You’ve just completed your first 12 hour shift since you finished CNA training. You enjoy this type of shift, as it allows you to spend more time at home with your family throughout the week, but still get in the hours you need to earn a decent paycheck and care for your patients. While 12 hours is a long time, you still feel refreshed enough to go home, see your kids, cool a nice meal, and enjoy a long luxurious soak in the tub.
Out of nowhere, however, your supervisor approaches you and asks, no demands, you stay over because one of your coworkers has called in yet again. While this is not in your plans, you shouldn’t shout ‘no’ just yet.
Mandatory Overtime After CNA Training
During CNA training, you were most likely taught that overtime might be expected of you occasionally when you were working as a CNA. However, before you give in to the demands of your charge nurse after CNA training, there are a few things you should consider.
- The State You Live and Work in- Before you begin your employment after CNA training, make sure you check with your state board of nursing to see if there are any restrictions on overtime in your state. States like Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, Texas, New York, Oregon, West Virginia, and New Jersey all have laws that restrict the use of overtime for those who have completed CNA training and nurses.
- The Reason- If there are restrictions on mandatory overtime in your state after CNA training, you need to look at what those restrictions are. For instance, many states will not condone overtime simply because a sick coworker called in and your employer can’t find a replacement. However, if there is an emergency, disaster, or weather conditions are hazardous, mandatory overtime may be acceptable.
- Think Before You Speak- If you aren’t interested in working extra hours, don’t go into a long discussion with your charge nurse about the plans you had for that luxurious soak in the tub. They don’t care. Instead, focus on the desire you have to provide your patients with the best care possible after CNA training. Are you too tired to perform your duties correctly? Will you be likely to make mistakes because of fatigue? Address these concerns with your charge nurse after CNA training before you agree or refuse to take part in mandatory overtime.
- Know the Law- If your state does not protect you by law in regards to mandatory overtime and your supervisor or charge nurse insists you stay in spite of how tired you are, don’t leave the facility. This can be considered patient abandonment and you could not only lose your job, but you could also face criminal charges. Instead, make sure you document the reasons for your overtime. If this becomes a consistent problem, speak to your nursing administration or risk management team for support on the matter.
After CNA Training: Dealing With Overtime Requests
If you are asked to work overtime after CNA training, make sure you understand how you should handle it. Find out what the law mandates and talk to your charge nurse or supervisor if there is a problem after CNA training.