Too many hours, too little family time...

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    I'm a RN in LTC. I work on a skilled hall. I just started this position last month after returning from maternity leave. I worked on a med-surg unit before I had my daughter, but since I'd only been there a few months, I didn't qualify for FMLA and they didn't hold my position. Being that my husband and I just purchased a new house and had a new baby (a day apart, incidentally), I accepted the first job offer I received. I love the facility, but I'm having an issue with the hours. I was under the impression that I would be working 3 12-hour shifts per week. I was incorrect. I am scheduled 60 hours this week. And as nurses, we all know that a 12 hour shift is never just a 12 hour shift, especially since there is never a nurse to relieve me and I usually have to stay over until they can find someone to come in (I work 7a-7:30p). I have two young children (4 year and 3 months). I really don't like working 5 12-hour shifts a week. It's too much. They are being raised by the babysitter (my husband works 40 hours a week and attends college in the evenings). Also, I'm breastfeeding and am unable to pump more than once during my 12-hour shift. I'm not able to pump enough to sustain my baby and she won't take formula. That's an issue in itself. I don't know what to do. I'd much rather go back to working 3 12's (like I was in the hospital), but I don't want to be labeled a "job hopper" if I switch jobs again. Can anyone offer any words of encouragement or advice? Also, I can't ask to work fewer hours. They don't offer part-time positions. Everyone works the same amount of hours. Thanks.
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    I don't know that what I have to say is going to be of much use to you since you are so young, but I'll say it anyway: When you are on your deathbed, you are not going to wish you'd spent more time at work. Even when you're MY age, with grown children and grandchildren, you won't want to regret missing out on their first days of school, first loves, first kisses, and first broken hearts because you had to work overtime again.

    Trust me on this one......no job is worth it.
    vintagemother likes this.
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    Asking to work fewer hours would be asking to work full time instead of double time. You need to tell your supervisors that you are working too much and that they need to give you THREE shifts a week. Normally aren't LTCs like crazy super-strict about overtime? Why are they willing to pay you so much overtime? Plus, by accepting the situation, you make it easy for them to continue abusing you. I wonder why the nurse who is supposed to relieve you doesn't show up? Maybe because she's burned out on 60 hour weeks too.....

    And, as the kid who hated being raised by babysitters and was lonely for my parents all the time....please, don't do that to your kids. Being a job-hopper is way better than being an absentee parent full of regrets. My mom doesn't seem to understand why she and I don't have much of a relationship. There is a lot of other stuff, but my memories of crying and begging not to go to the babysitter we didn't like, who wasn't very nice to us, every morning and her still forcing us to go there all day every day......that's a big part of it.
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    I have been where you are. While it is easy to say put your family first, financially I couldn't afford to do it. I lived in a rural community and there was no where for me to go. No other hospital or facility down the street to job hop to. We couldn't have sold our home if our lives would have depended on it. Nursing is a hard job to do while raising a family. I would try talking to your nursing supervisor first. I don't know where you live, but the administration needs to think out of the box as far as hiring more staff that is reliable. Even if it means that they take the initiative to collaborate with a community college for new grads. The staffing problem isn't yours, but be aware that depending on the state where you work in, the Board of Nursing and Bureau of Labor and Industries may not be on your side. I did eventually leave, but it put me in a position that I had to move hundreds of miles away and only get on-call work. The first female CEO of Pepsi had it right, sometimes your career is on top sometimes your family.
  7. 0
    Quote from duskyjewel
    Asking to work fewer hours would be asking to work full time instead of double time. You need to tell your supervisors that you are working too much and that they need to give you THREE shifts a week. Normally aren't LTCs like crazy super-strict about overtime? Why are they willing to pay you so much overtime? Plus, by accepting the situation, you make it easy for them to continue abusing you. I wonder why the nurse who is supposed to relieve you doesn't show up? Maybe because she's burned out on 60 hour weeks too.....

    And, as the kid who hated being raised by babysitters and was lonely for my parents all the time....please, don't do that to your kids. Being a job-hopper is way better than being an absentee parent full of regrets. My mom doesn't seem to understand why she and I don't have much of a relationship. There is a lot of other stuff, but my memories of crying and begging not to go to the babysitter we didn't like, who wasn't very nice to us, every morning and her still forcing us to go there all day every day......that's a big part of it.
    Thank you for your feedback. The issue isn't that the night shift nurse isn't showing up; the issue is there isn't a night shift nurse! They're relying on people to pick up shifts to cover it right now. I am currently staying over for a 16 hour shift after doubling as a nurse AND an aide for 12 hours. I didn't even get a lunch break today. And I get to do it all over again tomorrow! I'm worn out. I honestly don't know how people can stay in the nursing field for life. I've only been doing it for 9 years (first as an aide, now as a nurse) and I'm already burnt out.


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