Drinks in the nurses station... - page 8

by mcknis

43,428 Views | 86 Comments

Hey all, Are you allowed to keep drinkin your nurses station at work? If so, any mandates around it? I am pushing to be allowed to have drinks in the station and need some info on how to do so. We have been told... Read More


  1. 1
    Its dept of health issue.
    Its for appearances.
    Its so you don't have to take time to go to the BR.
    How about camelbacks they work for biking.
    Then you would need a leg bag.
    surferbettycrocker likes this.
  2. 2
    At the hospital I work at, we had what was called a "hydration station" at the nurses station. As we had been sited in the past for having uncovered drinks, (unhygienic). They also said something about i being unlabeled... I don't really recall the particulars. Anyways, we implememnted a hydration station. This is a specific small area at the nurses station off to one side of the station. There is a sign that states, "hydration station, drinks must be covered and labeled with a name."

    I thought this was a great idea. As we are all running around and on our feet. We are lucky to take a bathroom break. But hydration is important, it's not just a consideration for our patients.

    Jess:spin:
    showbizrn and Patti 2nd gen RN like this.
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    http://search.live.com/results.aspx?...nurses+station

    This is a response from OSHA as to this question.
    "OSHA does not have a general prohibition against the consumption of beverages at hospital nursing stations. However, OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard prohibits the consumption of food and drink in areas in which work involving exposure or potential exposure to blood or other potentially infectious material takes place, or where the potential for contamination of work surfaces exists [29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(2)(ix)]. Also, under 29 CFR 1910.141(g)(2), employees shall not be allowed to consume food or beverages in any area exposed to a toxic material. While you state that beverages at the nursing station might have a lid or cover, the container may also become contaminated, resulting in unsuspected contamination of the hands.

    The employer must evaluate the workplace to determine in which locations food or beverages may potentially become contaminated and must prohibit employees from eating or drinking in those areas. An employer may determine that a particular nurse's station or other location is separated from work areas subject to contamination and therefore is so situated that it is not reasonable under the circumstances to anticipate that occupational exposure through the contamination of food and beverages or their containers is likely. The employer may allow employees to consume food and beverages in that area, although no OSHA standard specifically requires that an employer permit this. OSHA standards set minimum safety and health requirements and do not prohibit employers from adopting more stringent requirements."

    http://search.live.com/results.aspx?...nurses+station
    Last edit by glow worm on Jan 8, '08 : Reason: reference
    showbizrn, buggal1989, and mcknis like this.
  4. 0
    We have a small drink area in my department. I don't think it is JACHO that mandates no drinks at the nurses station, I think it is the Public Health Department rules.
  5. 0
    Quote from wooh
    Joint Commission doesn't care about drinks in the nurse's station as long as their covered. If anyone says no, it's OSHA, and we're allowed them. Management will use Joint Commission as the excuse for any rule they come up with.
    You are correct. OSHA has a problem with beverages in patient care areas. We however are not allowed drinks because if OSHA would come through for an inspection and find any beverage present covered or not, shut the entire medical facility down for this type of infraction.

    However, as other have mentioned, eating and drinking in patient care areas is not viewed as being professional by patients an families.
  6. 2
    [quote=osha has a problem with beverages in patient care areas. we however are not allowed drinks because if osha would come through for an inspection and find any beverage present covered or not, shut the entire medical facility down for this type of infraction.

    [font="fixedsys"]i have read all the posts so far. i have worked in many facilities where i was told no drinks and the closest water fountain was at the end of the hall on the opposite unit. the last nm that told me it was an infection control issue could not give me an anwer to my question," so how come it's ok for patients and families to eat in the patients room? are you saying that the germs are going to jump into my beverage but not into the patient's water pitcher? i pointed out that the pitcher and matching plastic cups were never washed even if the patient was there for months. i like to change the straws each shift. there are worse problems such as the full urinals that are placed by patients on the overbed tables-we should be cleaning table tops, nurses stations areas, med carts, phones with disenfectants. so now when i am teaching and checking on students on different units, i just carry my (small)water bottle in my cargo pants. the other point has been made that at night, many of us eat at the nurses station as it would be unsafe staffing if people left to eat in the break room, so then that's ok with administration? it's what ever is convenient for the "suits"[/font]
    buggal1989 and Patti 2nd gen RN like this.
  7. 0
    No drinks at the nurses station is not a JCAHO, OSHA or Dept. Health rule. There only requirement is you do not have food or drink in patient care areas. It is up to each facility to determine what areas are considered pt. care.
  8. 1
    Quote from mianders
    No drinks at the nurses station is not a JCAHO, OSHA or Dept. Health rule. There only requirement is you do not have food or drink in patient care areas. It is up to each facility to determine what areas are considered pt. care.
    UR right also - as stated it's "in patient care areas where contamination could occur". Hence once our Nurses STOPPED putting specimens in the Nurses station I felt it was ok for them to drink at the station (unless it was JC time approaching and then I "encouraged" them to stop - the break room was right across from the station, so give me a break!) - BUT now JC may stop in at ANY MINUTE, so we must be on our toes every minute - which one of you wants to get the hospital a Type !???? My biggest concern was spills on the charts - illegible charts can cause law suits. AND how many of you remember blood stained lab slips on the patients chart????? ICK! I had to provide page protectors although I told them dried blood that would not flake of was NOT going to infect them! Now in the Lab at the Lab benches - ugh! No way Hosea - I had to patrol the area often to prevent infractions. BUT, most JC Surveyors are really "old school" and still enforce the no drinks at the Nurses Station - so it's a catch 12 - you are going to get into trouble no matter WHAT you do. I wish I could offer a definitive solution to this problem, but it's like opening a can of worms - each entity thinks the other entity prohibits it so each entity prohibits it themselves! Get a worm wangler!
    Oh, this is about a bad as being asked to look at Nurse's shoes and bless them out if they were any color but WHITE. No tell me - where does Infection Control come into play - and who the heck cares if your laces are not white? Unless the red is BLOOD!
    Last edit by buggal1989 on Jan 9, '08 : Reason: addition
    zoebaily likes this.
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    [quote=sailornurse;2591773]as a night shifter, i have worked where you could eat at the nurses station for the sake of safe staffing, and have never gotten sick because i washed my hands before i ate anything and i didn't put food in places that seemed risky for contamination. it's a matter of simple common sense. now where i work i can only have a drink in a covered bottle and i suffer lots of nights from shakiness because i can't get down to the lounge to eat anything in a 12 1/2 hour shift. i think it's a little on the inhumane side to not allow a nurse to eat anything night after night, myself. how do we get osha to care about that?
    showbizrn, surferbettycrocker, wooh, and 1 other like this.
  10. 2
    You must be in management where you sit in your nice little office with your "allowed" drinks and also able to leave and get breakfast/lunch/dinner anytime you want. I have worked a whole 12 hour shift and not had a drop to eat or drink let alone PEED. I have worked on a floor where the manager wouldn't allow it Give me a break! A bottle of water at the desk isn't going hurt anyone. Stop being so worried about the image of the nursing station.
    nrsang97 and Patti 2nd gen RN like this.


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