many minutes to get there when called in), how much your call pay is (pay just to BE available), how much you make if you do get called in per hour (different from call pay - this what you get if you actually do get called), the minimum number of hours for which you get paid if you do get called in, the breaks between end of call and beginning and ending of your next shift, availability of call (sleep) rooms, motels, hospital-provided apartments, etc., etc., ad infinitum. The best source for information about what your particular expectations should be will be your nurse managers and coworkers.

    I used to scrub in a medium-sized county hospital OR that only had day shift regular staff. Everything else that happened between 2:45 PM and 6:45AM was done by THE call team of one scrub tech/CST and one RN circulator. Weekends began at end of shift Friday, and ended beginning of shift Monday morning. So, we had many instances of scrubbing round the clock, (especially when one particular Ortho doc was covering call - it seemed he would never actually schedule anything - all his cases got done in the middle of the night! And I'm not kidding!) including techs doing our own instruments up, until it was time to start the next day. If you could be spared, you'd get sent home first thing, if not, you sucked it (and a lot of caffeine) up and kept on with it until they could send you home. We had a 30 min callback limit to get there. The call pay realy stacked up - I had quite a few paychecks that showed much more in call pay than regular earnings. But I was too tired to enjoy it!

    After I left there (this was early-mid 90's) they finally decided they were too busy to keep that up, and started forming a second shift to help spread the load. This was also before the significant proliferation of free-standing and hospital owned Ambulatory Surgery Centers. They have one of those now too, and get the lion's share of the surgical cases that used to go through the regular OR's via the Day Surgery section. Not too surprisingly, a vast mass exodus of staff fled to their facility. The only things that get done now at the hospital are the total joints, and anything else the patient must be admitted for afterwards.

    Check with your managers and coworkers to get a feel for their requirements, and their actual needs, which are frequently NOT the same thing. Also, when you will be expected to start taking call. You have to be able to work fairly autonomously in order to function well during some emergency in the middle of the night, so it could very well be up to a year before that happens, depending, of course, on where you work. I spent time traveling as a CST as well, and no two places had the same needs. Call frequency also varies depending on available staff, so adding several nurses to the mix can make it less frequent for everyone.

    Good luck!
    Last edit by ShariDCST on Jan 16, '12 : Reason: spacing issues
  4. by   tangigrl
    Perhaps the only bad thing about the job is the call unless you are someone who likes the extra $$. In the facility I work in OR-call can be anywhere from 16 hours in length up to 48 hours depending upon if it's your weekend or holiday. There are measure's of protection in the event that cases begin to pile up such as being able to call and ask for volunteers or even to notify the hospital supervisor that you are unsafe. I have yet to see this happen because in truth rare is the Surgeon who will risk a patients safety if the call team has been working non-stop. If and when you ever have to stop and question your own ability to go on then that is the time for you to speak up. The potential for error increases greatly when the team is tired.
  5. by   scoacrafter
    I work 12's 0630-1900. I am on call from 1900-0630 the next day. There is a chance that I could work all night as well. I have worked 17 hours straight and it gets unsafe. We try to give breaks and switch staff when necessary when long shifts occur. If I am also scheduled to work the next day as well I would be the first person to get "cut" or get sent home due to the long work hours that I did the previous day. Also, I am able to tell the charge nurse that I am exhausted and feel unsafe and I can usually be replaced. Sometimes it sucks, but we can usually get a break between cases where we can eat and catch a nap.
  6. by   scoacrafter
    I have 30 minutes. Also there are call rooms available to sleep in when the weather is bad or if you live further than 30 min away.
  7. by   fusionfire32
    It is.very interesting to hear rules change so much for the same work we people do. Here in the uk we work differently. Eu laws regulate our working patterns. It is compulsory to have an 11 hour break between shifts. You cannot be on call if you work a 12 hour shift. You can take call on your day off. And when we take call no matter what we get paid for 2 hours for being on call and if we get called then we get paid for the time we come plus 7.5 hours and get the next day off.
  8. by   Perpetual Student
    PACU invader here. I love the call. It's a good way to make money and have some fun. You never know what kind of interesting case will come up. In our unit we'll often be on Friday night through Monday morning. If it's really busy you can indeed get exhausted, but fortunately that's pretty rare.

    I once got maybe 4 hours of sleep in 48 hours though. Every time I'd get home and in bed I'd get called back in. That was rough at the tail end. We wanted to cry when the ICU was full and we were going to have to hold the last patient indefinitely. Fortunately the patient had become quite stable and we got him downgraded to PCU and got him transferred.

    I will say I feel bad for the OR folks on those really lengthy call shifts when it's non-stop cases without a chance for a decent break. Us PACU types have a much easier time escaping to the lounge for a snack, and we can have drinks in a designated corner of the unit.

    If you're going to take a lot of call it's nice to be close the hospital. I used to live about 30-40 minutes away and would have to haul butt to get there in a timely manner. Now I'm 10-15 minutes away and I have to drag my feet to give the rest of the team time to arrive.