I’m a registered nurse. I’m writing a blog about my attempt to work enough hours between January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. I work per Diem which means that I do not have a set schedule of hours to work. Basically the hours I work are due to the need of the operating room schedule, nurse staffing and the whim of my supervisor. In the recent past I’ve had more opportunities to work than I want or need. I’ve taken advantage of this by taking days, weeks or months off at a time creating some snide remarks from my co workers calling me a princess. I am not paid vacation time, health care or sick time. My benefit has been that I can say NO to particular days of work and call. I don’t have to carry a beeper and be summoned to work for emergency cases unless I want to. I still have to be certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Life Support plus other requirements that make me just as capable as any staff nurse working in PACU, Post Anesthesia Care Unit.
I am nearing the end of my career in nursing and working this way has fit me to a “T”. Toward the end of last year I found out via Human Resources that I am only one year short of being fully vested which will earn me a monthly payment for the rest of my life! It is my last year to work enough hours to become vested and earn a pension. The hospital I work at is doing away with the pension program after this year. Working 1000 hours in a year does not seem like it’s that big of a deal.
Since I am not guaranteed set hours I am at the mercy of my boss, my co workers, the operating room schedule and even the economy as many of the surgeries we do are not on an emergency life or death situation.
I have to accept all that is offered to me. Sometimes I have to work late or longer hours than I prefer. My boss is very aware of my situation and says she will do what she can, but she has not made any promises.
Presently I’m working the hours of a nurse that is out on medical leave for 4 months. My pleasant sweet princess like disposition is wearing thin. I don’t think I have much in common with Florence Nightingale. I don’t know if I’m going to make my goal.