Any nurse knows that one of the downsides to the career is the need for coverage on most units 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. There may be times when you are asked to alter your schedule or pick up additional shifts to fill for vacancies in the work schedule. Due to being shorthanded, you may also be asked to stay for longer hours on your current shift. Working as a cohesive team is important among fellow nurses in a department and they need to be willing to help each other out when needed. As well, it is important for you to be open and honest about your availability and for you to ensure that the job you are interviewing for fits your schedule.
"I know that working as an obstetrics nurse on 12 hour shifts that teamwork and helping cover for each other is important. In my current position, we have policies on notification for paid time off, shift swapping and calling in sick. I have been open to help cover extra shifts when needed and staying over for some extra time on shifts as long as I have some notice because I need to make childcare arrangements for our little one."
"As a new nurse entering the workforce, I will be more than willing to pick up extra shifts and work extra hours when needed. I am very eager to work with and learn from as many experienced nurses as I can and this would enable me to do that. Through college, I worked in the student center book store and I picked up any extra shifts that my school schedule allowed me to. There, covering the schedule was a team effort and we had to be in constant communication due to us all being full-time students."
"Through my career as a nurse, all units that I worked on functioned as a cohesive team and this was very important when it came to covering shifts. Just recently, I was working day shifts on my unit when we were notified that two of the evening shift nurses came down with the flu. Being down a couple of nurses due to turnover, my supervisor made calls to those on night shift to see if two people could split the shifts and work 12 hours. I volunteered to stay over four extra hours without hesitation and when two night shift nurses stepped up as well, we had the unit covered for the evening."