slave labor - page 5

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   BULLYDAWGRN
    All you nurses with unions, do you typically have to put up with not being able to have 30min for lunch unless there is an emergency going on? Here in Mississippi there is no hospital with a nsg union, but we hear stories how they help you with stuff like that.
    Last edit by BULLYDAWGRN on Mar 10, '07
  2. by   teeituptom
    Quote from TerraRN
    Are you seriously complaining about 4 patients? I usually have 6-10 and NEVER get a break. Be grateful!
    Welcome to the wonderfull world of nursing
  3. by   Uptoherern
    I am complaining about having 4 patients......and being in charge.....and "watching over" the entire ER, knowing what's going on with everyone else's patients.....and answering questions from doc's and all RN's....and dealing with traffic control of incoming EMS.....and dealing with managers calling me FROM HOME! telling me to send someone home "the numbers don't justify the amt of staff".

    Why aren't you complaining about taking care of 6 - 10 pts?

    Don't get me wrong, most days I LIKE my job...it just gets overwhelming @ times, and I NEED to vent. This seems like a good place to do that!

    If I don't get lunch, I write "No lunch" and I get paid for it. We are all writing "No lunch" so often that our manager has now made it mandatory that the charge nurse "sign off" on anyone who writes up their no lunch. we've also been informed by our beloved little snitch that she gets mad when we write up our "no lunches". tough sh*&&%t.

    what I'm saying is that this is no way to treat an employee, whether it be a nurse or a widget maker. It just seems that nurses are treated like this more that the widget makers.
  4. by   Uptoherern
    ps, hi teeituptom. I still want to work with you!
  5. by   Batman24
    No one wants people in pain to wait in the ER. I have done it a few times and I am sure others here have done it as well. It's far from ideal and I wish it could be changed, but with hospitals not having adequate staffing it is now a sad norm. I would certainly understand the nurse's need to eat and rest a few minutes especially as they often work 12 hour shifts. It is the fault of management not the medical staff that they can't get to everyone in a timely manner.
    Last edit by Batman24 on Mar 13, '07
  6. by   nitenurse911
    talk to me in 20 years- you are 27 y.o. and 7 yrs into it. Get down off that cross- someone else needs the wood. Nurses are humans first and foremost and you can't think straight if you are stressed AND hypoglycemic. Cranky nurses are no pleasure to their pt's or co-workers. You'll get over your martyrdom and giving yourself away to management for free- get compensated for missed breaks at least; as Dr. Phil says, "you teach people how to treat you"; don't disrespect or de-value your time or your service.
  7. by   NicoleRN07
    The reason I entered nursing is because I care about others, and I enjoy taking care of people during a time when they need someone to care. I care enough about others not to complain about missing my break. I have based my whole life on taking care of someone else, whether it is my family or a complete stranger, and that is what I am happy doing. I'm not asking for anything in return. I am a wife and a mother first and foremost, and when I am home (4 days a week), I focus on my family, but when I am at work, I am a nurse and I strive to take care of my patients to the best of my ability, and if that means missing a break, then I am ok with that. I, when in charge, ALWAYS make sure that my co-workers have their break, even if I don't, it is no big deal to me.....if I don't get a break, I get paid for it. I am not asking anyone to agree with me, and quite frankly, I don't care what anyone thinks. It's my personal feelings and I do not believe in trying to force your opinions on another.
  8. by   DusktilDawn
    The issue isn't about nurses putting their needs before their patients. It's about enabling the nurse TO DO THEIR JOB. Consistently working without benefit of a break/lunch takes a toll on the physical and mental health of nurses, WHICH DOES NOT BENEFIT OUR PATIENTS. The times nurses really need their breaks/lunches tend to be the worst shifts they have (the one thing after another, all hecks breaking loose with the lunatics running the asylum shifts). NO ONE SHOULD BE LEAVING THEIR SHIFT COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED WITHOUT HAVING HAD A BREAK/LUNCH.

    Nurses are the rare breed where there will always be one that will criticize another for wanting a break/lunch. Tell me, is there another area of employment where this will happen? I can guarantee that every other employee in the facilities we work in ARE GETTING THEIR BREAKS/LUNCHS AND LEAVING ON TIME WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE NURSES. No one is critical of them. We are the rare breed where there will always be one that allows managment to make us feel inadequate for wanting a break/lunch or for c/o unreasonable workloads. Working 8 or 12hrs without a break/lunch or unable to even relieve one's bladder IS A SIGN OF A POOR WORK ENVIRONMENT.

    OUR EMPLOYERS NEED TO BE MADE ACCOUNTABLE IN PROVIDING NURSES A WORKING ENVIRONMENT THAT ENABLES US TO DO OUR JOB. Thats what our nursing organizations need to promote and lobby our legislators for. Thats what we need to lobby and support for each other.
  9. by   weirdRN
    Quote from DusktilDawn
    NO ONE SHOULD BE LEAVING THEIR SHIFT COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED WITHOUT HAVING HAD A BREAK/LUNCH.

