Meal and Potty Breaks - page 3

OK, I am seeing this way too much - nurses who are not able to even take a bathroom break, let alone a meal break. How often does this happen to you where you can't get to the bathroom when you... Read More

  1. by   NurseHirzRN
    where i work on a med surg unit i am an extern now ie a student i tell them, but i also am type 2 dm. my nurses are great about it and we usually all get our breaks. i was actually the one who got some of them to start taking their breaks as i told them about taking care of number 1 as if something happens to you you will be unable to care for your patients. at the hospital were i work we are docked the 30min for lunch and i don't know if we would have any way to mark that we didn't take lunch. i used to not take a lunch till i had a bs incident and didn't fell any signs till i was less than 40. i was to busy to stop but when i did bam it hit me. so take your breaks and take care of you.
  2. by   EmmaG
    Quote from SICU Queen
    You know, I guess I've gotten old and crotchety, because I just don't put up with this anymore.

    I eat, and I go to the bathroom. I don't ask. I TELL someone that I AM going to do these things, and then I go do them. In turn I offer to relieve my coworkers so that they too can use the bathroom and eat.

    Be proactive. INSIST on being able to eat and use the bathroom.
    Exactly. I am not going to put my own health and comfort at risk for anyone.
  3. by   Blee O'Myacin
    I always go to the bathroom when I have to. I had the trauma room today in my assignment and unfortunately it was used a few times, but I managed to answer the call of nature. Once the patient was stable for tranfer, I did a preemptive potty visit - and *then* I documented. I even got to eat lunch - OK, so it was 20 minutes instead of 30, but we got four ambulances (with medics on board) that showed up. I was done eating and just gabbing with my coworkers - we heard the commotion and got thing under control for the other half of the shift to eat.

    No one will take of us if we don't take care of ourselves. The coworker who would rather let her menses get all over her pants needs to reprioritize!

    Blee
    Last edit by Blee O'Myacin on Dec 25, '07
  4. by   luvkitties
    It's bad enough when things are so busy during a regular 8 hr shift that you can't get away for even a few minutes, but it really sucks when you're forced to double, and you STILL can't get a break in. I did a night to day double for 18.5 hours yesterday, no lunch on either shift, and 2 very short potty trips (on nights, no day trips), since I was by myself in the ICU with 3 patients on nights--one patient q1, one patient q2 who has a very small bladder and had to get up to the BSC q hr, and the other a floor patient. I had another nurse with me on days, but it was someone who has never been on our floor before, let alone the ICU, so there was no way that I felt I could leave her by herself, even if I would have been able to get away. And now, I'm afraid that my NM will not be pleased with me because I had to stay over 2 hours past the double shift--not only was it time and a half, but holiday pay as well. :trout:

    I don't really know what the point of my story is...I guess I'm just lamenting on what everyone else has said.

    ~Lori
  5. by   DutchgirlRN
    When I worked on med/surg we all got a lunch break. The problem was 1. we couldn't leave the floor 2. we could not pass off our beeper, so while at lunch I was lucky to have 10 minutes to woof down my lunch. Either my beeper would go off, I would get overhead paged or I'd get a phone call in the break room. It wasn't like they (charge nurse, unit secretary) didn't know I was at lunch. They didn't care.

    I don't know how you cannot go to the bathroom, when I needed to go, I went. Of course it only takes a couple of minutes compared to trying to eat.
  6. by   swee2000
    In the past 1-1/2 weeks, I've only taken an actual lunch break maybe 2-3 times. And I'm talking even just 5 minutes. I work on a Med/Surg unit and lately, like the past 3 months(at least), the majority of the patients have been very medically complex/heavy and needy, requiring constant help, attention, etc. Many of my co-workers have stated they can't remember the unit being so crazy, hectic, and busy like this, and all at once. In fact, the hospital has been on "emergency bed status" on-and-off for the past 2 months. Anyways, from the second I punch in until the second I punch out at the end of the shift, I am constantly running and on-the-go. And more often than not, I personally have not been able to take a lunch because there just isn't the time. And the moment I think I have even 5 minutes to inhale something to eat or even just to pee, another patient is calling for pain meds, help to the bathroom, etc.

