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 first hand how many of the nurses do NOT get a break during their 8 and 12 hour shifts. If we do take a break, we have to find someone on the floor who can cover our typically 4-5 patients. Our charge nurses do NOT cover lunches and our parent shifters are not used for this, either. There have been many days when I went home after working 13 plus hours and not sitting down once or being able to use the bathroom.
Is this COMMON in the nursing profession? According to wage and hour federal laws, we are entitled to a break.
This frustrates me as I think we are all entitled to some time away and I do not feel it is our responsibility to find our own coverage.
What are you guys finding out in the nursing community? Do you swipe a "no lunch?" Is this even SAFE? Technically, this employer is violating wage and hour laws by not freeing the nurses up for a break.
Please share your thoughts and experiences with me. I think this practice is wrong and I would like to implement change...I just do not know how.
Thanks for your thoughts.
It certainly is common. That is, unless youre in California. Out there they have ratios (on your unit you could have no more than 4 pts ever). Thanks to those ratios they are not allowed to cover each other for lunch or they would go over the ratio for those 30 min. So they have special nurses that come in just to relieve the others for their lunches, and thus, they get their lunch breaks every single shift. It's like a different country in California for nurses. In the rest of this country, you eat as you work many times, if at all, even though it's a 12 hour shift. We dont have such vocal nurses who demand their rights. They just take it lying down like good little downtrodden employees. :spin:
Last edit by BradleyRN on Feb 22, '09