Sleeping during nightshift!! - page 3

This is not my first night shift position and I am shocked at how many people at this hospital sleep during their shift. I'm not talking about nodding off for a couple minutes either. They are... Read More

  1. by   RNKPCE
    Napping during breaks is the norm on my floor on the noc shift. They combine all their breaks to equal one hour and sleep. If it is their break I see nothing wrong. Those nights when they can't combine their breaks they feel shorted and have frequently complained it was too busy to take their breaks and charge overtime.

    However, though not the norm, I have seen and heard about staff sleeping while they are on duty. I worked over one night and a float was sleeping in a far corner of the nurses station. I was shocked, naive me. I checked on all her patients and reported her to my manager the next day. She wasn't fired but written up.

    Now I know working nocs can't be easy with the rest of the world operating on a 9-5, but most of the staff on my unit have had opportunities to switch shifts, they work nocs by choice. Also some with young children/babies try to get away without daycare and that is why they need to sleep at night. I couldn't imagine coming home from a night shift and sleeping during the day only when my child napped and when my spouse got home in the evening.
  2. by   swatch007
    That's a risky business!

    If they would just sleep at work, they might
    as well bring pillows with them.
  3. by   traumaRUs
    See, its not a matter of whether its refreshing or not, its WORK, not SLEEP. Therefore, when at WORK, one WORKS! And if its so okay to sleep at WORK, then why doesn't day shift do it? Answer....its not okay and is not sanctioned by managment.

    And...what happens if your patient codes during nap time? When I was a staff nurse, I just gave a quick report to the nurse watching my patients while I took my break. So...she/he didn't have a complete picture, just enough to get by for the time I was at lunch. However, if there is a problem, they come and get you.

    As to the folks with kids who must be up during the day - this isn't realistic. I worked nights when my kids were small, but used daycare when school wasn't in session or their father was at work. However, I know how exhausting this can be and I do sympathize. Maybe these folks could change to evening shift? Or...work prn?
  4. by   Cattitude
    when i did noc's in the hospital, it was accepted and routine to nap during your break. also, after i left that hospital, i did agency at 3-4 other hospitals in nyc and at every one they did the same thing. pt's were covered and the nurse on break did not leave the unit, but went into the break room or another empty room. supervisors knew exactly what went on during breaks. it is unpaid time after all.

    sometimes i was able to nap, sometime not. for me, i never fell into a deep sleep, just a light snooze. and yes, when i worked days, on occasion i have seen nurses put their heads down on the table and close their eyes (while on break).

    no pt's were ever left compromised or unattended.
  5. by   NurseyBaby'05
    Trauma-
    If you're not getting paid, you're not working. Not everyone wants to be a martyr and donate their free time to their job. What's the problem if people sleep on their breaks? What . . . that they're not getting paid do do it? Guess what, they're not getting paid at all for the unpaid lunch. People should not be obligated to be at the hospital's beck and call during their own time. If you worked in any other field and were told to come back and work unpaid during your lunch, would you? No. In any other field, they wouldn't even ask. Why are we nurses expected to sacrifice ourselves in the name of patient care?

    Now, on the other hand, people sleeping when they're on the job is unacceptable. At that point, they are responsible for their patients and are being paid to do thier jobs. People like that need to go.
  6. by   NurseyBaby'05
    Quote from casbeezgirlrn
    no pt's were ever left compromised or unattended.
    :yeahthat:

    thank you!
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    i used to work with one charge nurse (in a ccu) who spent most of her shift in the chair at the desk, sleeping. she'd wake up to take and give report, and she'd wake up to go take her lunch break, but other than that, she'd spend most of the time sleeping, her head cocked to one side, and a long stream of drool hanging.

    we used to make bets on how long the stream of drool would get before l. would wake up. we had a yard stick and would measure the drool . . . and once l. woke up while someone was measuring it! didn't stop her from going back to sleep as soon as she had eaten her lunch.

    no one else in that unit slept at work. i think everyone was too afraid of the yard stick!
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Feb 10, '07 : Reason: name edit
  8. by   angel's RN
    Dear helpinghands,