    I can guarantee that every other employee in the facilities we work in ARE GETTING THEIR BREAKS/LUNCHS AND LEAVING ON TIME WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE NURSES. No one is critical of them. We are the rare breed where there will always be one that allows managment to make us feel inadequate for wanting a break/lunch or for c/o unreasonable workloads. Working 8 or 12hrs without a break/lunch or unable to even relieve one's bladder IS A SIGN OF A POOR WORK ENVIRONMENT.

    OUR EMPLOYERS NEED TO BE MADE ACCOUNTABLE IN PROVIDING NURSES A WORKING ENVIRONMENT THAT ENABLES US TO DO OUR JOB.
    I just left a long Term Care Facility and THEY blamed my lack of breaks and lunches on my POOR time management... never mind my patient case load.
  10. by   teeituptom
    Quote from erdiane
    I am complaining about having 4 patients......and being in charge.....and "watching over" the entire ER, knowing what's going on with everyone else's patients.....and answering questions from doc's and all RN's....and dealing with traffic control of incoming EMS.....and dealing with managers calling me FROM HOME! telling me to send someone home "the numbers don't justify the amt of staff".

    Why aren't you complaining about taking care of 6 - 10 pts?

    Don't get me wrong, most days I LIKE my job...it just gets overwhelming @ times, and I NEED to vent. This seems like a good place to do that!

    If I don't get lunch, I write "No lunch" and I get paid for it. We are all writing "No lunch" so often that our manager has now made it mandatory that the charge nurse "sign off" on anyone who writes up their no lunch. we've also been informed by our beloved little snitch that she gets mad when we write up our "no lunches". tough sh*&&%t.

    what I'm saying is that this is no way to treat an employee, whether it be a nurse or a widget maker. It just seems that nurses are treated like this more that the widget makers.
    Been there done that, worked 14 yrs charge in fair sized ER, dealt with increasing census, lack of breaks, too many meetings on my off days, too much additional paperwork, and computer work chores associated with being in charge. Too many calls about sending people home, too much time dealing with house supervisors over getting beds for admits. After all we cant stress out the floor nurses. Working on schedling, keeping staff happy, keeping MDs happy, leeping pts happy, and no one worries about keeping me happy. If I made one group more happy than the others I got "talked to", If I didnt keep everyone happy, I got "talked too". If I stressed out house supervisors and floor nurses I got "talked too", If I didnt ensure patients got dispoed quickly, I got "talked too". Too many phone calls from way too many people, the majority of whom, truly I have to admit, I couldnt even find justification for their existence, other than to try to get to me.
    But I finally beat them all, I won, I won, I won, I really did Win.
    I stepped down from charge, I went back to being a staff nurse. I have my assignment. I do my assignment very well. I take care of patients,and I do that very well. I support my charge nurse, I attend far fewer meetings, Have no superfluous paperwork,computerwork,quality assurance work, none of all that BS work that gets given to charge nurses.
    I leave work and it is left there at the door.

    BEEN THERE

    DONE THAT

    NO MORE

    I HAVE MY LIFE BACK

    AND MY JOY OF WORK BACK
  11. by   anne74
    What's up with charge nurses have a patient load? In my hospital NONE of our charge nurses have pts - except perhaps floor nurses working the night shift, and even then they have half a load.

    Charge nurses have much too much responsibility as it is - aside from administrative crap, traffic control, dealing with docs, etc. - their job is to make sure the unit runs smoothly and provide back-up and support to the staff nurses who have pts.

    Shame on any hospital who abuses this position. That's ridiculous. I feel for all of you.
    Last edit by anne74 on Mar 16, '07
  12. by   chip193
    Quote from anne74
    What's up with charge nurses have a patient load? In my hospital NONE of our charge nurses have pts - except perhaps floor nurses working the night shift, and even then they have half a load.

    Charge nurses have much too much responsibility as it is - aside from administrative crap, traffic control, dealing with docs, etc. - their job is to make sure the unit runs smoothly and provide back-up and support to the staff nurses who have pts.

    Shame on any hospital who abuses this position. That's ridiculous. I feel for all of you.
    I do Charge in a 55K visit Level 2 Trauma ER at night. None of our Charge Nurses have an assignment. I do task-oriented stuff during the night (perhaps an IV here, an assessment there, etc.) but spend most of my time managing flow and mentoring the rest of the staff. There's no way that I could take an assignment and get everything else done that's expected of me!
  13. by   sonnyluv
    Quote from teeituptom
    Go elsewhere to work

    Quitting is not the answer, and neither is teeing-it-up. Stop telling people to quit and just be happy. Nurses need to fight for their rights. Man, I can't believe you just told a fellow nurse to quit instead of addressing the problem. Heck yeah she should just say no. Now lets find a legal resource for her to back it up, and hopefully not damage her reputation in the process.

    Trudy- your logic is awesome. Fight the fight sister!

    Erdiane: How dare they demand you sacrifice your health so they can make some bucks and continue TO NOT DO THEIR JOB AND ADDRESS STAFFING PROBLEMS. Erdiane, everytime you don't take a lunch break they get away with it and plan to do it again. Look at their faces, you can watch those wheels turn...
    Last edit by traumaRUs on Mar 19, '07 : Reason: Language

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