NO LUNCH??? NO BREAKS??? Is that common in nursing????? - page 7

by CleveRN2008 | 59,500 Views | 300 Comments

Hi everyone! This topic has been bothering me a lot lately. I would love to know your thoughts and experiences! I am a new RN working on a cardiac unit. Since I have been on this floor, I have observed and experienced... Read More


  1. 0
    I live and work in the UK. i belong to a union but at times don't get lunches lack of break taking is seem as poor time management on my part. however i judge the pace of the the day and try get my breaks, sometimes ill chart through breaks in the break room while eating so that i'll get caught up.
    my manager feels breaks are very important as is team work and we don't have a no break culture. oh we don't clck in s i have no way of claiming a no break back, we get time owing back.
  2. 4
    I was thinking of writing a reasoned arguement as to why you deserve breaks and how to go about getting them . But frankly it would be a waste of time , as is this thread !.
    Most of those who don't get breaks , will do NOTHING to enforce the laws regarding breaks , they will find some way to rationalise , why they can't get breaks .
    The laws defining what breaks you are entitled came about , by people who had the same level of power you have , working together , risking what they had , to pressure thier legislatures to introduce these laws .
    So to those of you who don't like being told , you deserve what you get , remember if you worked as your forebears did to get these laws , maybe you would get what you deserve !!.we are in the 3rd world if a nurse can't get get to the bathroom in a 12 hour shift !
    annmariern, GadgetRN71, Norwaynurse, and 1 other like this.
  3. 14
    Quote from nicurn001
    I was thinking of writing a reasoned arguement as to why you deserve breaks and how to go about getting them . But frankly it would be a waste of time , as is this thread !.
    Most of those who don't get breaks , will do NOTHING to enforce the laws regarding breaks , they will find some way to rationalise , why they can't get breaks .



    Imagine this:


    Me: Boss, I know you are in the middle of lay offs, and it's near impossible for me to get another job right now that will pay my mortgage, but I just wanted to tell you that I'm just not finding the time nor adequate staff to allow myself and others a full lunch.

    Now I know you still have other people to lay off, and they aren't complaining right now, but I thought I should tell you that this is a labor law violation and that's it's happening to all of the staff.

    Boss: Thank you CardiacRN for telling me this.

    Me: pink slip.




    Rationalize all the helll I want, the CULTURE is what it is.

    Quite frankly I'm sick of all the people who don't work in this culture telling us that this is our fault.
    Aurora77, Carrie_MTC, KaroSnowQueen, and 11 others like this.
  4. 1
    Dear NICURN001;

    re: ".... was thinking of writing a reasoned arguement as to why you deserve breaks and how to go about getting them . But frankly it would be a waste of time , as is this thread !.

    The laws defining what breaks you are entitled came about , by people who had the same level of power you have , working together , risking what they had , to pressure thier legislatures to introduce these laws .

    we are in the 3rd world if a nurse can't get get to the bathroom in a 12 hour shift ! "


    In principle, you are quite correct.

    But personally, I think this thread had been very helpful with offering approaches, suggestions, and solutions to those of us who have forgotten what it was like in the past when there were no labor laws and people organized to get them created. For which I am thankful.

    Unfortunately, I for one, as many here have posted, have not done "daily battle" over the years to make sure my "rights" per labor laws have been honored.

    I guess I have chosen other battles to fight; and just need to keep learning how to take care of myself better; in the simplest ways such as using the ladies room during my working hours rather than delaying until I get home where I am uninterrupted.

    I think the thread has been very useful to me, and hopefully, for the nurse who originated it.
    Gypsy.

    PS I'm not located in Cali or any other Unionized State; who works at least 50 hours a week for 40 hours Salary to maintain an income in these "too few jobs to choose from" days. And is grateful to have this job over no job at all right now.
    Last edit by ImAgypsy on Feb 22, '09 : Reason: Too add a bit more.
    sistasoul likes this.
  5. 1
    Yup, it's common. And, oh yes, you need a cast iron bladder, too!::icon_roll
    mc3
    Valerie Salva likes this.
  6. 3
    Quote from Babs0512
    Been there, done this too. Several years ago while working in the ER. I had a critical patient, who had arrested, was on an Amnioderone gtt and a dopamine gtt. Anyhow, he was so unstable, each time I upped the dopamine gtt, it would last maybe 10-15 minutes and the alarms would be sounding because his BP was back in the 60-70 range. So I would have to titrate it up.

    I was given another patient, I had to go in an assess that patient, start a line, do an EKG, put her on O2, etcc... I figured if I rushed, I could be out of the room in 10 minutes. I specifically asked the nurse with the assignment next to me AND the charge nurse if they would listed for the alarms in my room whilst I was in room one with my new patient. BOTH said "sure, no problem".

    I ended up being in the room 13 minutes. I came out, the charge nurse was at the desk chatting with someone of a personal nature, the other nurse was on the other side of the ER telling a joke to some of the other nurses. My patients alarms were going off and according to the monitors, had been for 10 minutes, his blood pressure was 60/24 - I titrated the gtt, came out and gave the both of them a piece of my mind. I wrote them both up, discussed it with my nurse manager a few days later, and nothing changed.

