View Full Version : Stop Calling Me On My Day Off


Mother Jones, RN
01-29-2008, 04:35 PM
My employer has called me at 6 a.m during my last three days off from work to see if I'd like to come in and pick up an extra shift. My husband went balistic this morning and told them off. I'm starting to feel sick because I'm not getting enough sleep, and I'm angry that I have to start taking my phone off the hook. How do you feel when the hospital calls you on your day off? :motz: :pound:

MJ :pepsi:

LittleBird
01-29-2008, 04:40 PM
My phone rang at 6:45am today. Luckly I have call display, and I know the phone number of staffing when they call. I just decided not to answer. They probably needed someone to work on our "sister" unit anyways. I don't get calls from work too often. Our scheduling people have a binder where you can put in any available days you might be willing to work overtime on your days off, and they go through those lists before starting to call people at random.

Mother Jones, RN
01-29-2008, 05:05 PM
My phone rang at 6:45am today. Luckly I have call display, and I know the phone number of staffing when they call. I just decided not to answer. They probably needed someone to work on our "sister" unit anyways. I don't get calls from work too often. Our scheduling people have a binder where you can put in any available days you might be willing to work overtime on your days off, and they go through those lists before starting to call people at random.

I asked to be put on a " do not call list" because I will ONLY WORK WEEKENDS. I was told, "We have to call everyone, so we are going to call you, too." They treat every nurse like hospital property. :motz:

MJ :pepsi:

LesleyJoy
01-29-2008, 11:27 PM
I asked to be put on a " do not call list" because I will ONLY WORK WEEKENDS. I was told, "We have to call everyone, so we are going to call you, too." They treat every nurse like hospital property. :motz:

MJ :pepsi:


MJ,

Nurses are not property of the hospital and may not be treated as such! I strongly suggest you have a frank discussion with the manager of the staffing department and your department manager. A followup email to them with a copy to your Vice President of Patient Care Services might be effective in addressing what appears to be a poor staffing practice. For what it is worth, at my place of employment we make a note upon request of those nurses who will work only specific shifts or days - and we do NOT call them! Furthermore, when I know that a nurse has something special planned on a particular day, I do not call him/her!

Joy

Mother Jones, RN
01-30-2008, 09:22 AM
:nurse: Thanks for the advice, Joy. I hope it works. I know nurses who are leaving the hospital because they refuse to be treated like this anymore. You would THINK that the hospital would wise up. It doesn't cost a penny to treat someone with respect. :dancing2:

MJ :pepsi:

KimRN
01-30-2008, 12:33 PM
My employer has called me at 6 a.m during my last three days off from work to see if I'd like to come in and pick up an extra shift. My husband went balistic this morning and told them off. I'm starting to feel sick because I'm not getting enough sleep, and I'm angry that I have to start taking my phone off the hook. How do you feel when the hospital calls you on your day off? :motz: :pound:

MJ :pepsi:

I usually feel sick to my stomach, because they are going to ask me to come in and I will feel guilty if I say no!

LesleyJoy
01-30-2008, 12:44 PM
...and I will feel guilty if I say no!

Kim,

Please let go of feeling guilty. Healthy boundaries are integral to a healthy life. So... say "No, but thank you for thinking of me" when asked to work more often than what is best for you. And, please, say "Yes" when you have the time, strength, and willingness to come in on your day off. Working beyond our strength or working at the expense of our mental health or working instead of investing in the lives of our loved ones is foolish. And for those of us who are tempted to covet the dollars extra work brings in, let us remember that sometimes money is too expensive to be earned!

Stepping down from my soap box,

Joy

Mother Jones, RN
01-30-2008, 12:45 PM
I usually feel sick to my stomach, because they are going to ask me to come in and I will feel guilty if I say no!

I use to feel guilty, but I don't any more. I am so tired, and I just want to be left alone. :sleep:


MJ :pepsi:

P/J
01-30-2008, 11:55 PM
Although it is tough getting calls every morning, there must be a reason that they feel that they have to all everyone.

My farther used to do a few weekend shifts (4hours on Sat). It was a small town and a lot of his team used to go home or away on the weekends, so he felt that he was saving people from having to stay just to go into work for a few hours when he was already going to be in town. The rest of his team found out how much he was getting paid for doing these few hours and took it to the union as they felt that they should be given the opportunity as well (which they already were, just said no, so it stopped being offered to them each week). The workplace ended up rostering people on for the 4 hours. People complained about having to hang around in town. Dad went back to doing it.

This is probably what your workplace is trying to prevent by calling and asking everyone each time. I would suggest that you setup a "Do Not Call List" at your workplace, but it gets updated each week or month. That way if someone then turns around and says that they weren't getting any overtime work, the list gets consulted for that month and it can be resolved.

I work agency at the moment, and I put in allocations (AM, PM, ND) every week. If work calls and I have allocated myself to an AM shift, I am expected to do it. However I get days off if I want them.

Julie
01-31-2008, 01:58 AM
I am wondering why (as P/J said) that they don't set up some kind of on call list. I seems fundamentaly wrong to be continually ringing people on their day off. If people don't get their off duty time then they won't be fit for work. If they have to ring every day then their staffing levels are wrong. But if people want to work extra they should volunteer not be called (and not at 6am). This would not set me up well for any day and can't blame you MJ for being fed up with it.

