New Nurse can't eat lunch - page 2

I am wondering how other units handle their lunch breaks. I work nights, and we have extremely flexible breaks during the work shift. Most of us don't really leave the floor, just get our food... Read More

  1. Visit  sharpeimom profile page
    1
    When I was a new nurse and worked 3-11 on an orthopedic surgery floor, we were required to leave the floor for ALL breaks and half hour meal breaks. Sounds good in theory but it wasn't practical because the dining room was a fifteen minute walk each way -- which left no time to eat. What most of us did was to combine eating our pb&js with going to the john. That way, we at least got a chance to do both things. By the time I was hired to work at the state psych hospital on the 7pm-7am shift, I was much much more organized than I had been in my earlier years and was able to complete tasks more efficiently. When I was lucky enough to get an actual break, so I could leave the building, my tasks were pretty much caught up -- barring someone going off the deep end -- my meds were already given, I had checked on everyone, but it took some time to get to that point. Becoming organized enough that my treatments were done, meds caught up, charting begun, etc. took awhile. Maybe someone needs to work along with her for now.
    anotherone likes this.
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  3. Visit  tryingtohaveitall profile page
    2
    I don't think she should be leaving several tasks to be done while she eats. But it does sound like she is overwhelmed and could use a helping hand.
    melmarie23 and sharpeimom like this.
  4. Visit  NewbieNeedsHelp profile page
    5
    HA! She expects you guys to do dressing changes and give her meds while she is on break?? Is she princess of the unit? I'm afraid she would also think I was "mean"...

    That's not what covering is
    mariahlily, anotherone, nrsang97, and 2 others like this.
  5. Visit  PediLove2147 profile page
    2
    I'm with everyone else, she can't expect other nurses to do her work while she is on break. I would be pretty upset if I was getting "report" (we give a very quick run down) I was told I needed to do dressings and scheduled meds, I have my own patients. I should only have to babysit.
    KelRN215 and anotherone like this.
  6. Visit  NurseFrustrated profile page
    3
    You just need to explain to her that "covering" her patients while she is on her break just means that you will take care of any nursing tasks that come up while she is gone, such as giving them prn meds if they ask, stopping a beeping IV, assessing them if a change in their condition happens, etc. It doesn't mean you are going to go in and do all the dressings, treatments, and scheduled med passes for her. Maybe she doesn't understand this?
  7. Visit  MedChica profile page
    1
    Quote from Michigangirl
    I am wondering how other units handle their lunch breaks.

    I work nights, and we have extremely flexible breaks during the work shift. Most of us don't really leave the floor, just get our food and eat in the conference room. We usually have enough down time in the wee hours of the morning to equal at least an hour break (if not more)

    Some nurses do leave the floor, and they do it when they have caught up and only ask us to cover call lights. The other nurses are perfectly fine with that. Even though I don't choose to leave the floor, I am perfectly fine with those who do.

    Anyway, this new nurse just gets off orientation and is getting really upset with the rest of us because "she's not allowed to get her break." She is having trouble with time management and still can barely get all of her stuff done that is required. We are more than happy to help her get her work done, but no one is willing to do her work for her while she goes off for an hour. For example, she will ask if I can cover her, then proceed to tell me that room 1 will need his pain medication in 15 minutes, room 2 still needs a dressing change, blah, blah, blah... I would never assume to go on break when there is still a lot of stuff to do with my own patients, especially in the middle of the night when these things should have already been done. We are trying to help her with her time management, but she will not listen to suggestions as she already knows everything there is to know about nursing!

    Last night about 2 hours into her shift she asked me if she could take her break and wanted to give me report on her 5 patients. I told her I was too busy with my own 5 patients at that time and couldn't handle hers as well. She thinks I'm mean. I think if she is the only nurse on the unit that is having this problem, maybe it is a problem with her.

    What do you think?

