Required to stay after night shift?

World Canada


I'm in Canada. Work 12 hr nights, four in a row. It is generally expected that if days is short then the night nurse has to stay and finish a morning med pass. There is no such expectation for days to stay late. I have in the past simply refused and referred them to call our DOC, because I was so fatigued and did not feel safe to stay and then drive the 40 minutes home later.

I did ask our licensing body about this, but they werent very helpful.

Can I be disciplined or fired for refusing an unsafe practice like this? Not that I would expect it - our management is definitely above average in caring for employees. But is this position defensible and ethical?

In these cases, it's not typically a late nurse, it's that I receive a sick call in the middle of the night and can't fill it by 0700 (shift change). It's happened more lately because of people on vacation, or STD, and casuals not answering phones. We do have policies about how many shifts are allowed to be declined by casuals per period, but I don't think it's enforced. I love our management team but a little more pressure in this area would go along way.

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