No lunch for lunch break?

  1. 0
    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 time, around 2pm, a few CNA's and I prefer to take our lunch break. I've been working here for a little over a year and I always take my lunch break at 2pm after all the work in the dining room is done. No one has ever had a problem with it and I assumed it was OK because the Med tech and dietary staff and manager and front office people also take their break at this time.

    In fact, most people take their break at this time because, obviously, this is the only time food is served and, obviously, people like to eat lunch on their lunch break. As far as I know, the manager and the people who work at the front office (The "higher up's") are the only ones allowed to leave work place premises to get lunch.

    CNA's can never leave work (not even walk across the street to pick up a quick order) and I understand that because we must be here just in case the residents need help.

    However, now they are enforcing a rule were we (just the CNA's) must take our lunch break around 10am and 11am, or basically spread out our lunch times because they do not want us all to take our lunch at the same time (2pm). Since most of us prefer to take our lunch at this time, there is no one working the floor to help the residents if they need help (except the front office, the nurse, CNA supervisor, Med tech and a few other people... That is, if they aren't taking their break at 2pm too ).

    While I completely understand this and think it's ridiculous that there is no one to respond for the 30 minutes we are on break (unless the higher up's or Med tech was willing to help), I also think it's ridiculous that they expect us to take our lunch break at a time when there is no food while everyone else who works here have the privilege to go get McDonald's if they want to or have lunch past 12:30pm (the only time lunch is served). So they expect is to just sit in the break room for 30 minutes without food or bring our own lunch.

    Something about this seems unfair and I am not happy. Is this normal or am I overreacting?
    Last edit by sakiohma on Feb 4
  2. 27 Comments so far...

  3. 4
    Why would you not bring your own lunch?
    Any where I have worked there have been set lunch breaks and there were usually two breaks so one half of the staff goes to first and the second half goes to second break>
  4. 0
    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 ?
    Last edit by sakiohma on Feb 4
  5. 0
    Quote from loriangel14
    Why would you not bring your own lunch?
    Any where I have worked there have been set lunch breaks and there were usually two breaks so one half of the staff goes to first and the second half goes to second break>
    In these set lunch times, is there one half that must pack a lunch or eat nothing, while the other half has the privilege to leave to get food or eat from the dining room? If so, it is clear that one half is favored.
  6. 0
    Quote from sakiohma
    In these set lunch times, is there one half that must pack a lunch or eat nothing, while the other half has the privilege to leave to get food or eat from the dining room? If so, it is clear that one half is favored.
    Usually our cateria is open during both breaks but most people bring their lunches anyways.
  7. 2
    This is pretty typical in health care.
    psu_213 and loriangel14 like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from loriangel14

    Usually our cateria is open during both breaks but most people bring their lunches anyways.
    Oh, ours only serves after noon
  9. 0
    Quote from CrunchRN
    This is pretty typical in health care.
    It is? This is my first healthcare job.
  10. 2
    Take management and front office staff out of the equation. When they take their lunch break and where they go or don't go to get lunch is irrelevant to your position.

    I'm really surprised everyone is allowed to take a lunch break at the same time. Who is taking care of the patients? It might only be 30 minutes, but a LOT can happen to unmonitored patients in 30 minutes. Break times for floor staff pretty much have to be staggered so someone (CNA, LPN, RN, whoever) is there if a patient needs help. How do you know the nurses' breaks aren't being given a designated time frame also?
    Hygiene Queen and OCNRN63 like this.
  11. 4
    I'm shocked you were all allowed to break at the same time. When I worked ER we had to split breaks over 3time periods. So buy on your day of and pack lunch for the week. Can you microwave at work? Buy some instant or frozen dinners and an ice pack and bring your lunch. When I worked nights the cafeteria didn't open until the end of or shift. The coffee shop was open and by no means was floor staff permitted to leave the facility during a shift to pick up food (sometimes we ordered delivery). Even in nursing school we brought our lunch on clinical days.

    It's less fair that the whole CNA staff took lunch at the same time and it's irrelevant that other staff can leave for break. Plan ahead and bring your lunch or a snack. It's not an unrealistic expectation.


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