I’m a baby nurse (new grad) going into day 3 of orientation with my preceptor. She mentioned that she lives close (within 5 mins) to the hospital so she usually gets there early [at a time that places her 40 minutes earlier than the start of her shift] so that she can get her day started ahead of clocking in. When our shift was coming to an end, I hadn’t looked at the time so I thought it was time to go because I saw night shift staff all over... but no, we had at least 45 minutes to even give handoff. One person (still in her coat, who I realized was a nurse) was even there more than an hour before shift start. So I realized this was a majority thing.
But why? Is this a common trend? When my professors in nursing school mentioned this, most scoffed at the idea of working for free. Yes I’m a new nurse but I’m not fresh out of school entering the workforce for the first time. It just feels weird that the notion is - in order to be successful and get home on time we have to work off the clock. I do understand being there in time to get settled (lunch purse away lol, snack eaten, coffee refill, non-patient chit chat, etc.) and getting your ducks in a row, mentally, to begin your shift. I’m not really an early riser but I do get in early enough to be on the unit at an appropriate time. I just feel like I can’t compete with the nurse who’s there an hour early. It’s like I’ll look ill-prepared being on the unit only 15 minutes prior to starting.
I just figure - I’m here for 12 hours and of course I’m still learning time management as an RN but gooooodness! Isn’t half of a day enough?? And if not, why? Do you do this? Is it so that you are able to be ahead or question the nurse who’s giving you report? Is it a reflection of management that it’s allowed or even required in order to feel comfortable with your patients?
I hope this doesn’t come off as offensive or snooty but I am really curious and kinda nervous at the same time.