slave labor - page 3

I work in a medium sized er. Busy place. Usually am charge rn & triage rn (if not triage, I take on full assignment-4 pts., sometimes more if we are using hall beds). It is almost impossible to be... Read More

  1. by   NicoleRN07
    Quote from carachel2
    This is another LIE management would have you believe. We are discussing this on another board. The nurses ARE out there, but a HUGE % have chosen to leave the bedside because of conditions like we are talking about. I know of TEN RN's in infection control, employee health, case management, NP school,etc.etc. because they are DONE with the crap.
    Working conditions are what you make of them. If you truly enjoy your job, then you will continue to do it despite the unpleasant conditions. I work short staffed most shifts, but I go to work with one goal in mind.....to provide quality care to my patients. It doesn't matter to me whether we are 1 nurse or 3 nurses short, I know that I have to do the best that I can with what I've got, and at the end of the day, I leave it all behind! I knew what I was getting into before I became a nurse.
  2. by   Draken
    Quote from NicoleRN07
    People don't wait in ERs for hours because the triage nurse don't believe them, they wait for HOURS because the ER is busy!!! How would you have felt knowing that the reason you sat in the waiting room for hours with a broken ankle in severe pain was that the nurses were taking their lunch break? My point is, we can not always take a break when there are still patients to be seen! We are allowed to take a break when the flow of the ER is not going to be interupted! We should not make waits longer for patients just so we can have our 30 minute lunch break!! AND YES, I AM A WORKAHOLIC!! I am proud to call myself a nurse. My needs may not always be met, but it is my job to make sure my patients needs are!
    actually the nurse TOLD ME YOUR ANKLE ISNT BROKEN IT IS SPRAINED being young and before i was in the medical field i just sat there.

    I didnt even get a wheel chair that is now standard practice because of ME in this hospital.

    The doctors responce was OMG he broke both sides how do we cast this and had to call in another doctor

    when you can make that call ono how busy they were having not been there makes me beleive your a chicken little and the sky is falling.

    you have lost all credibility with me and are just another Troll in the forums.

    welcome to the land of BS

    EDIT: Mind you I tried to stand to have my ankle fold under and drop me like a rag doll. I was in so much pain all I could do was laugh. and this hard core hustle bustle nurse faild me and guess what ill bet it wasnt the first time.

    Guess what I have actually worked in an er since then and I do know the hustle and see the talkers who waste more then 15 minutes on down time. like i said before either your being failed or delusional either one CAN be helped.
    Last edit by Draken on Feb 25, '07
  3. by   carachel2
    Quote from NicoleRN07
    Working conditions are what you make of them. If you truly enjoy your job, then you will continue to do it despite the unpleasant conditions. I work short staffed most shifts, but I go to work with one goal in mind.....to provide quality care to my patients. It doesn't matter to me whether we are 1 nurse or 3 nurses short, I know that I have to do the best that I can with what I've got, and at the end of the day, I leave it all behind! I knew what I was getting into before I became a nurse.
    Well then you are totally contradicting yourself. You cannot provide quality AND safe patient care working short consistently day in and day out and you most certainly cannot keep YOURSELF healthy.

    Make no mistake, I love what I do as well but when the environment puts me and my patients in danger I won't do it......no matter what moral high ground I wish I could take. I wish I knew your age. I would bet you burn out in a short period of time. Hospitals aren't going to change as long as there are nurses like you around who idealize their job to the extent that it blinds them to the hellatious working conditions around them.
  4. by   NicoleRN07
    Quote from carachel2
    Well then you are totally contradicting yourself. You cannot provide quality AND safe patient care working short consistently day in and day out and you most certainly cannot keep YOURSELF healthy.

    Make no mistake, I love what I do as well but when the environment puts me and my patients in danger I won't do it......no matter what moral high ground I wish I could take. I wish I knew your age. I would bet you burn out in a short period of time. Hospitals aren't going to change as long as there are nurses like you around who idealize their job to the extent that it blinds them to the hellatious working conditions around them.

