This morning, at 5:25, the phone rang while I was eating breakfast. Knowing that it had to be work, I jumped to answer it (my in-laws are in town and didn’t want to wake them). Sure enough, I heard the hospital on the line talking about ‘floating’ someone (floating is the term we use when we send a nurse or tech to a different floor to work).
My heart sunk as I began to think, wow, they are giving me a courtesy call, letting me know ahead of time that I’m floating. In reality, I was getting put ‘on call.’ I’ve never seen a day shift nurse get put ‘on call’ and NOT called in. Scratch that….it did happen on the last friday shift I worked, but knowing the mon-thursday crew, they will call me in (and rightfully so if they are juggling 5-6 patients). Nobody likes to be called in because it means two things:
- you will get all the admissions & transfers
- you will get floated to another floor and get all of their admissions & transfers
And if you needed me to explain any more about the downside to being placed “on call,” since it takes me virtually 45-60 minutes to get to work, I’m essentially stuck here at home. I get it, today we can do something closer to the hospital, but then we would have to take two cars, and really, we were just in that area on Saturday!
Some of us our never happy unless we’re complaining (I was really hoping to be called off Wednesday, not today…although maybe there is still hope). For now, I’m sitting in my favorite chair, drinking hot coffee, and the house is beautifully silent while everyone sleeps (hear that? that’s the sound of the TV in the OFF position). And I will be reading this before the phone rings again:
Keep your fingers and toes crossed that this “on call” turns into a “called off.”