Saying 'NO' to overtime

Nurses General Nursing


I am a recent grad and am working 2 jobs- one full-time and one PRN. The paychecks are NICE, especially after being a student for so long.

However, I need to figure out how much work is too much, and how to say 'no' to more hours. I have been working 60 to 70 hours a week. This week I have 2 days off, and of course the hospital calls and asks if I want more hours.

How you tell yourself it's ok to have a day off, especially when the money's so good?

Specializes in CTICU/CVICU.
I'm with you, That Guy. I worked overtime for a year, and it nearly killed me. No more. Those who enjoy overtime, good for you. Someone needs to be willing to do it. I prefer having a life. Also, when you actually see how much more is deducted in tax, it isn't really worth it. Check out your pay sometime...regular hours vs overtime. You'll notice there isn't much difference.

You have to know the cutoff amount. Working one extra shift a week (two a pay period) doesn't make that much of a difference tax wise with me. If I do 2 extra shifts a weeks (4 a pay period), then we are starting to differ. As far as pay for me, since I work nights and do my OT shift on a weekend night, there is a big pay difference between regular and OT.

Specializes in Oncology, Medical.

As someone else said, everyone has their own preferences and thresholds. Some people can work OT a lot, while others can't. I'm in the latter category. I burned myself out twice when I was in school (once in high school, once in university) and it had such a negative impact on me each time that I've sworn off overworking myself. I was depressed, I missed out on most/all social activities, I was constantly tired and subsequently got sick a lot, my grades dropped...basically, I was in a terrible place, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I know what my limits are now. I think you just have to feel how awful burnout is to know where to draw the line and to give yourself a reason to draw that line in the first place.

Certainly, it's nice to earn that big fat paycheck, but when it comes down to it, I already earn enough to live comfortably (not extravagantly, mind you) and that's all I need. I'd much rather have the time to work on my many hobbies and interests and keep my apartment clean (a difficult task when you have a cat that sheds everywhere!) than earn a little extra money. Besides, what someone else said about bumping up into the next tax bracket is true. One nurse picked up a lot of OT last year, but what she didn't realize was that she put herself into a higher tax bracket. When income tax time rolled around, her net income was just a teensy bit higher than what it would have been without the OT - basically, a lot of work for nothing!

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