Santa stop here

Friday, November 1, 2013

Oh me, oh my!

Well, folks, I labeled this "All Saint's Day" but in reality it's already Nov. 2. Oh well. Talk about a day of ups and downs...and good food to balance it all out.
Let me begin with work-related saga, if I may. Last week I worked 12-hour shifts on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday. This week's schedule was supposed to be Sunday, Thursday, Friday. On Monday my job called saying that they needed a nurse to cover 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. I explained that it would put my in overtime, but they must have been really desperate because they said that was okay. I ended up working 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. On Tuesday the Central Staffing Office called stating that there was a "need" on my floor again. And again, I explained the OT thing to them. They called my floor manager and then called me back saying that it was approved. So, off to work I went again Tuesday for the 7 p.m. shift. I was sent home at 11 p.m. No worries on my part. I still have a day off between my last two days to work this week, right? Note, I have been at work every night at this point since last Friday.
My telephone rang at 9-something Wednesday morning. Can you guess whom it might have been? Do the initials CSO ring a bell (look six lines up if they don't). There was again a "need" on my floor for 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. or 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Seriously people? Is there no one else answering their phones or what. I explained the OT situation yet again but offered to take the 3p-11p shift if they really needed me. The CSO said they would call my floor to get it approved. I received a call back from a nurse on my floor saying, "Thanks, but no thanks. You stay home and get some rest. We're about to discharge several patients and we'll just keep our fingers crossed that the rooms don't fill up. Cool. I planned to enjoy my one day off and bathe the dog, order Mama's pizza for dinner and watch Modern Family with my family. At 5:50 p.m as I was scouring the aisles of the grocery store for hot cocoa mix and tea bags, I received a call on my cell phone from the charge nurse on my floor asking if I was still available for the 7p-7a shift. Again I say to you, SERIOUSLY?1?! At this point I'm wondering if I am being a Team Player or the Team member being played, but as I just wrote a substantial check for senior graduation announcements, cap & gown, yearbook, etc...I shuffled home, wolfed down a slice of pizza, jumped into my scrubs and scurried back out the door to work. The nurse who had called me earlier to say stay home and rest thanked me profusely for coming in. As a favor she took me off of the schedule for Friday. So my OT wouldn't be as substantial, but every little bit helps. I was telling all of my patients as I met and examined them that I would be their nurse until 7 the next morning. Want to guess what happened at 11 p.m.? Charge nurse wrote me right off of the schedule since I was overtime. I handed off my patients to a nurse coming on at 11p.m. and I went home early again. I thought to myself, I'm not going to know how to work a 12 hour shift by the time I get back on track. Dang!
Bear with me, I'm getting to the conclusion of this saga...So, yesterday (Halloween-trick or treat!) I donned my scrub top with ghosts & bats & jack-o-lanterns and set off to work for my originally assigned 12 hour shift. I got a little nervous as I saw that we had several empty rooms. If more patients didn't appear from surgery or the ER there would be no way to justify having a full nursing staff. I picked up my patient assignment and went to meet them all. I dared not say that I'd be with them until the morning. Sure enough at the stroke of 10:30 (shift change) I surrendered my patients and was sent home early.
This morning I did the math. I ended up working 12+8+4+4+4 hours this week. That's only 32 hours!! Not only did I not get 1 minute of overtime, I didn't even get all of my regularly scheduled 36 hours. With the three extra trips back and forth to work I lost money and time! I was angry with myself for not figuring that out beforehand and insisting that I stay for my entire shift last night. I passed on this revelation to our timekeeper and my unit manager. I'll definitely speak with my manager face to face when I have the opportunity. I explained that I wasn't trying to be greedy by accepting the OT, but I thought I was helping my unit and being a "team player." I guess not. It's never a good thing to work short staffed-not for the patients or the overextended staff. Now I see why people call in at the last minute and don't think twice about it. They have probably been burned in the past, too. I'm going to bring this to management's attention. Hopefully, this will not happen to me or my coworkers in the future.
I'm going to end this post right here because it's longer than I originally thought it would be. I'll start a new post for tomorrow. Good night. Until next time...

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