This can't be safe


Our cases began and seem as though they never end.The funny thing is we only have one shift.We are all tired and bured out.We come in, at seven and start at eight.We have 13 rooms on the average we do about 25 cases a day.For some reason at 1530 when then shift ends the board looks like it did that morning and we are expected to stay while the managers that added on all the cases go home and rest their feet.We are on call at least 1 day a week and maybe assigned to stay late one day.If we are there all night we have to work the next day.I have worked 26hrs the last 3wks my night on call with only 3-4hrs of sleep b/t the time I left and had to come back for the next day.I do not get breaks and have to beg to go pee.We have policies in place about add ons but they are not followed because the surgeons just operate late as they want to doing elective cases like a microdisc at 700pm with the call team (scary)what if an emergency occurs.I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes open.My managers are so lazy and unfair they don't have a clue.they ask you to come in for an early case, then you do not get a break and last lunch which may be at 2 or 3.I recently was so burned out I charted on the wrong patient.It did not matter to them as long as I was at work and they did not have to unglue themselves from their desk.This is really getting old and dangerous.Why does it take all day to do 25 Cases.When we complain surgeons often say "we use to do it' well that's why we had so many wrong site surgeries back then.they were too tired to function.there has got to be a labor law against this.We.Are putting ourselves and the patent at risk.


375 Posts

Look in your yellow pages for employment lawyers and give one a call to get his opinion.


1,313 Posts

Specializes in Operating Room Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

Get out of this environment and urge your fellow workers to do the same. Maybe then these idiot managers and surgeons will get the point that they are creating an unsafe and toxic working environment.

We only add cases on if the list will finish on time. And we cancel cases if the list runs late because the nurses including myself are sick of overbooking and we just put our foot down and say no to overtime.


9 Posts

Exactly, what they fell to realize is half of us is working for free because 10hrs or 26hrs of overtime my checks are the same and I end up owing the IRS for money I didn't even get to spend.They donskt want to do the work but they force us.


1,260 Posts

Specializes in O.R., ED, M/S.

It sounds like your facilty needs to add an evening shift. I worked at a facilty 12 years ago where I was the new evening shift RN along with a tech. They had the same situation as you did where the case load ran over into the evening. Now, some liked it because that was OT every week. The hospital wised up and finally figured out all of the OT they were paying out was tremendous. There were others that hated it and that is where the creation of another shift came about. There is nothing wrong with working OT as long as it is safe to do so.


200 Posts

Specializes in CCU, OR. Has 25 years experience.

If you and your co-workers collect your schedules, paychecks and go see the risk management at your hospital, I'm pretty sure that your voices will be heard. If your managers won't respond to your complaints, if your surgeons aren't aware that y'all are unsafe in your practice, then the upper level legal folks will. There have been a lot of studies done about how long is too long to work vis a vis both medical residents and nurses.

Speak to an employment attorney as well; you might need one to help mediate with the hospital management for you. Also, if you contact the State Labor Board and bring this to their attention, I'm sure they'll be interested. If you still have issues going on, contact the local newspapers/TV(but be ready to be terminated and sue for unfair employment practices)....

But first try to settle it within the system.

It sounds like you need to ask for both a 3-11 shift and a relief shift, such as an 11 am-7pm shift to allow everyone to eat and have a break, so everyone can go home and get enough rest to be safe.

I worked at a place like that; we opened up a maternity wing and within two years, they had to start work on the second half of it due to demands- and the OR was also swamped with cases, cases, cases, and the sleepy little we only run one shift place was overwhelmed; we were running on the same amount of sleep. After about six months, we finally got a 9:30 a-6 p shift, and after almost a year, we got a 3-11 shift. We also had to have two sets of call people put on. So I know how tired all of you must feel now.

Good luck.

It's not just not safe, it's not legal.

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