I've been in the medical field for the past 6 years as various professions (paramedic, nurse extern, nurse) but have only recently started working as an RN about a year ago. Per my contract we gain 4.4 hours of PTO bi-weekly and work 3 shifts a week. It has always been our policy that if we call out sick on the weekend we need to make up the weekend shift within a month if PTO was not used. Recently our unit and our sister unit who share the same director has gone through major staff changes with many nurses either retiring, quitting, or being fired (about 2/3 of all the nurses I started with not even a year ago are gone). Now we are severely understaffed and morale on the floor is waning... We host 33 beds and have a total of 6 full time RN's and 1 Care partner maxing at 8 patients each at night.
The reason why I'm writing this is because I'm curious as to how other's have to deal with sick time and PTO. Recently my director decided to change the PTO rules on a whim due to our lack of proper staffing (Although she doesnt seem to think we are understaffed at all) and sent out an email to the whole unit listing every nurse who called out sick, when they called out sick, and the reasoning they gave the ANM when they called and proceeded to state that ALL called-out shifts must be made up within a week regardless of reason for calling out, and even if you took PTO. Many of us called HR to figure out the validity of this new 'rule' as it seems to be only on our unit, and HR stated that its a per-director discretion for how to use PTO in the hospital. What I don't understand is how you can be forced to 'make-up' a shift that you claimed PTO for within the next week... that would mean you would have PTO and OT on the same paycheck, which I didn't think was possible.
My unit has such low morale that it's unfortunately a normal occurrence to hear discussion of disgruntled nurses putting in applications, or the countdown to when they retire/contract is up. We've had two nurses submit their 14-day notice and told to not bother showing back to work in the last month, and another breach their ethics agreement and walk off the unit mid-shift, abandoning their assignment due to low morale and unfair staffing ratios/acuity. The floor really has become toxic, but all administration seem to be blind to it. Unfortunately I still have 1.5 more years left on my 3 year new-grad contract, and would owe the hospital $10k if I was to break my contract and search out a different unit... I can't even transfer within hospital to a new unit until my contract is up.