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"On Call"

Posted

Hey guys, just curious to get some insight from other nurses at other hospitals. Anyway, my hospital will occasionally put nurses on call despite hospital wide nursing shortages, which I'm sure is everywhere else too. However, what I am trying to understand is why I've been put on call 5 times total (I'm a new grad nurse), 4 out of those 5 times, I've been called in within 10 minutes of shift change. Essentially, making me an hour and 15 minutes late to my shift and usually with nothing done putting me way behind. I'm a realist and I understand that you get slammed with admissions and such, but why call me at 1800 to put me on call and then turn around and call me at 1905 to call me in? What I'm asking is this: should I address this or is this commonplace? Mind you, I don't mind being on call/or coming in at least an hour after shift change, but I think it's kind of sporadic and irrational to call me in within 5-10 minutes when you could've let me come in on time. Just curious to get some insight to see if happens everywhere. Thanks guys!

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

Hey guys, just curious to get some insight from other nurses at other hospitals. Anyway, my hospital will occasionally put nurses on call despite hospital wide nursing shortages, which I'm sure is everywhere else too. However, what I am trying to understand is why I've been put on call 5 times total (I'm a new grad nurse), 4 out of those 5 times, I've been called in within 10 minutes of shift change. Essentially, making me an hour and 15 minutes late to my shift and usually with nothing done putting me way behind. I'm a realist and I understand that you get slammed with admissions and such, but why call me at 1800 to put me on call and then turn around and call me at 1905 to call me in? What I'm asking is this: should I address this or is this commonplace? Mind you, I don't mind being on call/or coming in at least an hour after shift change, but I think it's kind of sporadic and irrational to call me in within 5-10 minutes when you could've let me come in on time. Just curious to get some insight to see if happens everywhere. Thanks guys!

It happens frequently at the worst hospitals. What they're typically trying to do is max out every nurse and have a little staff as possible ...even if it means moving patients back and forth between units/floors.

I actually worked for a hospital that would send people home early, but require them to be "on call". Sometimes they got called back, and even floated to an alternate unit with all new patients, before they even made it to the parking garage.

There are some legitimate reasons you could be called in close to shift change, but legitimate cases are not frequent. You just work for a horrible hospital. As a new grad, you don't have a lot of power. My advice is to get some experience in and then look for something better.

RainMom

Specializes in PACU, pre/postoperative, ortho. Has 10 years experience.

This occasionally happened when I worked the floor. The shift supervisor meets with the charge nurses a couple hrs prior to shift change to evaluate staffing needs for the next shift; staff would be floated or called off & put on call as needed.

The supervisor is also the one who places new admissions. It was beyond frustrating to call staff to stay home & then have the supervisor call to place a pt which changed the staffing ratios meaning you have to call someone right back to come in!! Seriously?! You couldn't have told the charge on the ortho unit that there was a fx hip pt in ER?! And you KNEW I was calling someone off.

When our numbers were at the point that one more pt required additional staff, we charge nurses started double-checking with the supervisor before making any calls to avoid that exact situation.

It also occasionally happens because someone calls in sick at the last minute or another floor needs a float (which somehow was not discovered earlier when staffing was reviewed).

As a new grad, you probably can't do much to change things. If you're finding that it is happening because of a swing in census & others are also frustrated, maybe mention to a charge or bring it up in a staff meeting. If nothing else, try to be happy you are getting call pay when you have to come in.