    You were right to tell her what you did. Granted, she's a new nurse but that's nothing to do with her attitude.
    It's an issue of work ethic. She has none AND she's inconsiderate.
    You don't pass the keys/hand off the halls and leave the other nurse with a butt-load of tasks to do. That's not 'teamwork'.
    What's wrong with her?

    I'm a newb. I would've told her to go on break AFTER she finished her wound care and given her pt his pain pill...and 'why'.

    Anyway, everyone's busy. I don't want to over-burden my coworkers. I'd never leave and expect someone to finish my tasks.
    Of course, that's me and the one thing I've got going for me stamina...and this job is testing my limits. I can run for hours...literally. I understand that others differ but you're saying that she requested a break after 2 hrs?
    Why does she break so often? Does she smoke?
    Ordinarily, I wouldn't care but ordinarily people who constantly break don't leave others with work or expect them to pick up their slack.

    Why can't she get her things done? Are unscheduled interruptions screwing her up?
    I hate that. When I work a standard 8hr shift? I'm perfectly fine so long as everything stays 'on schedule'. LOL
    ...and it NEVER does. There's going to be an re/admit at the last minute. Someone's bound to fall. Someone's going to need to be transported via EMS. Someone's going to try to escape. Someone's going to come to me at the last minute and say, "Oh, did you know we're doing the skin assessments with the look-backs?"
    "Huh...?"
    "Yeah, they changed it."
    AGAIN? They've 'changed it' 4 times in 5 months!

    No matter which hall I pick.
    I picked an easy hall on monday. The male hall. I like the male hall b/c, while I love my ladies, they're all needy and crazed. Men are easy. They just poop, watch sports and sleep. You don't have to beg them to eat or fight them to take their meds.
    They request their meds. When they have bowel issues? They tell you:
    "Ma'am - I can't s...t!"
    It's wonderful.

    Within 15 minutes, someone had fallen from their wc. 2 hours later? Another one bit the dust. The meals were late....
    sigh

    I normally work 16 hrs shifts. When I work a standard 8? I'm accustomed to working right through what should be my break. Something unplanned is always happening.
    anotherone likes this.
  8. Visit  Racer15 profile page
    1
    My situation is a little different. I'm a new nurse in the ED. We are assigned lunch breaks, but we only get 30 minutes. On my unit, you just go when you are assigned to go, unless something crazy is going on. Works well for us.
    CareQueen likes this.
  9. Visit  cna1708 profile page
    1
    Quote from Michigangirl
    I am wondering how other units handle their lunch breaks.

    I work nights, and we have extremely flexible breaks during the work shift. Most of us don't really leave the floor, just get our food and eat in the conference room. We usually have enough down time in the wee hours of the morning to equal at least an hour break (if not more)

    Some nurses do leave the floor, and they do it when they have caught up and only ask us to cover call lights. The other nurses are perfectly fine with that. Even though I don't choose to leave the floor, I am perfectly fine with those who do.

    Anyway, this new nurse just gets off orientation and is getting really upset with the rest of us because "she's not allowed to get her break." She is having trouble with time management and still can barely get all of her stuff done that is required. We are more than happy to help her get her work done, but no one is willing to do her work for her while she goes off for an hour. For example, she will ask if I can cover her, then proceed to tell me that room 1 will need his pain medication in 15 minutes, room 2 still needs a dressing change, blah, blah, blah... I would never assume to go on break when there is still a lot of stuff to do with my own patients, especially in the middle of the night when these things should have already been done. We are trying to help her with her time management, but she will not listen to suggestions as she already knows everything there is to know about nursing!

    Last night about 2 hours into her shift she asked me if she could take her break and wanted to give me report on her 5 patients. I told her I was too busy with my own 5 patients at that time and couldn't handle hers as well. She thinks I'm mean. I think if she is the only nurse on the unit that is having this problem, maybe it is a problem with her.

