What do you do when you have cancelled shifts?

  1. I do shift work (10-12 hour nights) and I've got 3 cases that I'm on. Two are 24 hour cases and are staffed very well with hardly any openings. The other is nights only and the family frequently cancels shifts. I have a week coming up where I will be losing over $700 due to cancelled shifts. Picking up shifts elsewhere isn't an option. Anyone have some suggestions on what I can do to help deal with that huge financial blow? I'm nearly having a panic attack thinking about it. Please help!
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    About tots24

    Joined: Apr '10; Posts: 51; Likes: 49
    from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in pediatrics, orthopedics


  3. by   SummerGarden
    Is there an option to get a second job to cover the cancellations? I have been through this before with my first nursing job. At the time I was lucky to have lots of vacation time on the books because I was a tech prior to being a Nurse. I never got low census as a tech and I did not call-off or take vacations (I needed to work and put myself through school). So, the experience woke me up to the fact that I needed a second job as a Nurse. Currently my position is secure, however at any time things can change.

    For instance, some positions within my Department (nursing and non-nursing) are getting cancelled and call-off due to low census and budget concerns. Thus, I have a PT (Per Diem) job, where I can pick up more shifts when available to do so at the last minute. The only drawback is that I am working more hours per week then I financially need now to meet the minimum monthly shift requirements for the job. However, more money does not equal more problems for me. I am able to pay down some expenses and build up my savings quicker than I will do without the second job.
  4. by   meanmaryjean
    I had a similar home care case that cancelled me while I was en route (it was > 1 hour away). Much as I liked the case and the family, I dropped it for this reason. I made sure they understood that this was my source of income for my family, and that by cancelling frequently, they were impacting my finances in a major way.
    I now have second job grading work for an online university. When my PICU job cancels me for low census (frequently during the summer, seldom during winter) I just fire up the laptop and grade papers for 8-10 hours and that way I don't have to burn through my PTO.
  5. by   Alex Egan
    I would drop this case, generally the only dropped shifts that I will tolerate regularly are when the child is hospitalization. The case wouldn't like you taking personal days with no notice, you don't have to put op with cancellation without notice for not apparent reason.
  6. by   sfmedic100
    I would try finding an agency that does Continuous Care Hospice Nurse staffing. It is easy work and usually available year round (especially nights). There are big agencies like Maxim Healthcare that does this, but you can probably find smaller ones around you as well. The work is PRN, but basically, you just tell them your availability and they will try to find you work.

    I would drop any case where parents are continually cancelling. Let them deal with another nurse and take your skills elsewhere. Just like you have to be able to "fire" someone before you can ever run your own business, you have to be able to fire a family/patient in order to have peace of mind for yourself.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Nov 23, '12 : Reason: oops..
  7. by   Blackcat99
    When I use to do private duty nursing I had 3 private duty agencies that I belonged to. So when Patient A was in the hospital I could call my other agency and see if I could get more hours working with Patient B etc. If the parents are continually cancelling your shifts you fire that family period.
  8. by   smurfynursey
    Can you drop the case?

    Also, keep track of when they cancel you. I was on a case like that and they were read the riot act...If it kept happening then the agency would drop them. I'm not sure what happened because I left, but something to consider.

    I was in a similar situation...drove an hour to work 4 hrs, and frequently cancelled. This was the summer when gas prices were waaay higher. I ended up doing camp nursing and only working my primary case until the summer was over.

    Good luck.
  9. by   PerfectlyPlump
    Mope. Like that does a lot of good.

    The good woman who is my patient's mom sets me up for about 40 hours in the next week, then cancels an hour here, a day there. She is not comfortable having me there if she is home.
  10. by   PerfectlyPlump
    Speaking of cancelled shifts.....

    Right now, I am in a period of no work at all! My case cancelled me when I was on vacation! The reason was clearly a matter of personal preference...nothing went wrong. The situation may change, but I never know. It is really hard to plan things, like doctor visits for me, and REALLY hard to feel like I could take out a car loan!

    The only way to prevent these periods does seem to be having two, (or three) agencies. But, I want to know, how confusing IS that for the nurse? How do you keep them both "happy"??
  11. by   SDALPN
    Multiple agencies. Downside is getting a regular schedule to work and not getting overtime unless one company is PRN. I'm considering taking a full time job and doing PDN PRN because of it.

    I was canceled yesterday when I got to the pts home. The parent never answers the door, so I have to call the agency to have them call mom and all her to open the door. I called the agency and they called while I didn't have cell service, but never tried again a few min later. So I stood at the door knocking for 15min (expected before calling) to find out I was canceled. 2 hour trip round-trip. I got paid for 2 hrs, but that doesn't cover gas and time. That case can't keep a nurse because of this. I was scheduled for overtime and now I will end up with 34 hours for the week :-(
  12. by   systoly
    remove yourself from this case
    at least you know what the situation is and you
    don't waste time thinking you have a paying job
    i wish you well
  13. by   OrganizedChaos
    Yeah I am working (barely) with two companies. I just got a paycheck from one company for 34 hours. I was getting excited thinking I was finally gonna pick up more hours then the foster mother kicked me off that case. I was asked to work Thursday-Sunday of last week & i was excited because The week before the foster mother removed me from the case & I only had 10 hours. I was on my way to the case (1 hour, one way) then I was informed that I was canceled. :-|

    So basically now I sit around waiting to see if I'm going to work this week or not. I'm doing visits with the other company & I need to finish up the case next week. So after that I'm jobless? I'm currently searching for jobs because these two companies are not keeping me employed.
  14. by   PerfectlyPlump
    That porch-waiting scenario is a good example of what CAN happen....ugh.