Nurse Stella
01-31-2008, 06:43 AM
I had one job where I'd work 3-11, then they'd call me at 5am to work a day shift- they, too, called everyone. I finally learned to shut the ringer off on my phone before I went to bed, and turned the volume way down on my answering machine. That way the phone didn't wake me up.

Bev

Elocin22
01-31-2008, 06:14 PM
Just got a voicemail from the supervisor (highly unusual) offering bonus (not so unusual), which isn't a bad deal, and would offer me time and a half as it would put me in overtime. (And this next check would have weekend pay... Awesome!) However, that would put me on 7 of 8 days. I don't think so. Need to hang out w/ the old man tonight, otherwise I really won't see him. Oh yeah, and I need to be functional!

I ignore the phone. I feel less guilty not answering than saying "No" when I do answer.

geenaRN
01-31-2008, 09:15 PM
I do what someone suggested above - I say "thanks for thinking of me!" and say no. I used to feel guilty, but don't much anymore.

NurseSean
02-01-2008, 04:28 PM
I get called everyday religiously. Some days I receive 2-3 calls: one to see if I'll work day shift, then to see if I'll work evening, then another for night shift. I've even started coming home from work lately to find messages on my machine asking me to work the shift I just got home from working.

Managers are so desperate for employees...the staffing department are just the messengers.

Kim: I'm the opposite of you, I'm TOO good at saying no! I never feel guilty about it. They pay us double time when we are called in on days off. I leave so much money on the table by never picking up. There has to be a balance.

Mother Jones, RN
02-01-2008, 08:23 PM
Managers are so desperate for employees...the staffing department are just the messengers.


You're right, the staffing department are just the messengers, so I talked to our VP of nursing about what's going on. I worked an extra shift yesterday--yes, the finally wore me down--and I talked walked into the VP's office before I went home. I told him that I didn't want to be the only RN for the entire unit this weekend. He told me to call someone in, and that he would pay time and a half. I said, "That would be great BUT there is no one to call in. Most of our nurses on our unit have quit, or on leave." Then he said something that knocked me over. He said that he would come in this weekend if I needed help. I told him to make sure he had a fresh pair of scrubs ready because I was going to hold him to his word.

We'll see. :nurse:

MJ :pepsi:

LesleyJoy
02-01-2008, 10:07 PM
...Then he said something that knocked me over. He said that he would come in this weekend if I needed help....

MJ :pepsi:

WOW! And again I say, WOW! Your VP said he would come in if needed? And what about the nurse manager of your department? Do you know if the VP spoke with the manager? I cannot imagine him not speaking with the manager...

I wish the managers here would be held accountable to ensure adequate staffing. They most typically do not answer their phones evenings and weekends - even though they knowingly leave their units without sufficicent baseline staff. They depend upon the House Sup to patch things up both for baseline and for sick calls and increased census/acuity. And the VP allows them this latitude. Oh... am I complaining? Yes, I most certainly am complaining. In fact, I am being most intemperate in posting my complaint.

In the hope that posting here will in some way alleviate my suffering, I offer the following which I posted on another bulletin board: "In a little while longer I shall go to work. I dread it. The long night hours are demanding. The psychosocial aspects of the job require exquisite attention to detail which sometimes borders on hypervigilance. I am more tired of the responsibility than I can express. If any of you are called to pray, please ask God to continue to grant me wisdom, safety, and provision as I fulfill my responsibilities to the staff, physicians, and patients of the hospital."

Anyone care to join me in my pity party?

Joy

runningnurse
02-01-2008, 10:18 PM
I've seen the nasty side of being short staffed continuously...at first I felt guilty about saying no and did a few extra shifts, but soon enough I found I was not enjoying work anymore and also realized that in order to keep myself healthy I needed to say no...I also changed positions and where I work now there is rarely overtime...that being said I was floored when one of the girls was absolutely sick for her night shift (she was to do 2 nights in a row and wasnt able to do the second one) and so the DOC (director of care) ended up coming in to cover 11pm-7am! I was floored when I saw her do that and am so appreciative of her doing so, not too many higher ups do that anymore- I'm sure it'd give them a better perspective on things if they did...

angelbev
02-03-2008, 12:46 AM
I used to hate those calls too! Now our department went to pagers for everyone. When there is a need, a page goes out. Phone calls are only made when the department is desperate becasue no one has responded to the page.

Mr Ian
02-25-2008, 08:51 AM
He said that he would come in this weekend if I needed help. I told him to make sure he had a fresh pair of scrubs ready because I was going to hold him to his word.

We'll see. :nurse:
MJ :pepsi:

And then?

(geez I have to type at least ten characters or it won't post! Is this enough now oh God of the Adequate Sized Comments?)

Mother Jones, RN
02-25-2008, 03:36 PM
And then?

(geez I have to type at least ten characters or it won't post! Is this enough now oh God of the Adequate Sized Comments?)

Oh, he had an emergency and couldn't be reached during the weekend. Yeah, I was sooooo surprised....


MJ :pepsi: