Written by: Tiffany Rainford BSN, RN
Have you ever had an important event such as a graduation, vacation, wedding, appointment, or event? So you placed your PTO request, just to get it denied! Why? The unit is short staffed, you don’t have enough time saved, someone else has seniority, too many people requested the same day off, you have to find someone else to cover your shift or find a way to switch your days with someone else!
I am guilty of feeling guilty…
As a new nurse I was guilty of not wanting to seem lazy or leaving the unit short when we’re already short. Don’t be this nurse. If you feel like you need time off, even for a second, you probably do! Honestly, the only thing that truly makes me feel guilty is missing all those important moments and events because I was working. I can’t get back those important events.
A wise person once said…
“PTO means: Prepare the Others, because I won’t be there.” All jokes aside, I truly stand by that message. PTO is essential for healthcare professionals due to the high rate of burnout and mental health occurrences.
After taking PTO, you come back feeling refreshed and rejuvenated resulting in increased productivity and overall wellbeing.
What benefits do you have from taking PTO? It reduces stress and burnout, you get to spend time with family and friends, make new memories, allow time to decompress, take care of your health, and find balance. This is essentially a win-win for employers and employees.
My motto is…
You get denied PTO, take it anyway! Why? Because ultimately the unit or facility you work for will operate with or without you. Similarly to using sick time, if you are sick you have to take the time you need to take care of your physical and mental health.
So the next time you want some time off think to yourself: will I be missing out on making memories? Am I feeling burned out? Do I feel like I’m always at work?
If the answer is yes, take the time off. If your answer is no, take the time off anyways. You won’t regret it.
Tiffany Rainford BSN, RN
Owner and Creator of Beyond the Nurses’ Station
I have been a nurse for almost 10 years working in Long-term care, Outpatient Dialysis and CVICU. Currently, I’m on a gap year from nursing after leaving bedside in August 2021. I created Beyond the Nurses’ Station (BTNS) in 2020 with my love for nursing and art. I combined the two and created an online healthcare professional boutique that empowers, motivates, and creates a homeostatic lifestyle that supports healthcare professionals in and out of scrubs. BTNS provides nurses and other healthcare professionals with apparel, enamel pins, tote bags, stickers, glassware and more. All items and artwork are designed and created by me.
Aside from business, I am an artist, I love traveling and swimming.
My goal within the next 2 years is to create a scholarship fund for creative healthcare professionals to submit a non traditional scholarship application.
Edited by: Claire Lang, BSN-RN