    Our entire hospital has this mentality. It's really discusting. When I was aske to cover for someone, I always rounded on the onther nurses patients and wrote a quick note so she would know I checked on them. I tried to set a good example. Didn't rub off though.

    Blessings
    Are you trying to find a job elsewhere? If not, I suggest you do. Not allowing you to take a 5 minute break to poop is wrong on so many levels, especially since you were cramping and not feeling well. Had you been a diabetic, would they have given you 5 minutes to check your sugar and/or administer insulin?

    This part about the monitors going off for 10 minutes while the other nurses stood around and did nothing shows me a very dangerous, unprofessional, and scary place to work - for employees and patients. That the manager didn't do anything about it is even scarier. With irresponsible nurses like that, it isn't any wonder why nurses are so frequently blamed for things that go wrong at the hospital.
    jrwest, Mollypita, and Babs0512 like this.
  7. 0
    Unfortunately, the hospital I work at is the only one around. The next nearest hospitals are 1 hour to 1.5 hours away. I live in an area of NY that gets a lot of snow, we basically have winter weather approx 8 months out of the year. I hate driving in bad weather, and traveling a minimum of two hours a day doesn't float my boat either. I am approximately a 5 minute drive to work - I can't see changing hospitals, this is too convenient. It is also the reason that the hospital gets away with what they get away with. The majority of nurses are "mature" and have been here for years. They don't want to travel either. We are sort of "stuck" here. I'm always looking for other positions, like home health or other types of positions, but again, people just don't leave their jobs here in such a rural area. Not many available jobs in ANY industry.

    No where to turn! I'll always keep looking.

    Blessings
  8. 6
    Cardiacrn2006 I was not telling you what you should or should not do .I was simply drawing the obvious conclusion .Which is that if nurses are not prepared to take the risk of their predecessors , Nothing is going to change .

    Each of us has to do what is in our best interest . But what is the point of complaining about something , that you feel powerless to change and about which you are going to do nothing . The laws are there , the regulatory authority is there , you do not have to confront your manager , you can contact the enforcement agency , in some cases this is possible without identifying yourself .

    I entered into this thread after reading the posting , where the nurse described not being able to have a pschitt , because the manager ,at the very least , would not get of her duff ,to relieve a nurse ,who had unusually asked for relief ( the request being so unusual , the manager should have realised the circumstances were unusual ), then assisted the nurse . To me that posting was shocking .

    "Quite frankly I'm sick of all the people who don't work in this culture telling us that this is our fault." Then whose fault is it ?. How did those nurses change their culture , they did something about it . So It could equally be said " I'm sick of people who work in these cultures moaning about their situation , then expecting us to view them as Martyrs for doing so" .This would have as much validity as your statement .

    I'm sorry if my posts in this thread are viewed as provocative , but change does not happen spontaneously , but occurs when somebody initiates change . As I tried to say at the begining of this post , I haven't the temerity to TELL you what TO DO , I meant simply to point out what you CAN do .
    annmariern, GadgetRN71, GomerPyle, and 3 others like this.
  9. 0
    Quote from Babs0512
    Unfortunately, the hospital I work at is the only one around. The next nearest hospitals are 1 hour to 1.5 hours away. I live in an area of NY that gets a lot of snow, we basically have winter weather approx 8 months out of the year. I hate driving in bad weather, and traveling a minimum of two hours a day doesn't float my boat either. I am approximately a 5 minute drive to work - I can't see changing hospitals, this is too convenient. It is also the reason that the hospital gets away with what they get away with. The majority of nurses are "mature" and have been here for years. They don't want to travel either. We are sort of "stuck" here. I'm always looking for other positions, like home health or other types of positions, but again, people just don't leave their jobs here in such a rural area. Not many available jobs in ANY industry.

    No where to turn! I'll always keep looking.

    Blessings
    I can respect that. I wish you the best of luck - everything always works out in the end
  10. 16
    Ya know, I really wish I had known or realised all this when I was a senior in high school, making the decision to apply to 4 year nursing programs so that I could major in nursing.

    I wish somebody, anybody, could have been honest with me, when I was 18 years old and making the decision to become a nurse. If I had known that as a Registered Nurse I would never be able to take a lunch break and rarely get the chance to use the bathroom during a shift, I would NEVER have become a nurse.

    I think this entire thread should be read by all nursing students and should be read by people thinking about going to nursing school. Nursing students need to know the reality of how horribly nurses are mistreated.

    All I ever heard when I was starting nursing school in 2000 was "nursing is the best job security", "nursing is recession proof", "nurses never have a hard time finding a job", etc etc. All lies. Nobody ever told me the reality that I would have to learn how to work for 12.5 hours on an empty stomach without any lunch break. Nobody ever told me that I'd have to learn how to hold it in for 12 hours, have to learn how to ignore my bowel and bladder, since bathroom breaks are a luxury in nursing.

    If I had read this thread and read these responses years ago when I was deciding on majoring in nursing, I NEVER would have gone into nursing. I wish I could have read all this, I could have avoided all the unhappiness I've experienced since working as an RN.

    Nursing students need to read all these responses, they have to know how horrible nursing is, how poorly nurses are treated, and they need to know that getting a nursing job is not easy and nursing is NOT recession proof!
    elizabethgrad09, traveler85, jrwest, and 13 others like this.


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