    What do you think?
    Totally agree with u. U cant do her work and urs too. She should learn how not to spend more than 20 mins in one room. Im a cna so sometimes it takes at least 20 mins in some situations. If she were smart she would break her work down. Put cirtical n saftey first. I think everyone should learn how to get in the grove of things. Learn ur patients. Shes new and believe me i totally understand how fusterating it can be. I just got what we call a "new baby". Its some one that just came out of classes and has never stepped foot into a nursing home other than doing her clinicals. I took my time with her and still working with her even tho Ive put her by her self. Im also one of the lead aides so. But I think about how hard it was when i first started and how the other aides would treat me. I wish I had some one to take me under their wing. But anywho. Give her some time. Just think about when u first started.
    Sandradee0303 likes this.
  10. Visit  cna1708 profile page
    0
    Quote from KelRN215
    For some reason this thread made me think of a time when I was working in the hospital... a coworker went off the floor and when she came back, we were coding her patient. She wasn't even on break... she left the floor to bring another patient to a test or something (no transport team) and was in an area of the hospital where she didn't hear the code called... she was quite surprised to find the code in progress when she came back.

    That said, I think that when your coworkers are covering for you, you shouldn't expect them to do anything more than address a call-light or beeping IV and spring to action if your patient decides to code. If there's an antibiotic or pain med due, give it before you go. Dressing changes and the like can be done when you get back from break.
    Totally agree. Safety first.
  11. Visit  cna1708 profile page
    0
    [QUOTE="cna1708;7133689"]
    Totally agree with u. U cant do her work and urs too. She should learn how not to spend more than 20 mins in one room. Im a cna so sometimes it takes at least 20 mins in some situations. If she were smart she would break her work down. Put cirtical n saftey first. I think everyone should learn how to get in the grove of things. Learn ur patients. Shes new and believe me i totally understand how fusterating it can be. I just got what we call a "new baby". Its some one that just came out of classes and has never stepped foot into a nursing home other than doing her clinicals. I took my time with her and still working with her even tho Ive put her by her self. Im also one of the lead aides so. But I think about how hard it was when i first started and how the other aides would treat me. I wish I had some one to take me under their wing. But anywho. Give her some time. Just think about when u first started. And we have set lunches. If u dont go when u were assigned then u go after who ever covers ur hall comes back.
  12. Visit  Mommy&RN profile page
    2
    Breaks are an hour? The only things that should need covered are bathroom needs, beeping pumps, maybe a prn. (I work on a surgical unit , so someone may need pain or nausea meds during that time)

    Wound care is the primary nurse's responsibility. So, do it before or after break, but the primary needs to see the wound!
    anotherone and nrsang97 like this.
  13. Visit  not.done.yet profile page
    3
    Quote from Mommy&RN
    Wound care is the primary nurse's responsibility. So, do it before or after break, but the primary needs to see the wound!
    Right?! I think someone needs to sit down with her (maybe or maybe not you) and explain to her how breaks work in the nursing world. Reporting off should pretty much be "Room XXX is a DNR but stable and bed alarm is set, room XXX just had pain meds, Room XXX is walkie-talkie and discharging later today, Room XXX has Zosyn running but it won't be done for another two hours, has BRP and needs standby assist. I have my Spectlink, call me if you have any problems".
    :
    She sounds very overwhelmed and sounds like she needs both a brain sheet and someone to help her get organized.

    Oh, and I marvel that you get one hour breaks! I would not know what to do with myself! Lol!
    anotherone, RNperdiem, and joanna73 like this.
  14. Visit  mindlor profile page
    4
    I never ask another nurse to do my work while I am away. However, once in a while the covering nurse will notice a thing that needs doing and then do it. When I get back and see this, it is such a blessing. I of course always make a big deal about it and say thank you.

    I then do my best to pay them back when they are on break......

    Kindness and cooperation can be contagious
    CareQueen, anotherone, Orange Tree, and 1 other like this.


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