Some nursing specialty units are known to have more mandatory overtime than other units such as the operating room and post anesthesia care units. This occurs because of emergent and dynamic patient needs, unpredictable delays in surgical procedures, and significant differences in the efficiency of members of the operating room staff (Huston, 2020). The OR where I work is staffed Monday through Friday from 7am to 11pm, from 11pm to 7am Monday through Friday and on weekends there is a call team available for activation in case of an emergency. I work the day shift full time and I am on call at least 2 additional shifts each week. I knew when I accepted the position in the OR, I would be required to be on call in addition to my regular work week. Call is assigned based on seniority on a rotating basis. Due to the training required to work in the OR, we do not have any members of the Float team who are qualified to cover sick call when one of our nurses is out sick, we just work short staffed. There have been many nights that I have been “on-call” when I have been called into work in the middle of the night after working the entire day shift and was required to be back at work to start my 7am shift. There are also days when cases go longer than expected and there are no nurses available to relive you at the end of your shift but you just can’t leave because that would be abandoning your patient. When we have sick calls for the evening shift, nurses do get mandated to stay to cover their shift but the way my manger gets away with mandated us is to word it as “assigned call” instead of MOT. The summers are always a crazy time at work because of vacations and in particular, this summer because we also have two nurses out on maternity leave. At times, it is physically and mentally draining working so short staffed. Nurses are calling out sick just for a mental health day and to get the required rest a body needs to recoup just so they can provide the safest care to their patients.
Huston, C. J. (2020). Professional issues in nursing: Challenges and opportunities (5th ed.) Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer