Do you miss lunch or dinner breaks routinely? - page 2

This months survey Question... Do you miss lunch or dinner breaks routinely? FYI: The results of this survey question are in: Out of 2273 people Yes: 83.37% No: 16.63%... Read More

  1. by   prairienurse
    At one of the hospitals I work, we were unable to take breaks as it was policy that 2 nurses must be on the unit at all times, and guess how many were staffed!! Anyway, our PCC stated that any down time on a shift was considered a break, and we could not claim that 1/2 hr as OT unless we were extremely busy. We were always busy, but according to unit protocol, we were not considered busy enough for breaks to be considered OT. Anyway, our hospital started going into some labor problems, and the issue of unionizing came up (later was voted on, and no union won). During this time, the NLRB found out about this no OT issue, and fined the hospital, and forced them to pay us back for our breaks!!! Unfortunately, they only went back for two years, so I did lose 5 other years, but it was a nice chunk of change we received last year. Now I work on a small renal unit, and the same issue has come up--but this time I informed the DON of what happened at the other hospital, and we can write in OT for our breaks.
  2. by   Jay-Jay
    I work in homecare, and we are not paid for any breaks. Rarely do I get to sit and eat my lunch like a civilized human being. I usually grab a sandwich from the takeout window of a coffee shop, and eat it behind the wheel of my car. Often I do this while driving between patients.

    The other day, I had a patient ask me if I'd eaten lunch that day, and I couldn't even remember!! Now, that was a little scary! But, on some days, I may stay home until 11 am doing paperwork and administrative stuff, then hit the road to see patients, and lunch gets totally forgotten. By the time I'm able to slow down enough to think about food, it's almost suppertime.

    Since I started this job, cooking has become a lost art, too. Often, I get home so late, or am so tired, that I don't want to cook supper. My husband won't pitch in and help, so it's microwave TV dinners or takeout to the rescue...Lucky we don't have kids to worry about, or I'd never survive.
  3. by   galenight
    I work Er in a small rural hospital afternoons, where I am the only RN on. Supper is a luxury. On my recent evaluation, my DON put "needs improvement in organizing work time effeciently" and wrote in next to it that I had "much overtime related to no lunch, Consider nonconventional meal times in ER". HELLO.. isn't eating on the run at 9:30 at night, nonconventional.. I was incensed! I usually only log overtime if I haven't eaten at all or if I've eaten literally on the run, or extremely late. I don't feel I abuse the system. There is no one to relieve me for breaks either. Ususally, I'm one of only 2 RNs in the whole building. OH well.. I still love my job.
  4. by   gimmeabreak
    what??? missed breaks and lunches in nursing??? DUH!
    i've worked many 12 hour shifts and didn't even get to pee!
    does management care? do they ever check to see if we are still alive?
    what other "profession" would put up with this?
  5. by   HeyOpER4me
    It is very busy in our ER, we as staff never, never, get lunch or even a 15 minute breather, it fries me that the patients are the ones we get food for, usually at the doctors request, yet there is no one to look after our needs. Most of the patients are just there because they don't understand the use of their primary care doctor with all this new HMO crap, and when they do go to the offices of their doctors they literally get no patient teaching, so the ER's are impacted with 12-15 hour waits and we feed them!!! I'm lucky if I even get to go to the bathroom in 12hours....would I choose the nursing profession if I knew then what I know now? NO! NO! NO!
  6. by   timonrn
    ??I must work at the only hospital where we get our breaks at least 90% of the time--why is this? There must be other places that nurses are getting to break--where are your responses?? and we are very understaffed to boot--so I have to believe the reasons boil down to hospital management issues/priorities and/or nurse managers? My Mother works at another hospital and she is always amazed at how I get breaks and she gets one break out of her five PM shifts worked--
  7. by   opie
    Hey, when it's time to take a break, how do you report off to the person that is taking care of your patients? If you do not hand over the care of your patients then you are liable. If you do hand over the care, then why can't you make sure the report that you give is so detailed that the person taking over the care if afraid of taking over?
  8. by   canoehead
    Working day shift I did get lunch usually but would cut it off once I'd finished eating because I could literally feel myself falling further and further behind. The optional 15 minute breaks I never saw. I do think that working a 12 hour shift instead of 8's that there should be more than one legally required break. We were compensated for anytime that we were not given the opportunity to eat.

    I must say that it was not necessarily the most efficient nurses that got their breaks. Generally it was the ones who had the stomach to take the time out and let their patients do without. Management seemed to understand this though, and never gav us a hard time about paying for the meal break, which made the situation a little easier on the caring staff.
  9. by   paranoidmom
    I am an LPN in an acute care hospital. I have the same responsibilities and the same teams as the Rn. The only thing I don't do is iv pushes. There are routinely me and two or three RNS on the floor for up to 40 patients on a medical floor. WE are lucky if we get to pee once in our 12 hour shift, much less sit down for 30 minutes. In two years I think I have had 3 or 4 real sit down lunch breaks, and when I came back from that, my team was in a mess. It sounds sick, but sometimes it's a break to take a stool or sputum to the lab or pick up a unit of blood from the bloodbank. (lab on first by sandwich machines, I work on 4th floor, if you take the steps, you have time to eat it before you get there!) We are also told we HAVE to take our lunch, but no one ever seems to be there and cover for us so we can.

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  10. by   mamakin
    Originally posted by bshort:
    This months survey Question...

    Do you miss lunch or dinner breaks routinely?

    FYI: The results of this survey question are in:

    Out of 2273 people
    Yes: 83.37%
    No: 16.63%


    We encourage your comments and discussion on this question. I'm sure many of you will have some lively comments on this topic.

    To post your comments, just click on the "Post Reply" button.

    BREAKS ARE A TIME TO RECUPERATE & REJUVENATE SO WE CAN THINK & PROCESS WHAT HAS HAPPENED THRUOUT THE SHIFT, & REORGANIZE & FOCUS ON WHAT'S TO COME. NOT ONLY ARE WE PUTTING OUR PATIENTS AT INCREDIBLE RISK, BUT WE ARE ALSO LOSING OUR SELF RESPECT & PUTTING OUR MENTAL & PHYSICAL HEALTH AT RISK. WE NEED TO CALL SUPERVISORS, ADMINISTRATORS WHEN BREAKS ARE DUE AND TELL THEM WE WILL NOT BANK TIME, THEY MUST FIND COVERAGE OR COME TO COVER BREAKS THEMSELVES. ONLY WHEN WE BECOME RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WORKING CONDITIONS WE ARE TOLERATING, CAN WE MAKE CHANGES. I AM NOT IMMUNE, I HAVE MISSED MANY BREAKS MYSELF BUT FIND THE BURNOUT FROM ALL WE ARE TAKING IS INTOLERABLE. FIRM, CLEAR MESSAGES TO ADMINISTRATORS, MANAGERS & THE PUBLIC IS WHAT IS NEEDED TO MAKE THESE CHANGES.

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