    Typically when I don't take a lunch, I'll swipe "cancel lunch" so that I don't lose that 1/2hr of pay. But there were 2 times last week where I didn't do this because I forgot to in the rush of things and just wanting to leave when I was finally done with all my work. Plus, my manager would probably just yell at and question me, without listening to or seeing the real problem: Everyone(staff) is burnt out and being run into the ground. Seriously, am I just to leave my patients in agony or incontinent when they could've made it to the bathroom with a little help from me? No. But I'm supposed to take a lunch regardless? It's a no-win situation no matter how you look at it. And taking a bathroom break for myself is another joke. I think I use the bathroom at work maybe 1-2 times/week. I know this isn't healthy, but alot of the time I just don't "feel the need to go". Other times, I pray my "bladder of steel" will withstand the stress of being full so that I can get through the day without stopping to empty it. This past Saturday while at work, I had to use the bathroom so bad that I was having severe pain across my entire lower abdomen and couldn't walk normally because it hurt to stand up-straight. I finally was able to go, but not until I was leaving to go home. Again, it's a no-win situation. You're da**ed if you do, da**ed if you don't.
  7. by   txspadequeenRN
    i have found that i can save time while eating while i am on the potty......lol just kiddin people...
  8. by   txspadequeenRN
    i cant nurse effectively if i am floating down the hallway so i potty when needed... as far as eating ,i don't need to take a official break but i will eat job be damned....
  9. by   SICU Queen
    Quote from swee2000
    This past Saturday while at work, I had to use the bathroom so bad that I was having severe pain across my entire lower abdomen and couldn't walk normally because it hurt to stand up-straight. I finally was able to go, but not until I was leaving to go home. Again, it's a no-win situation. You're da**ed if you do, da**ed if you don't.
    Okay, that is totally, completely, utterly ridiculous. Period. For you to be having abdominal cramps from having to urinate so badly is unacceptable.

    I look at it this way - you deserve what you accept. It's that simple. If you accept that it's okay to bloat your bladder to the point of pain, then you deserve it. Otherwise, step up loud and clear and state to whoever you need to state it to: "I WILL take the time to urinate during my shift."

    A question: Is there really not FIVE minutes during your entire shift that you can take to relieve your bladder? Or are you new and having time management problems? You need to take a look at how you're prioritizing your day, and that goes for every person that's responded to this thread with the complaint that they can't go to the bathroom.

    DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
  10. by   ebear
    You know what? I'll bet the damned place will be there when you get back!
  11. by   swee2000
    No, I'm not new, nor have time management issues. As I said in my post, it has been "utterly ridiculous" on my unit lately. Even the RN I worked with on Saturday didn't get a lunchbreak. And I was helping her out with 3/4 of the med passes(in addition to all my other work) because we had so much going on with our patient group that the 2 of us were drowning in quick sand. And the Charge RN couldn't help us because she was helping out a different RN & the NI-II that was with her....and they weren't doing well either.

    Yes, I agree to a point that "you get what you ask for". But I also do not intentionally cause myself pain and misery, either, if time & opportunity would allow me a minute to catch my breath, stuff a cracker down my mouth, or make a bee-line for the bathroom. If only I could tell a patient that they'll have to wait 15 minutes(for whatever they need/want) so that I can eat, pee, etc. But then I wouldn't have a job. Also, just an FYI, it is not usual for me to miss getting a lunch or being able to use the bathroom if needed. It's just lately that there's been an issue.
  12. by   Riseupandnurse
    Yes, we have to go to the bathroom!! We must draw the line there! But I still don't understand how all of us can take meal breaks. There is nobody to watch your patients, in many cases. Everyone else is stretched to the max too and they don't know anything about your patients, even if they did have time to take care of them. I used to try to eat on duty, but it is no pleasure to have to answer the phone during a "break" or to think about all the work that has already piled up and is getting more substantial every minute you sit out on break. Also, I get no pleasure from wolfing down food that then sits in your stomach like a lead balloon. A real meal break would mean that someone is taking responsibility for your patients for an UNINTERRUPTED 30 minutes. Otherwise, I don't see the point and I don't call cramming chips, etc. in your mouth while you chart a meal break.
  13. by   EmmaG
    Quote from DutchgirlRN
    When I worked on med/surg we all got a lunch break. The problem was 1. we couldn't leave the floor 2. we could not pass off our beeper, so while at lunch I was lucky to have 10 minutes to woof down my lunch. Either my beeper would go off, I would get overhead paged or I'd get a phone call in the break room.
    Then you didn't get a lunch break.

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