    So sorry that this has happened to you. It has actually happened in my facility, too, and that person still works there, even after the boss was notified (but the boss is looking hard!). It is a firing offence, and also one that will get your licence if that person's name is sent to your state's Nursing Board. Go up your hospital's ladder, and if you don't get results, and it still happens, go further. I would hate to work with someone who cares so little!!!!!!!!!! :angel2: 's RN
  9. by   paradisemakai
    When I worked nights in ICU, we would each take our 1/2 hour break, getting someone to cover us, and sometimes we would go in a small room and set our alarms on our watches for 1/2 hour, take a cat-nap, then wake up, go back out to work, and cover for the other person to nap or not as she/he pleased. Worked great.
  10. by   dbihl
    Quote from NurseyBaby'05
    Trauma-
    If you're not getting paid, you're not working. Not everyone wants to be a martyr and donate their free time to their job. What's the problem if people sleep on their breaks? What . . . that they're not getting paid do do it? Guess what, they're not getting paid at all for the unpaid lunch. People should not be obligated to be at the hospital's beck and call during their own time. If you worked in any other field and were told to come back and work unpaid during your lunch, would you? No. In any other field, they wouldn't even ask. Why are we nurses expected to sacrifice ourselves in the name of patient care?

    Now, on the other hand, people sleeping when they're on the job is unacceptable. At that point, they are responsible for their patients and are being paid to do thier jobs. People like that need to go.
    Amen....
  11. by   KellNY
    nursey, I agree.

    Ask any supervisor, and I think the consensus will be that, as long as it's not illegal, an RN, CNA, whatever should be allowed to do whatever they want on their UNPAID (or paid, if you're lucky) break. Sleep, shoot craps, eat, go for a jog, have sex, twiddle your thumbs, read a book, do a crossword puzzle, pray, (though hopefully not all at the same time-although that would be interesting to see ) whatever.

    Me personally, I can't fall asleep in 30min-not here anyway. So I'll either go for a walk, do some yoga/stretching, maybe even run to Dunkin Donuts if staffing allows. Whatever it takes to help myself feel refreshed-better for me, better for my patients.

    I'll be damned if a supervisor or fellow RN is going to tell me what I can and can't do during MY break! (within limits of course, before someone twists my words-no drinking, doing drugs, killing people, prostituting yourself, etc)
  12. by   Drysolong
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I think its totally ridiculous that a worker would even consider sleeping while at work, whether on break or not. That's ridiculous. Ask a supervisor about this and I bet you would find this is against any and all rules. I've worked in nursing homes as an LPN, and in hospitals in three states as an RN and I've never allowed sleeping nor have I ever tolerated. That said...its never been an issue.

    If you are so tired that you must sleep at work, you need to look for another job or get into a better routine. I worked nights for 12 years straight and yes I was very tired some days, but I never considered sleeping.
    As a supervisor, what did you "allow" your subordinates to do during their "unpaid" lunch breaks? I'm new to nursing, but have been in the workforce 30+ years, and I think it's "totally ridiculous" for another human being to think that they can control what I do "off-the-clock". (Of course with the exception of illegal activities or activities that would impair my ability as a nurse to care for my patients (duties).
  13. by   traumaRUs
    I stand behind the premise that sleeping at work should not be allowed. I too went into nursing as a second career and in my other positions, never ever saw anyone sleep.

    Maybe this is something new??? Like I said, I've worked in five states (IL, IN, NV, IA, AK) and have never seen it.

    Then, I wonder how you go 12.5 hours without eating?? I did want to back up my opinion with some facts too so here goes:

    "Nevertheless, the randomized study that compared nappers with non-nappers working the night shift at a Stanford hospital ER was not all positive. The nappers did not exceed the nonnappers in all parameters, and during post-shift driving simulator tests even the nappers had catastrophic lapses in motor skills."

    This is from a study done at Stanford: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/psyc...d=BreakingNews

    I don't see the WHY of needing to nap while at work. I've had several other jobs other than nursing that did not require much thought or had much responsibility and never would have napped. My point is that you need to get enough sleep off duty. A nap is not what is going to save you during your shift.

    And...I'll be honest, I'm one of those non-nappers even during my time off. The one thing I've learned after many years on night shift is that you must guard your sleep and ensure that you get enough.

    Even when you are off the clock, if there is an emergency, you may be expected to return to work (and of course be paid for it). Then...I'm expected to go wake up folks??

    The hospital where I was last employed (for 10 years) did not allow sleeping at work because our breaks were paid time. They also did not allow us to leave the campus. However, where the hospital is located, it would not have been feasible to go anywhere during a 30 minute break. At any rate, I would like to continue this, but I gotta go to work myself.

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