No lunch for lunch break? - page 2

I work the 7-3 shift as a CNA at an assisted living facility. Lunch is served for the residents at 12:30pm and we serve them restaurant style and clean up when they are done eating. After this... Read More

  1. by   Loo17
    No place I have ever worked has allowed all the CNA's to take break at the same time. The office staff is different and you should not consider them, they are not direct care staff. If you are not paid for your lunch, you should be allowed to leave when you desire and should not be expected to help out with any patients -if you are off the clock this is a huge liability to you. Whether you are a nurse, med tech, or CNA theres should be staff of your discipline left to assist residents and cover your lunch. Everyone has their own job responsibilities, when the nurses are at lunch you can not do their job for them. How would you feel if they told you that you needed to cover housekeeping for 30 minutes every day so they could all eat together? It just wouldn't be practical or safe to do their job and your even for a short time. I would imagine that after the residents eat lunch many residents need to use the bathroom or get transferred back to bed. It does not seem safe to have all of the CNA's gone at that time or any time. You are a valuable part of the team. If you like taking your lunch later in the day maybe you could suggest staggering the lunches or having CNA's sign up for lunch times daily and cover each others patients so there will always be cna's there.
  2. by   sakiohma
    Quote from nmsxx6454
    Why can't half of you take break at 2, and the other half at 2:30? If lunch is served 12-3, then you all can eat a hot lunch.
    Thank you !!! I love you. I was thinking this too. I usually take mine at two and never really paid attention to when the other would take their break. And that's bad communication on our part. If we work together effectively, we can do this. I guess we never seriously thought about because it was never brought to our attention until recently. When I first started working here, I would take breaks at 2pm with the cna supervisor and nothing was ever said that we shouldn't. I even asked if it was OK and they said yes. No one really seems to follow a set lunch break schedule and this is a problem we need to reassess.
  3. by   sakiohma
    Actually, Thank all of you for your answers!

    I completely understand and now I feel a little selfish. At work, I will talk it over with the others. No, we aren't paid for lunch break and there are times when we are called (by management) to work after we clocked out for lunch... but that's another problem.
  4. by   OCNRN63
    Quote from sakiohma
    The only time lunch is served is between 12:00pm and 3pm, and we are not allowed to leave. The only people who seem to be allowed to leave or eat at those times is everyone, but the CNA's. There are times when I don't have food at home or time to prepare a lunch. Something about this seems unfair. But I completely understand that someone needs to be on the floor. But could that not be the Med tech or the nurse or CNA supervisor or allow some of us to break between 12pm and 1:30pm when all the residents are busy eating in the dining room so they would be free after 2pm to help residents in their rooms ?
    You are not entitled to get your lunch from your employer. If you take your lunch at 1400 and leave at 1500, that means you have 1/2 left to help transition to the next shift. Probably less till you get back to your unit.

    The nurse is most likely finishing up her work so she can give report to the next shift. It's unreasonable to expect her to do your work too.

    ​I do agree that they could revise the hours; taking lunch at 1000 is a bit early. But you should be responsible for making sure you have something to eat. Get your lunch ready the night before. It's not rocket science.
  5. by   OCNRN63
    Quote from nmsxx6454
    Why can't half of you take break at 2, and the other half at 2:30? If lunch is served 12-3, then you all can eat a hot lunch.
    Then you would have staff eating lunch right before change of shift, which can be a busy time when you need all hands on deck.
  6. by   mstearns09
    I generally work 1st shift, 7a to 3p, with two other CNAs. The first one takes lunch at 11a, the next at 11:15, and the last at 11:30. This way, there is always one person on the floor. Works well for us.
  7. by   Here.I.Stand
    Google your state's laws governing break periods. I just did a quick search and of the first couple of states that came up, found that meal breaks must be paid if the employer requires you to stay on premises, and/or are called out of your break to help w/ work. If your lunch break is unpaid, you may have the legal right to leave.
  8. by   hunnybeeRN
    I agree with Here.I.Stand. You are entitled to a thirty minute, uninterrupted break. However, the timing of that break cannot interfere with patient care. One suggestion you could make to your employer is to allow the lunch breaks to start at 1:30pm and to allow one CNA to take their break at a time with the other two covering the patients of the one who is at break. This would allow an hour for the patients to eat and for things to be cleaned up before the first CNA was to take their break. The the other one to two CNAs can each take their break one at a time with the others covering for them. As nice as it is to take your breaks together, that may not be feasible if you are wanting to eat with the cafeteria. This way you can still have your hot lunches and the patients have the help they need without relying on the constant, consistent, and total support of staff with other responsibilities. Also if the CNAs are covering for each other during their lunch breaks then it should be possible for the one at lunch to leave - so long as they clock out of the facility and clock back in when they return. I suggest you talk with your employer. If you don't come across as oppositional in your discussions with them and are open to compromise, you may be pleasantly surprised to find them willing to work with you. Good luck!
  9. by   Stephalump
    Y'all need to work together! I wouldn't allow every CNA to take their lunch at the same time, either. It just doesn't make sense. If there are only 3 of you, you should be able to stagger your breaks.
    My unit usually has 4 techs, plus sitters and desk staff, and we all juggle our own breaks. I usually offer to let the other person go about 45min before I want to eat, and then we go from there. No big
  10. by   NurseDirtyBird
    When I worked 0600-1400, we took our breaks at 10 or 1030. We'd been there four hours, it made sense. If we needed food, we'd request a breakfast tray from the kitchen and hold it back til our breaks.
    You know what's really not fair? NOCs gets nothing. There's no food available for them and they can't leave. Even if they could, nothing's open.
  11. by   OCNRN63
    Quote from NurseDirtyBird
    When I worked 0600-1400, we took our breaks at 10 or 1030. We'd been there four hours, it made sense. If we needed food, we'd request a breakfast tray from the kitchen and hold it back til our breaks.
    You know what's really not fair? NOCs gets nothing. There's no food available for them and they can't leave. Even if they could, nothing's open.

    I do not get this. What is so hard about bringing your own meal? When I worked nights, we always brought our own meals, or sometimes ordered out. I can't ever remember feeling entitled to free food from my employer.
  12. by   JustBeachyNurse
    Quote from OCNRN63
    I do not get this. What is so hard about bringing your own meal? When I worked nights, we always brought our own meals, or sometimes ordered out. I can't ever remember feeling entitled to free food from my employer.
    The only time I consistently had employer provided free meals was as a perk benefit working in fast food. Never in healthcare. It has always been bring or order delivery.
  13. by   psu_213
    Quote from sakiohma
    It is? This is my first healthcare job.
    Unfortunately, yeah. Employee lunch times are expendable, so to speak. The number one priority is always care of patients/residents. It's not good when employees don't get a lunch, but sometimes it happens.

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