    I am 27 years old, and I have been in nursing for 7 years, and I have yet to burn out! I love my job, and I do not spend every moment complaining about every little petty thing......especially not getting a break!!! I will NEVER put my need for a break over the needs of my patients!!
  5. by   meownsmile
    I dont work ER but i do work a busy med/surg/ortho and routinely have 7-10 patients some days. I dont get to go down and sit in the cafeteria and chat with friends on my breaks either. I take a quick one to run down and grab a tray,, take it back up to the floor and eat in either the kitchen or the conference room. I sometimes find myself having to call down and getting the cafeteria people to make up a to-go meal for me,, run down get it and again take it up and eat on the run. Even though i dont get a normal "break" i do get some food to keep me going. Theres a way to get some nutrition and you do sometimes lose the down time because of patient load, but it doesnt mean you have to starve.
  6. by   4nomark
    To those that herald the war cry "Everything for my Patients", and breaks aren't important, please don't be offended when I say you are either young or naive.

    If you look at other posts you'll see nurses complaining of bad backs, bad shoulders, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. The wear and tear on your body is culminating and one year all those missed opportunities to rest and rejuvenate are going to cost you dearly.

    When you tell your facility you can no longer work w/o breaks because of past injuries they may tell you tough t###y, look at that 25 year old nurse down the hall she dosen't need a break, get over it your patients come first.

    I understand at times you may not get a break but that should be an exception not the norm. I must agree with some posters in that more men do need to come into this field because we would tolerate this for only so long, no disrespect meant to the assertive nurses.

    To anyone whose ever had their back go out, you know that when your back says it needs a break and you ignore it there is going to be a price to pay. I once spent nearly a year in physical therapy because I did not listen to my body and take a break. You can be in the middle of a code, operation, etc and if your back truly goes out you are going to fall like a sack of potatoes, how is that benefitting your patients, co-workers, or yourself. Nurse NEED breaks and they should be getting them.
  7. by   carachel2
    and I do not spend every moment complaining about every little petty thing......especially not getting a break
    Somewhere along the way in this discussion you seemed to confuse me with someone you know in real life maybe ? I NEVER EVER wrote that I wanted breaks. I want a FREAKING LUNCH break. I never have and never will care about two fifteen minute breaks per shift. I am sooooooo not complaining about not getting a smoke break or time to run and get a biscuit for an a.m. break.

    You are doing NO one any favors by working through lunch and working in an environment that is consistently short. The only thing you are doing is rewarding management for their incompetency in staffing your unit. If you've been an RN for 7 years you are still a young pup and hey...I'm glad your body is still holding out. In another 5 years you may not be so lucky.

    I am glad there are nurses like you who care so much. But surely you must see the point that if we are to be treated with any respect as professionals, we must demand at least equal footing with the "heal clackers" (i.e. management) who DO get to at least eat lunch. We have college educations and we perform essential critical thinking tasks and without us the hospital would be brought to their KNEES. By doing what you are doing you are only persisting with the mindset that nurses are little handmaidens to be worked to death in ungodly conditions.

    I also wanted to add that I have worked *many* a shift where no one got lunch because the volume and acuity was just that high. I have NEVER complained EVER on those days. Actually, I have never complained in person.......I just did it with my feet, LOL. I am not a whiner. Just someone who realized that upper level management treats us like little dogs sometimes.
  8. by   carachel2
    I would also ask YOU which RN you would want taking care of you if you were a complicated ICU patient on a vent, with multiple drips, etc. Would you want the nurse who was able to sit down and eat (i.e. therefore having an appropriate amount of carbs to feed their brain !) OR would you want the one who has not had any food, hasn't been to the bathroom and is so brain dead she can't properly calculate your dopamine drip ?
  9. by   ItsyBitsySpider
    Quote from NicoleRN07
    People don't wait in ERs for hours because the triage nurse don't believe them, they wait for HOURS because the ER is busy!!! How would you have felt knowing that the reason you sat in the waiting room for hours with a broken ankle in severe pain was that the nurses were taking their lunch break? My point is, we can not always take a break when there are still patients to be seen! We are allowed to take a break when the flow of the ER is not going to be interupted! We should not make waits longer for patients just so we can have our 30 minute lunch break!! AND YES, I AM A WORKAHOLIC!! I am proud to call myself a nurse. My needs may not always be met, but it is my job to make sure my patients needs are!
    It's precisely these actions that has allowed for the deterioration of working conditions for RN's. The martyrdom attitude is fine and dandy but not going to keep you healthy and working for very long. If nurses cannot or will not take care of themselves they are useless to their patients. We owe it to them to be healthy, fed, rested, and on the top of our game. I'm sure your next reply will be that you are healthy and have no trouble working 12's without a break. I can assure you it will not last forever, or even for 10 years. I find it disturbing that nurses believe that sacrificing themselves makes them a better nurse.

