Thursday, May 28, 2009


I know . . It has been over a week since my last post! Ha! This sounds like a confession. I am not Catholic, but I feel like I am waiting to hear how many "Hale Mary's" to do.

I don't have anything exciting to write about right now. I am kinda having a little "writer's block" or something. Maybe someone could make a suggestion. . . .?

I do have some pretty good stuff stirring in the background but I am waiting on all the information to get here. I am working with a Mother of a small child to write some of her story here. It is amazing! So you will definatley want to stay tuned for that to come around.

I am starting to feel the sting of this horrible economy! And it is not making me very happy! I work at a pretty large hospital in my town. There are actually several large hospitals to choose from and I like this one pretty well. I have worked here for a long time. I am currently in the "float pool". This means that I am not benefited, I get paid more, I pick my own schedule as long as I get at least 36 hours scheduled a week, and I have to work 2 weekend shifts a schedule. So, I usually work every other Friday night and still have my weekend to play. In the "float pool" I call in to the hospital 1 1/2 hours before my shift starts and they tell me what unit I am working that night. I can work just about any unit in the hospital with the exception of: Pediatics (YUCK!), ICU (don't want to anyway!), Maternity (NOT FOR ME!), ER (too many crazies), and OR (don't want to stand in one spot for that long!). So pretty much it is basic med/surg, neurology, cardiology, cardiovascular/pulmonary vascular, respiratory, infectious disease, oncology, hospice, womens surgery, general surgical, and med pysch. Pretty basic really.

Here is the catch. . . .
If the census in the hospital is down, the "float pool" are the first people to be cancelled. So for the past few weeks, I have been cancelled at least one shift a week and sometimes two. This is not good on the paycheck as these days are unpaid.

What I am learning is that the floors are keeping their overtime people and telling the staffing office they are on numbers and don't need us "float pool" people. So we get cancelled while someone else is getting overtime and sometimes bonus pay for those shifts!!!

I also just learned that there are some people who take a lesser pay and are benefited in the "float pool". These people get the shifts before us non-benefited people do. So tonight I got canceled because there was a benefited "float" person who took my spot.

Now, I keep hearing about this nursing shortage and I have even posted about it previously. But I have to tell you, I am not sure that the shortage is as bad as it seems. I have been looking, for at least the last month, for some supplemental income. Thought about doing "float pool" at another hospital on a part time basis or doing some PRN at another hospital. I have at least 4-5 hospitals to choose from in my area. I get online and ALL they are hiring for is FULL TIME in the ER, PEDS, NICU or ICU!! All four of which I HATE! I could easily go work at a nursing home for around $22/hr, however I would have to do med passes and medicare charting on up to 35 people. I was in administration for a nursing home for about 9 months and it was scary how the state regs were so lenient when it came to ratio. That is not even safe!!!

So, I guess I would ask all you other nurses out there, what is is like in your area? How do you earn that supplemental income? Are places hiring in your area? What about agency or travel nursing? I don't think I would want to travel for weeks on end but a day or two here and there wouldn't be bad. . . maybe?

Leave me a comment and give me your input, suggestions, or what you see happening in the nursing world.

This getting cancelled and not paid is for the birds!!!


1 comment:

  1. Have you considered special training for those other floors for which you haven't been trained? Is that optional? And could you possibly be missing out on caring for someone who needs the heart you have by not working ER, PEDS, or ICU?
    Because I know you as my bestfriend in the whole wide world in person and because I know your "heartwork", I can only imagine there has to be somebody who just needs your caring touch and prayers, in one of those areas you haven't worked yet.