New Nurse can't eat lunch - page 3

by Michigangirl

9,447 Views | 58 Comments

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... Read More


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 0
    Quote from Mommy&RN
    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!
    what 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.
  8. 1
    She 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.
    anotherone likes this.
  9. 0
    At 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.
  10. 8
    Quote from not.done.yet
    ...I have my Spectlink, call me if you have any problems"...
    No, no, no.

    When I'm at lunch, I am unavailable. It's the same with all of us.
    melmarie23, kabfighter, CareQueen, and 5 others like this.


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