NO LUNCH??? NO BREAKS??? Is that common in nursing????? - page 7
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... Read More
Feb 23, '09Thanks to everyone who posted a response to my original thread about the commonality of missing breaks as an RN. Quite honestly, I am disgusted at how it seems the profession of nursing is being treated out there in the real world. Almost every single person who responded to my thread expressed similar situations in finding it difficult to get breaks during 8 and 12 hour shifts. Personally speaking, I find that unacceptable. It makes sense that there would be occasional situations in which lunch was not possible due to work load or patient care situations. However, that should be the exception and certainly not the norm. I understand that we are in an economy that is experiencing a major recession and yes, I need to keep my job as well. However, I still think there is a right and wrong here and it seems obviously wrong to me that RNs should work under such conditions.
I was struck by the comments made from those RNs who are unionized. It seems that this kind of treatment would be less tolerable in those type of environments. Interesting thought.
Anyways, thanks to everyone who responded. I appreciate hearing the stories and knowing that it is not just where I work....it is more prevalent than that!
Feb 23, '09The no break situation probably assisted in the easy decision I made in 2006 to move to quality improvement and now education. I make a couple thousand dollars less but I figure that evens out with ALL the breaks I didn't take in a year and all the stress on my health 12+ hour shifts without(or rare) BR breaks and just a quick granola bar so I wouldn't pass out from hunger-pretty even really. The stress I have now is pretty minimal-I readily admit this. Miss direct patient care but wouldn't go back unless this job gets downsized......
Feb 23, '09NO BREAKS? NO LUNCH? in NURSING?
GO WORK ELSEWHERE!
We need our breaks and lunches in order to perform as safe amd prudent nurses---ALL OF US!
Feb 23, '09i agree skipping meals is common especially bedside nurses....its not mandated that you should skip meals whenever possible because the management does allow nurses to have a 30 mins quick break....and its up to you if you will use that time to have a break considering that you handled 15 paTients,you had every 6 hours feeding,on going peritoneal dialysis,what do you think? maybe you will be freaking out because you are very exhausted,and unable or forgot to eat.remember the words "patient centered" so we all up to taking responsibilty what might happen if we leave them for 30 mins...it will ruin the pattern of your routines daily activity,sometimes i ate after my duty so that it will not be a conflict with my work..that is why before going in for a duty i eat a heavy breakfast for me not to be starving during the entire 8 hours.
Feb 23, '09The majority of my coworkers come in 30-45 minutes early to prepare, but we will be written up if we clock in prior to 7. The majority also do our email and online lessons at home because there isn't time at work. About 2/3 of us take a shortened lunch (15-20 minutes), but get charged for 1/2 hour, even if that lunch break comes at 5:30pm. Non lunch breaks are extremely uncommon. I do go to the bathroom now, but at my last hospital job I barely had that opportunity. I have made a stink about all this unpaid time to management and so far their response has been that we all need better time management(even though they are talking about a majority of the staff). Management is not happy with those of us who work late, but I will not clock out and keep working, like some of my coworkers do. I have brought it up to others, and the further removed from the floor that person is, the less they seem to care. I am trying to walk the line between making change and not getting fired =/ It is frustrating. I am having negative health effects from the stress of the floor, and wonder if it is worth it.
Feb 23, '09To those of you , as alluuded to by Ayvah ,who clock off and continue to work , do you realise that if there is a problem with your patient or yourself , when you are clocked off , management will all of a sudden " discover "this practice and you are then at risk of :-
a)Termination , for falsifying your time card ,
b)You may not be covered by the hospitals ( you were off the clock ) , even if they decided it was in their best interests to cover you in their Liability Insurance , either the faclity or insurer could then sue you to recoup the loss you caused the hospital / insurer .
c) If you had the misfortune to injure yourself whilst off the clock , you would not be covered by workers comp insurance .
You can be sure if there are problems ,management will be able to point some laws / policies that put the responsibility upon your shoulders
So balance that into the risk / benefit equation for yourself , when you choose to work off the clock.It will be presentd by management , that you choose this course of action , otherwise they would have to acknowledge , that they were aware that staff were not being able to take their breaks .
