On Call Pay

  1. Need some help with guidelines used to establish on call pay for nurses on the weekends, holidays and peak times. Need suggestions on how to decrease length of calls. Need ideas on stress busters at a call center, incentives, etc. We are moving from two nurses per shift on days and evenings to 5 and from 1 on the night shift to 2. We will also have 3 parttime floaters that we can page to come in. Peak time start from 6pm to 2 am through the week and of course, the weekends are at a peak all through the weekends and holidays. Want to get new things in place before new clients come aboard! We are excited, but I need some assistance! Tell me what's worked for you!
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    About rotho

    Joined: Mar '02; Posts: 4


  3. by   AHRN
    Not sure how much help I can be, but our hospital pays $2/hr for on call and time and one half for when called back to work. Our on call shifts are 4-8 hours in length. $1.50-$3/hr seems to be going rate for call pay in this area.
    Decreasing call time is sometimes difficult. Most of us would rather make sure the caller undeerstands what to do the first call, rather than have them call back. Try to keep control of the call, ask the questions needed, "what is different now?" if the problem is ongoing, politely interrupt when they start to ramble, and ask specific question requiring answer.
    Make sure everyone takes their breaks even if it is busy. Getting away for 10-15 minutes can help reduce the stress. Take a break after a particularly difficult call, a 911, an abuse call, a possible suicide! Sometimes it is hard to move right into the next call.
    Good luck,
  4. by   rotho
    Thanx for your assistance. You are correct in stating it is the "quality" of the call that matters, which I have been trying to convey to the management, but having a difficult time. It has been my experience that using the calls per hour as a measure of performance, is very problematic, because it does not take in consideration the issues that the nurse has no control over. For example, variables that make a call longer or shorter, such as irate callers, callers with disabilities(speech, hearing, etc), language barriers, complicated medical conditions, comprehension issues, callers with more than one family member that needs to be triaged and so on. All of these things and more, effects the number of calls/hr that the nurse can take. Therefore, it is not the only measurement tool that should be used. Granted, I am a new manager, but I am an experienced triage nurse. As a triage nurse in the center, before being promoted to a mangement position, I think that it is useful that I bring my experience, observations from "the other side," to the management end of the operation to help us effectively meet the needs of our clients. While triaging calls , I did focus on quality and will continue to do so. Now as a manager, I can see why there seemed to be ongoing problems/ issues about low staffing, simply based on the calls/hr tool. Anyway, I am learning and I am grateful for the input. Lets me know I am not bias in my view and I am headed in the right direction.