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When NOC calls off...

First Year   (1,724 Views 10 Comments)
by TopazLPN TopazLPN, LPN (Member)

TopazLPN is a LPN and specializes in LTC.

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Working evening shift is great for me - I don't like early mornings as much as late nights - but when I worked last night the night nurse called off. I thought to myself, okay.. this happens... and got on the phone calling other staff to see if anyone could pick up the shift. No one wanted to work. So I called registry... all 10 registry agencies that I had numbers for.. and still got no one. This made me a little tense. So I called the DON and let her know what was going on... it was about 7pm at that point - 4 more hours until the end of shift. She told me to call everyone again. I did. And no one wanted to work.. which led me to call the DON back, at about 8 - only 3 more hours until shift change. She told me to call the nurse who originally called off. I called that nurse, but she didn't answer... so the DON calls the unit clerk, who is at home off duty, and the unit clerk comes to work.. its now 9.. and she calls everyone again, cracking jokes and laying on the charm to see if anyone will change their mind. Nope.

By the time she's called every registry in the city and pleaded with every staff nurse who will pick up their phone, its 10... I am done with my med pass and charting, but all the time I have a knot in my stomach.. because I realize that if a NOC nurse doesn't come in, then I will have to stay. I've never worked a NOC shift and have no idea what the NOC nurse is responsible for... but nevertheless, the DON is now asking me to stay. I tell her no, that I can't do it because I don't know what to do.. and she gets this tone of voice like I'm being a difficult child.. and tells me how all I have to do is pass meds, it's easy. But I resist her irritated intonation and still say no.

One of the other evening nurses from a different floor volunteers to stay, for a $100 bonus.. but the DON says no bonus. (Yet, she'd pay a registry agency $50 an hour for a nurse... much more than what a staff nurse with a $100 bonus would cost!) She knows that I don't want to work, but she's expecting me to stay because she knows I can't leave... !!! Fortunately, another nurse stepped in at the last moment (it was literally like 15 after 11)... But I'm thinking to myself, wow! They don't care who works or what happens, just as long as someone is there signing the papers..

So I ask you all - Was I unreasonable to say no? I know that I would of had to stay if that other nurse hadn't stepped in, but I'm still a new nurse and I've never worked a NOC shift!! What do you all LTC NOC nurses do anyway?

I felt like... :barf02:

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canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

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Wow, I would have said no too, and stuck to it.

Why did they call the sick nurse back- what was she expected to do? And they called all staff three times? please....

When they wouldn't give a $100 bonus it would be all over- the DON can come in herself and work if she is going to be that cheap and bullying.

Hmmm I might offer to stay as a last resort for the $200 bonus, but otherwise I've notified the person in charge of staffing that they have a sick call, and my shift is over. Unfortunately once you've done something like that the BON won't bother you but you'll lose your job, and they will probably report you to the BON, that's a lot of stress. She did have options to get appropriate staff, just didn't choose to use them, so any ramifications are not your fault.

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caroladybelle is a BSN, RN and specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

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They had no business having you call people repeatedly or the nurse that called in sick. Any place that did that with me and I would quit. Those nurses' time off is just that.

It would be nice to say that you shouldn't have to stay, but in some areas, facilities can "mandate" you and require you to stay. As well as make your life difficult with the BON, because you cannot "abandon" your patients.

But the first time that they did it, I would do it and warn them "never again". The second time or if they indicate that you should expect to stay over in the future, I would find another job.

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It's not at all unusual to get calls on days off to see if we'll come in for an extra shift, or early for our shift. That's how they cover unplanned absences and surges in census. I don't mind getting calls to see if I'll come in and cover, because they also know that "no" means just that. It's a huge rare exception that they call the same nurse twice, and THAT is to offer her a bucketful of money to please take that shift. Hardly an imposition.

However, what you're talking about is obscene. YOU were responsible for finding your own relief? Are you suddenly a staffing administrator in addition to your nursing duties? I suppose they're paying you for that, too...?

The first pass through the phone list, when it looked like it was going to be difficult to get you relieved, the checkbook should have come out. And someone offered to do that shift, for consideration of a little extra pay, and your DON said NO??? That tells you they don't give a bloody hoot about their staff. She wasn't interested in finding you a replacement, she was interested in doing it for free (essentially, since SHE didn't find you coverage, and she wanted the nurse doing OT to get no consideration for that).

Me, I'd be printing out my resume and taking a walk.

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twarlik specializes in CICu, ICU, med-surg.

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Wow, that is just crazy! I can not believe that you are responsible for making calls and staffing your unit. At my hospital we have a separate staffing office that handles all of this. If someone calls in sick, they make all the calls. If no one agrees to come in, we can stay extra for overtime plus incentive pay. We are NEVER obligated to stay past our shift.

I agree with those who suggested you get your resume and take a walk!

~Todd

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oMerMero specializes in ICU.

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NOC=night

I am not sure where it came from...nocturnal?

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NursingAgainstdaOdds has 2 years experience and specializes in Med-Surg/Tele, ER.

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Wow, that is just crazy! I can not believe that you are responsible for making calls and staffing your unit. At my hospital we have a separate staffing office that handles all of this. If someone calls in sick, they make all the calls. If no one agrees to come in, we can stay extra for overtime plus incentive pay. We are NEVER obligated to stay past our shift.

I agree with those who suggested you get your resume and take a walk!

~Todd

Not crazy at all in LTC, in my experience. A lot of the crap they fling at nurses would never fly in a hospital setting. Just IME.

To the OP - sounds like the DON was ducking her responsibilities. Unprofessional and ridiculous.

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same thing happens at the long term care facility I work at. One of our noc nurses was just fired.So they are hustling to cover noc shifts there are 2 nurses who work pm's that are now doubling shifts pm thru noc...NOW they have decided to have the A.M. nurses pass thyroid meds..are you kidding ....I get to work and the mar is flagged with all these before meal meds to pass...I surveyed 5 facilities and no matter wether the A.M starts at 6 or 7 NOC nurse passes thyroids and other pre meal meds....I told this to administration ..so now they have decided to move the time of breakfast to 8;30...are you kidding?? I am so angry the 2 nurses staying over are simply incompetant ...I am so angry...one of those staying over actually cut a 5 mg coumadin thinking she could guestamate a 4 mg...what an idiot...what times do other facilities pass???...we have a noc nurse who has no problem she follows CNA's on last rounds and passes the meds....A.M nurse gets in at 6;30 you need to fillout assignment get report do count get ice and med pass supplies from kitchen AH!!!

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After the receptionist leaves I am responsible for answering all incoming phone calls to the facility. That is on top of my 27 patients / no worries though - they got us a cell phone. Whaaaatttt???? Ridiculous. If you take a call off you "own it" responsible to somehow someday cover the shift. I was calling around begging CNA's to cover third shift on another unit - not even my own! When I came back I had two on the floor - fantastic.

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