New Nurse can't eat lunch - page 3
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
Jan 23, '13Quote from Mommy&RNwhat many places do is lump their 2 15 minute breaks and their 30 min lunch break together for an hour. Usually we do this on nights, days does the divided as they can't break away for a full hour. Here in my state the law is that people should always be able to take their breaks, away from the bedside. So everyone always tries really hard to get that done. We are able to do it most nights in cvicu.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!
Jan 23, '13She should at least wait to take her break until her patients have had their pain meds. You can never be caught up totally, but if it's 10-15 min until a patient needs their pain med, she should give it, then go on break. The other low priority tasks can wait untiil she returns.
Jan 23, '13At this job, I go to lunch for one hour (30-min unpaid, 30-min paid breaks, all clumped together), as scheduled by the charge nurse early in the night... it doesn't matter what tasks are remaining, etc. The nurse covering me is doing just that - taking my assignment for the hour, along with whatever needs doing during that time.
We maintain our ratios during lunch breaks.
Jan 23, '13Quote from not.done.yetNo, no, no....I have my Spectlink, call me if you have any problems"...
When I'm at lunch, I am unavailable. It's the same with all of us.
Jan 23, '13Yes. Unless it's an emergency, I do not want to know when I'm on break. It can wait until I return.
Jan 23, '13None of us ever take our breaks until we are caught up. Our first break is after morning med pass. Our company only guarantees 1 30min break. If everything is completed others take the 15min breaks and those are the smokers.
Jan 23, '13I opt out of early breaks because I know that if I did so, something bad would happen and ruin my night and leave a ton of unfinished tasks. If she isn't listening to her coworkers, maybe speak to the manager and express concern that she is struggling. A talk from the manager may be more beneficial in letting her know she has to manage her time more efficiently.
~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~
Jan 23, '13I think you're both "wrong" and you're both "right."
Workers - even nurses - are entitled to breaks, even if the work isn't all done. Certainly, if someone is coding, we need to postpone our own needs. On a routine day with stable patients, I can usually carve out time to take my breaks. However, if I have a critically ill patient, I may never be caught up. Does that mean I don't get to eat or pee or sit for 12 hours? Of course not, but I do need to be diplomatic in how I request break coverage.
Someone mentioned taking your phone with you on break. My understanding of FEDERAL law is that if you're required to be available by phone, you must be paid for your break/lunch. I could be wrong. Do your own research.
Someone else mentioned that they "maintain our ratios during breaks" (or close to it - forgive me if a word or two isn't quite right). Do y'all know what that MEANS?!?!? It means that the person covering your break is ONLY covering your patients - they don't have their own assignment! What a wonderful thing! It's done that way in California because of legislation mandating nurse-patient ratios.
To the OP, you coworker sounds ignorant -and I mean that in the nicest way. She seems to not understand "how we do it here." Hopefully, someone can establish a relationship with her and guide her managing her workload and prioritizing care needs. She should not have to work an entire shift straight through with no breaks just because she's new and slow. But neither should she be asking you to do a dressing change or a routine med. On the other hand, if she's really having an occassional bad night, she should be able to go to the Charge and say "I'm drowning. Is there someone who can do Room 12's dressing change? (or whatever)"
Jan 23, '13I'm 6 months into my first nursing job, would never think of expecting the nurse that covers me to pass a med or do anything for my patient while on my break (except of course tend to the call bell). Is she delusional?
Jan 23, '13I agree with AnonRNC. A break is relief from work duties it doesn't mean every single thing is done. Working in California at a hospital that follows keeping ratios at all times makes break relief much more doable. I would not expect someone to do a complex dressing change but pass meds sure, ambulate a patient sure, call a doctor for a sleeper sure. Last night got a new order for Coumadin right before my break, the pharmacy hadn't approve it yet, should I wait to go on break and throw the whole break schedule off, no the break relief nurse is paid to take over my load while on break. I've worked as break relief and rarely am I given tasks to do that I think the primary should do.
Some times I think nurses are their own worse enemy. They tolerate working conditions such as working without breaks without blinking an eye. In California if you miss a 30 minute meal break you get paid one hour of pay. If you miss one or both 15 minutes breaks you get paid an extra hour. Do I put in for this if I miss a break....... heck yeah! Does it happen often...... heck no! But I always have legitmate reasons for it happening.
Also by law anytime a break is interrupted you are allowed to restart your break.
The original poster does need to speak with this new nurse but some issues lay in the unit culture and some at organization and state level.
Jan 23, '13I just don't get it...
(I) would never think of expecting the nurse that covers me to pass a med or do anything for my patient...
When I'm being "covered" then that means essentially that the person covering me is *doing* the work that needs to be done... otherwise I'm not "covered."
except of course tend to the call bell
Jan 23, '13I ask covering nurses to give pain medication on occasion. Sometimes I have a PRN that I know the patient will want in exactly 15 minutes, but the same situation with another patient/pain med in 35 minutes, Should I put off break for 40 minutes and hope that my new admit doesn't show up as I'm giving the second pain med? I would never expect a covering nurse to do my dressing changes or put down my NG tubes, but giving a med (scheduled or PRN) shouldn't be a huge deal unless the nurse you're asking is already overwhelmed.
I don't want my nursing buddies starving themselves because they're afraid to ask me to give a norco. I will give your norco. I might even get your patient an extra blanket. Go feed your weary self.
Jan 23, '13Quote from AnonRNCAnd also because it's in our contract.Someone else mentioned that they "maintain our ratios during breaks" (or close to it - forgive me if a word or two isn't quite right). Do y'all know what that MEANS?!?!? It means that the person covering your break is ONLY covering your patients - they don't have their own assignment! What a wonderful thing! It's done that way in California because of legislation mandating nurse-patient ratios.
All in California, my first two jobs were non-union; this one is union... the union place is so much better... and our nurses are a great team who totally have each others' backs.