When the hospital cancels you for a shift...

Nurses General Nursing


  • by NanikRN
    Specializes in Oncology, Rehab, Public Health, Med Surg.

You are reading page 3 of When the hospital cancels you for a shift...

Specializes in Emergency, Trauma, Critical Care.

I worked at a faciility that would do that with no reimbursement. You were put on "standby" for either 4 or 6 hours, at the end of that time if they called you and said you were free then you were free.

I had a big issue with this policy as it was happening once or more a week for a while, it ultimately left me and several others in the position of quitting. I think it's unfair when you are unable to work elsewhere and you are held to a standard of being available for them with no income.

So it IS legal, but it's NOT reasonable.


1 Article; 276 Posts

Specializes in TELE, CVU, ICU.

I worked one place that started putting me "on call." After the first instance of being paid only $4 an hour, and coming in to find that I forfeited my time and one half pay for the last four hours of a twelve hour shift, I wouldn't answer the phone. Then I found another job and quit. My time is too valuable to have it hijacked by some idiot in the staffing office.

wooh, BSN, RN

1 Article; 4,383 Posts

We've recently switched to that being policy. We used to be "on call" and had to be available all shift for them for the high price to them of $2/hr. They decided that was too much money for them to spend, so now we're on "stand by" and have to be available all shift for them for no money at all. It gives them absolutely NO INCENTIVE to plan responsibly. And apparently since they changed the name from "on call" to "stand by" they seem to think their staff is stupid enough to think this is completely different. But nurses are a dime a dozen these days, so we pretty much have to put up with whatever policy they come up with.

According to employment laws, it's iffy as to legality, but who wants to be the one that pushes the issue and all of the sudden have a ton of written warnings in their file and get fired?

BrandonLPN, LPN

3,358 Posts

How can this possibly be legal? If you're "on call" they must compensate you for it. (and forcing you to use your PTO doesn't count)


590 Posts

Specializes in Oncology.

If you are "on-call" you better be getting paid for all that time. Otherwise I'd say no way and either enjoy my shift off or go work a PRN shift elsewhere if I wanted.


4,124 Posts

sounds like a lot of math at payroll time...

My head started spinning after the first paragraph. If there were a pop quiz afterwards am sure would get a big fat "0". *LOL*



590 Posts

Specializes in Oncology.

I would NEVER stay on call unless they were paying me my full hourly wage to do so. That time is MY time and I won't be dictated to come in whenever they please.

BrandonLPN, LPN

3,358 Posts

I bet no unionized hospitals allow their nurses to be on call without compensation....


104 Posts

Does this happen in LTC? I'm starting tomorrow, and thinking probably not, because the patients are residents.

Where I work, we take turns being on call if needed (low census, too many nurses on). If a nurse gets called and asked if he/she wants to be on called and if he/she says no, then he/she goes into work and the next nurse on the list gets called and asked the same question. Usually a nurse will not refuse to be put on call because it rarely happens. I've never known anyone to be called in to come in....so it's a pretty safe bet that if I get put on call, I'll get to stay home for the night (I work 11pm-7am)....plus we get paid for being on call.


392 Posts

Specializes in Oncology, Rehab, Public Health, Med Surg.

according to employment laws, it's iffy as to legality, but who wants to be the one that pushes the issue and all of the sudden have a ton of written warnings in their file and get fired?


in the 2 years i've worked at this hospital-that-shall-not -be-named, i've rarely been cancelled. until this last month. now we're floating like a boat, using pto , and still getting cancelled. excuse me. i meant delayed.

i can understand cancelled if the hospital census really is that low. but i can't understand this delayed crap.


4,124 Posts

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I understand the hospital doesn't want to pay us if there aren't enough patients, but I rely on my income to live. We would take turns being on call and you would have to use your paid time off to get paid for it, or take it unpaid and lose money. This system completely benefits the hospital, and does not benefit the employee at all. I challenge managers to find a better way. I actually quit my previous job in large part because of this practice. I did not call out sick for over a year and a half, and I still didn't have enough vacation time to take a vacation. I had used all my PTO covering call shifts and needed time off, so I quit (which I was planning to do anyway but this pushed my timeline). Keeping good employees should be a priority. There has to be a better way.

Oh for the good old days when shifts of nurses were brought in on schedule regardless of census. If there was not enough patient care on one's floor/unit there was always being floated some place else. Should that fail there was busy work such as but not limited to: sorting out the nurse's station and or medication and supply rooms, tidying up the linen closets, rolling up gauze bandages, checking and cleaning crash/code carts, and so on and so forth.


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