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"Can you stay late?" Hours and overtime.

Has 1 years experience. Specializes in Transplant nursing.

Hello nurse-friends,

I am curious about how staffing and overtime works on your units? I work on an extremely busy Med surg unit in a large city that specializes in transplant(mostly liver). I often have 5 patients, and I work two 8s and two 12s a week. I am constantly (2-3x a week) being asked to either stay late on my 8 hour days or switch my shift the day of. I almost always turn down the offer, but usually feel guilty because I am close with my co workers and don't want to make anyone's day harder then it has to be. However, internally I get mad because my unit is NEVER staffed appropriately. When overtime is turned down, we almost always get a float nurse to fill the spot quite easily. I am a new nurse with 1 year of experience and often leave the hospital in a state of exhaustion due to the heaviness of our patients- so the thought of overtime makes me cringe. I am always willing to make switches with my co workers, stay late until my work is done, and lend a hand when things get rough...but I feel as though if I work more then 40 hours I am being spread too thin and I don't want to compromise the experience of my patients, or my sanity for that matter. There's a difference between an emergency and "whoops we don't have enough nurses- can you turn your 8 into a 12". So let me have it- should I feel guilty ?

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Has 16 years experience. Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

Staffing isn't losing sleep over your increased workweek -- don't lose sleep over their failure to staff appropriately. Besides, staying late enables their poor practices. Why would they need to fix a situation that is working for them?

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Has 10 years experience. Specializes in OB.

Keep sticking to your guns and turning them down. While I can't say for sure that your stance alone will cause them to hire more staff, I do know that if you cave to their demands, they DEFINITELY won't. As the previous poster says, why would they? I hate hearing about nurses in situations like this, knowing so many are not strong enough to say no, and so the cycle of poor staffing continues. Do NOT feel guilty.

Where I work its always short, everyday the person who does staffing will ask me if I want to work, on my off days they will call and ask if I can come in, I always say no.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience. Specializes in Pedi.

Why should you feel guilty? I have a life, I have plans after work and I'm not changing them at the last minute for work. Another reason why I like working a normal schedule now.

I work 8 stressful hours, aint gonna work another 8 stressful hours then go to work early again next morning haha

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