Feb 23, '09I am a nursing student as well, and I am currently looking for Tech work, to gain experience and work my way through school. Nursing is a second career for me, but I will tell you what in my first career the same thing applied I would work 12 often times 16 hours a day with no lunch break or pay for that matter I was always salary and never received o/t.
I say this to point out this, nursing is a profession just like several others I do see what the other poster is saying to a point - we all have to be able to stand up for ourselves. I am currently looking at a hospital to work at and gain experience, but I believe this has so much to do with environment, I will not give up my career for the wrong environment, because the truth of the matter is if the employer cares about the employee they will allow you to take your break and it would not matter if you are nurse, a tech, a cleaner or what. We are in a recession for God sakes, I am sure these employers have 1000 of apps waiting for my job, but if I can't take care of my own health how can I take care of the patients, you end up being no good to no one. I have a hospital that is looking at me and I am looking at this hospital, but this time, I am giving myself the opportunity to move forth in a career not just a job.
I also work in a non union state, and this happens often (my spouse is a correction officer and he dosnt get a lunch break, has to work over 40 hours with no pay) so I do understand. But remember not all union states have union hospitals, it is just nice to be able to organize as oppose to having to deal with things in these type of cases. In the meanwhile, I am struggling but I am making it, and I will be taking my lunch and going to the bathroom when needed if they want to fire me then go ahead we all can be replaced, and that works both ways.
Do what you have to do, but maybe its time to look else where, dont let anyone take advantage of you.
In my nursing class while I was going for my state lisc. I came home and told my hubby, I could not believe how many young women was widows because there spouse worked themselves in the grave and left them with a family and kids to support all by themselves - and guess what the job is not there now.
Feb 23, '09Quote from makes needs knownThis is one of the reasons I am in no hurry, I am trying to move back to NY because the laws here are not very favorable, I dont want to work in nursing without any hope of protection.In NY state laws entitle employees to a lunch break after working 6 hrs.
Where are you in NY
Feb 23, '09The crux of this problem is the balance of power between Management and Nurses . What has been described on this thread is that Management has enough power ( which it had even during the boom times ) , to impose poor working conditions upon nurses .
In most places described in this thread , management is acting like the overseers in Oliver Twists workhouse .They can act so short sightedly because the Nurses allow themselves to be abused , The only people that can change this situation are the nurses and managment , if one side doesn't want to change and the other side is not willing to do anything , to make change happen , nothing will happen and threads like this will continue to be spawned in perpetuity , whilst NOTHING changes .
Feb 23, '09Didn't you hear about the nurse they found dead in the parking lot? How did they know it was a nurse... because her stomach was empty her bladder full and her butt chewed off.
Anyways, where I work we are allowed a 30 minute and a 15 minute break. We all team up and try as hard as we can to get everyone at least one break. I think that only once over my 2.5 years of working there that I have taken both breaks! Most nights it is way too busy or I will have a patient that is way too unstable to leave for that much time. Most of the time we all end up taking a 30 minute break but inevitably the days come when you don't have time for anything except running. I will clock "no lunch" if I didn't get my 30 minutes because I will not work for free.
Feb 23, '09How about the nurse who died and went straight to hell?
Took him two weeks to notice he wasn't at work...
Feb 23, '09Quote from kishinneWhat you are doing is NOT patient centred at all. Your putting your patients at risk because your not eating properly and will be unable to perform your duties as effectively.i agree skipping meals is common especially bedside nurses....its not mandated that you should skip meals whenever possible because the management does allow nurses to have a 30 mins quick break....and its up to you if you will use that time to have a break considering that you handled 15 paTients,you had every 6 hours feeding,on going peritoneal dialysis,what do you think? maybe you will be freaking out because you are very exhausted,and unable or forgot to eat.remember the words "patient centered" so we all up to taking responsibilty what might happen if we leave them for 30 mins...it will ruin the pattern of your routines daily activity,sometimes i ate after my duty so that it will not be a conflict with my work..that is why before going in for a duty i eat a heavy breakfast for me not to be starving during the entire 8 hours.
For goodness sake get another nurse to keep an eye on your patients, do the same for them so they can have a meal as well. It's a little thing called teamwork and supporting each other.
As for the pattern of your routine being ruined, obviously it isn't a good one if it doesn't involve a meal break.