    Our ER is mass chaos, in a large urban city that has a huge crime problem, recovering from a national disaster, only 3 hospitals that are working at full capacity, no mental health beds, and absolutely no nurses that want to come work here. We still take our breaks, every shift. Even if we don't get lunch until 3 pm.
  10. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    [QUOTE=ItsyBitsySpider;2087629]It's precisely these actions that has allowed for the deterioration of working conditions for RN's. The martyrdom attitude is fine and dandy but not going to keep you healthy and working for very long. If nurses cannot or will not take care of themselves they are useless to their patients. We owe it to them to be healthy, fed, rested, and on the top of our game. I'm sure your next reply will be that you are healthy and have no trouble working 12's without a break. I can assure you it will not last forever, or even for 10 years. I find it disturbing that nurses believe that sacrificing themselves makes them a better nurse.

    :yeahthat:

    no lunch should be the exception NOT the norm...
  11. by   RN4HIRE
    hi diane,

    in response to your question of "any ideas who/what i can complain to? don't suggest mgmt. they are well aware....... and have done nothing to change this. i thought maybe state bon? would they do anything? board of health? any ideas?"

    because az labor laws do not require it's employeers to offer breaks, or lunches, and osha in az does not enforce it's own guidelines, we (a right to work state) are limited to who will lend a compassionate ear to nurses. however, you should be aware that the national nurses organizing committee-arizona has introduced an unsafe patient care hotline. you can report unsafe conditions at: 1-800-496-0213.


    you may also consider strength in in numbers approach. for example, the southern arizona nurses coalition (saznc) has merged with the national nurses organizing committee - arizona (nnoc-az). this merger is the culmination of years of work by saznc to build a stronger voice for nurses across arizona in patient and professional advocacy. the membership of nnoc-az is now over 1000 voices strong! for more information you can contact the membership department at 510-273-2200 or by email at membership@calnurses.org.

    i would also take a mental note in how your hospital is not supporting its own nursing staff. they sound like a for-profit hospital. this could be the tale-tale heart of your hosptial's reactions in a malpractice suit. do you carry your own malpractice insurance? i defiently would. they will hang you out to dry, if they can prove you didn't follow their policy or procedure. if their is not enough staff, you must use your "chain of command" by writing an incident report. otherwise, they can deny that they knew anything about the staffing situation, and you can be held liaible for not meeting "the standard of care" when something goes wrong. on the other side of the coin, if you think you are safe in using registery, think again. my registery teaches us, if something goes wrong to document "charge nurse made aware." this would shift responsiblity to you, and perhaps shift the blame in a malpractice suit. my advice is to get out while you still can.....
  12. by   fromtheheartRN
    This "break issue" is NOT just ER! It is part of the nursing culture. Getting a lunch break on my floor is the EXCEPTION and not the rule.
    And things will NOT change if we all run around (and ourselves into the ground) and keep taking it with the smile and a "good attitude."
    It takes action...and a strong UNION.

    They are VERY rare, but I actually LOVE days when I can be caught up enough to offer my assistance to my neighboring nurse--or any other nurse on the floor for that matter--who has a heavier assignment so they can get a lunch break in. I love it because it makes someone else's days a little less stressful, they are thankful, and it is what makes us all feel like we are a team.
    But, like I said, those days are VERY rare. These are the days when we are staffed fully with a 3:1 ratio and float techs. This is the matrix we are SUPPOSED to follow!!! But when staffing is low...and/or the hospital is near divert, the matrix is thrown out the window.
    IT IS A STAFFING ISSUE AND NURSING CULTURE!
    In the ER, it can be easily solved with a designated float RN to cover all lunch breaks.
    I worked in an ER previously, and that is exactly how they solved the very same problem...successfully and permanantly. But then again, the hospital was a "not for profit" Catholic hospital with a very good union. It also helped that the director went to bat and fought for her nurses to get it changed.
  13. by   carachel2
    In the ER, it can be easily solved with a designated float RN to cover all lunch breaks.
    SING IT SISTER ! To heck with all the sign-on bonuses, I think there would be a MASS exodus to jobs like this that promised to take care of their nurses, respect them JUST A BIT and provide this kind of service.

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