Currently, I am a GI Nurse. We work Monday thru Friday. We take call every 4 weeks from 3:30pm Monday until
7am the following Monday (however, we work our regular 7-3:30 daily). If we get called in during the night, they "try" to let us go home early the next day. We take call on holidays. We rarely get a day off because of a shortage in staffing and have been told before that we could not have a day off unless a per diem nurse could work for us. I am debating going back to L&D (which is my first love). There, I would do 12 hour shifts, work every 3rd weekend, take call 2 times every 6 weeks, and take call on a few holidays a year. Can all my experienced nurses out there please give me their opinions of the pros & cons. I do have an 11 year old that plays sports spring, summer, and fall. What to do???
Is the shortage of staff because their are vacancies??? How aggressively are they recruiting.
There is great documentation/report from the Division of Sleep Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (Havard Sleep Group) about the hazards to patient care if someone works more than 16 hours in a row or 4x 12 hour night shifts in a row...find it and share it with staff and managers. Also check with your states nursing organization...see if they have written standards on # of hours to work in a row.
Is everyone dissatified with the working hours set up...ask to call a meeting with management. If you are part of a union have your union reps informed of the dissatisfaction and set up meeting to meet with management.
Right now resident work hours is a big issue in hospitals and come July will decrease again based on patient safety and resident health issues...so I am sure you can find documentation to that effect and share with all involved and hope that they hire more staff and not take advantage of you.
Do tell "what" is the solution here. Typically, it has been my experience, if you complain about any (unsafe) conditions and/or staffing issues; management will find a way to turn it around and use it against you. Been there, done that, too many times. . . Typically, administrators are in it for their bonuses; don't want to be bothered; and as long as it doesn't affect them directly. . . Present all the studies and detailed information contrary to the current practices. . .The bottom line is that it is their "bottom line." Good luck, then start looking for another position. . .