Geez! Sorry I mentioned I was at work! Holy cow. I work in a laboratory, so once my instrument maintenance is done, and qc had been run, if I don't have any specimens to process I don't have anything to do. I could clean, but we have people who clean, so that would be silly. I'd have to track them down and borrow a cleaning cart and who knows what'd happen while I'm out of the lab looking for them. I could do continuing education, but I've already finished that for the year.
Anyone who has worked in a hospital knows that it isn't like any other business. Our work doesn't come with any regularity or predictability, and if we get a surge of work there's nothing that can be put off. When I worked at a grocery store as a kid there was always some cleaning, stocking, or tidying up to do, and so we did it when we were slow. But if we suddenly got a rush of customers, some of the cleaning could wait, or some of the shelf stocking could wait.
If we don't keep the lab fully staffed (there are only 2 of us running the whole place at night), then our emergency department suddenly gets busy and we are suddenly overwhelmed, they aren't going to get their labs (including blood transfusion services, cardiac studies, etc) in a timely manner, and people could die!