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Write up for clocking out 30 minutes late

Disasters   (454 Views | 3 Replies)

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I am a newish RN (just at the 2 year mark) that I feel still struggles with time management for whatever the reason may be that day. It is not unusual for me to clock out an hour late - leaving around 8:20pm-8:30pm. It has never been a problem up until now and has never been brought up to me before. There are quite a few RNs staying late. Now that our hospital is low census they are really cracking down on our time - our charge nurses day now seems to mostly consist of ensuring every RN is clocked back in from break by 3pm and yesterday morning during huddle we were told we need to ensure that we clock out at the end of our shift by 7:45pm - this was the first I’ve heard of it. Yesterday I clocked out at 7:55pm. Yes, I did realize that I was late however I still had charting to be done and I think it’s unfair to expect me to finish charting off of the clock (which a couple of RNs were doing). As I was clocking out another RN told me I was supposed to have clocked out by 7:30pm which I guess I didn’t hear about because I was charting during evening huddle. I woke up this morning, on my day off, to a missed call and a text from my manager to call her back. I did but no answer so waiting to hear back. I am assuming it is in regards to my late clock out. And I have a feeling my options will be to allow her to change the time or to get written up. What would you do? I don’t want to get in trouble over something I knew I was doing, but I think it’s unfair and we need to stand up for ourselves. It really feels like they are trying to see how thin they can stretch us. I have a feeling even after the pandemic low census ends they will continue to stretch us this thin because they know it is possible.

Background- we are a newish 30 bed cardiac PCU. Before the pandemic began we were always told that we were to have a RN:Patient ratio of 3:1 with 2 support staff (1 unit clerk and 1 tech). As you may have guessed the 1 tech on a 30 bed unit isn’t available often. They don’t get vitals, blood sugars, answer call lights🙄 etc., they are just there as a resource which is usually not bad because you can always get help from another RN. When we are 4:1 we are supposed to have 3 support staff (1 unit clerk and 2 techs). Since this pandemic has began our unit is not as full but we have been having 4 patients daily with only 1 tech, and our tech yesterday was sent home at 3 apparently because she “wasn’t helping”. I had one AMS patient that was a REAL handful (let’s just say he was found with his head at the foot of the bed 3 times before 9am yesterday and two days ago he rolled out of bed to the floor with all 4 side rails up), 2 surgical SBO patients that, while they didn’t really meet PCU criteria they did require frequent ambulation which is a 2 person assist, and another nonsurgical SBO that again required frequent ambulation. I feel they are asking too much of us being 4:1 with no tech. Not to mention I started my shift with a few messes to fix from night shift. I probably could’ve been out on time but around 6pm another RN had to travel with a patient to a test and asked to to help with a med pass, which consisted of giving an IV with an infiltrated IV 🙄 I am not worried about my manager thinking I am slacking off as she knows I always work hard, I do things as asked, and nobody complains about me. But she wants to me to leave things undone so that I can clock out by 7:37pm.

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llg has 43 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

7 Followers; 13,346 Posts; 60,562 Profile Views

A lot of us have been in that same situation -- or something very similar. You're right, it is not fair for them not to pay you for all of the time it takes for you to complete your assigned task. However, is it fair for you to ask them to pay you more money than your colleagues because you are slow and inefficient?

Now ... in reality, you might not actually be slow and inefficient ... but if you are taking more time than most people to do your job, that is the way it looks from their perspective. So ...

1. Do you really want to keep your job right now? If not, move on. Look for another job ASAP. Do what you need to do to keep a paycheck coming in while you look.

2. Is everybody having the same problem? Or are you a little slower than many of your colleagues. If you actually are a little slower than a lot of your colleagues, you are going to have to work on that weakness. With hospital finances in a mess right now, they probably can't afford to pay you extra -- and will not keep you on staff if you can't get your job done in the time allowed.

3. If lots of people are having the same problem (which may well be the case), then you'll have to address it as a group. As a single individual, you have almost no power in this situation. If you refuse to comply with what they ask, they will simply replace you with someone who will comply. But they probably won't fire everybody -- so that's where working with a large group of people would be to your benefit.

4. In my conversations with them about this issue ... I would emphasize questions that ask what you are supposed to do when you need more help to get finished on time. Who are you supposed to call? How are you supposed to document the need for you to stay beyond your scheduled shift? etc. Then be sure to follow their recommendations for those situations to the letter. I once worked in a hospital that was chronically understaffed -- and there were 2 of us with the authority to grant permission for people to stay overtime. A lot of hospitals require approval for overtime hours to be allowed. See if your employer is willing to put such a plan in place -- which will reduce overtime by eliminating unnecessary overtime, but still allow for necessary overtime. All hospitals should have some system in place. You start getting behind ... you request help ... if no help is available, you get authorization for overtime.

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A Hit With The Ladies has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Psych.

183 Posts; 1,255 Profile Views

Throughout your shift, talk less chart more. I'm completely serious. Do what you have to do, be polite about it, but tell your patients and coworkers you have to go see something else. Step out of that room, get on that computer, and chart that assessment. With time your charting will go by much faster because it's so repetitive, and you'll learn the shortcuts and figure out that brevity (I.e., including just the key events) is key to good charting. Barring unexpected events (e.g., patient status changes within the last hour of your shift, last-minute new admissions), you shouldn't be leaving late every day if that's not the norm on your unit.

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4 hours ago, A Hit With The Ladies said:

Throughout your shift, talk less chart more. I'm completely serious. Do what you have to do, be polite about it, but tell your patients and coworkers you have to go see something else. Step out of that room, get on that computer, and chart that assessment. With time your charting will go by much faster because it's so repetitive, and you'll learn the shortcuts and figure out that brevity (I.e., including just the key events) is key to good charting. Barring unexpected events (e.g., patient status changes within the last hour of your shift, last-minute new admissions), you shouldn't be leaving late every day if that's not the norm on your unit.

This. ^

There is now a marked emphasis on no overtime.

I suspect you have been previously identified as taking too much time and perhaps it is now seen as a good time to address this with you.

Whatever the details, now you are aware and if you want these people to stay off your back about it then work on the problem.

PP gives very good advice on this. Think about incorporating this in your work.

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