Who's #1 your patient or you? - page 3

Who's #1, Your patients or you? No matter how busy it is I always take my breaks. Some nurses miss lunch, skip breaks. I would like to here from nurses their opinions on this topic.... Read More

  1. by   Gompers
    Quote from angel337
    you are blessed to work with such nice people. the people you work with can make the worst job worth it because of their work ethic and teamwork. i am still trying to organize myself so that i can take lunch but it is hard because when i come back there is a ton of stuff to do and i fall behind. i think it is something that nurses learn overtime, because when you first start out in nursing everything is a priority. but i am learning that i am a priority too.
    I know I'm blessed - seriously, this bunch of people is great. There's a reason that 75% of our staff has been on the unit for 10+ years. Of that 75%, maybe 25% have been there 20+ years, and 5% for 30+ years. People NEVER leave here. When I started 6 years ago, the manager showed me the log book which showed that I was the first RN to be hired in 5 years. Then again, ICUs (and NICUs in particular) tend to have low turnover rates, I think.

    My hat goes off to nurses who work on the floors - I worked med-surg as a CNA and it was so hard to keep up with all the craziness!!!
  2. by   crankyasanoldma
    I try to live by the adage "Be a nurse, but don't let nursing be you." which was taught to us in nursing school.
  3. by   Ruby Vee
    I've found that there's very little that can't wait 30 minutes for you to take your lunch break. CPR can't. CT won't, usually. But that antibiotic will, and so will the pillow fluffling, bath giving, hair washing, shaving, dressing changing and charting.
  4. by   IamRN
    Quote from Gompers
    Then again, ICUs (and NICUs in particular) tend to have low turnover rates, I think.
    Ummm...not the SICU I work. The people w/the most seniority average 5-
    7 years and then there are only about five or six of them. There are a couple that have been in the system for 10-15, but they have not been in ICU that long.

    OTOH I honestly like the generally team work atmosphere that exists.
  5. by   Rapheal
    Seriously, where else but in nursing is their such guilt and angst about taking a measly 30 minute lunch during a twelve hour shift? I am a nurse-not a martyr. What do any of us have to gain by making ourselves sick, getting UTI's, becoming dehydrated, and getting burned out because we buy into the notion that somehow it is impossible for us to get our allowed breaks and lunch? It is not impossible, we need to stick up for ourselves even if that means calling the supervisor, the unit manager or whoever to get what is not just deserved, but what is healthy for our bodies. Nuff said.
  6. by   RN8Last
    Quote from rscarlatti
    Who's #1, Your patients or you?
    No matter how busy it is I always take my breaks. Some nurses miss lunch, skip breaks. I would like to here from nurses their opinions on this topic.
    I used to skip lunch breaks, but I then realized that if anything happens to me, I don't think these patients that I am caring for will care for me. We have to take care of ourselves first to be an effective caregiver.
  7. by   CA CoCoRN
    I come first. If I'm not healthy and happy, I can do nothing for my patients.

    However, given the field AND the specialty in which I chose to work, a break is not always guaranteed.

    Yesterday, I worked a 12. I didn't get a break. I did have a lull for a while in the a.m., during which time I wasn't busy and so I even had time to check my email and surf the net for a while. But then, my patients became active and the activity level picked up. I went on a 7 hour run where I was busy, busy busy. I went from epidural to non reassuring to again reassuring to delivery. A period during which I was "trapped" in one of my patient's rooms.
    Then....after that one delivered.....I went to the other room....and had a new set of circumstances arise in which I was held in that room.

    I didn't eat until our in house anesthesiologist did me a favor and brought me some food while he was in the cafe. Then I ate at the desk while I finished charting on my previous pt.

    But what could I do???

    Just like the previous day.....we had 8 c/s on the day shift, along with approx 12 deliveries on the day shift. Some days are more hellish than others.
  8. by   lady_jezebel
    For the good of ALL my patients, I need to take my breaks. Otherwise, I will be completely exhausted and will not be able to focus or provide good care for the patients. Nurses MUST take care of themselves in order to remain healthy, positive, and strong. This is why nurses need their days off, too...
  9. by   TeenyBabyRN
    Quote from Gompers
    Then again, ICUs (and NICUs in particular) tend to have low turnover rates, I think.
    NICUs do seem to enjoy a much lower turnover rate than most other specialties (but it depends a lot on the particular unit - some just do not know how to treat people) but, in my experience, adult ICUs are different. The burnout rate tends to be much higher and staffing is like a revolving door.

    Big people - YUCK!
  10. by   nurseunderwater
    Me... I am first. With my family, my friends and my pts. If mamas good then everyone gets what they need. I don't mean this in a selfish..me me me way. Just in the "I don't have any need to be a martyr" kind of way. Life is a marathon not a sprint. I gotta pace myself, you know?
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from nurseunderwater
    Me... I am first. With my family, my friends and my pts. If mamas good then everyone gets what they need. I don't mean this in a selfish..me me me way. Just in the "I don't have any need to be a martyr" kind of way. Life is a marathon not a sprint. I gotta pace myself, you know?

    Yes Ma'am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  12. by   Gompers
    Quote from TeenyBabyRN
    NICUs do seem to enjoy a much lower turnover rate than most other specialties (but it depends a lot on the particular unit - some just do not know how to treat people) but, in my experience, adult ICUs are different. The burnout rate tends to be much higher and staffing is like a revolving door.

    Big people - YUCK!
    I was going to just say NICUs, but I thought that adult ICUs still had lower turnover rates than the floors. Learn something new everyday!
  13. by   Gompers
    Quote from CA CoCoRN
    IHowever, given the field AND the specialty in which I chose to work, a break is not always guaranteed.

    Just like the previous day.....we had 8 c/s on the day shift, along with approx 12 deliveries on the day shift. Some days are more hellish than others.
    I can totally see your point. In L&D, when things are going crazy with your patients, I can imagine not wanting to go for a break. I was interested in that field when I was in nursing school, but it just seemed too stressful to me. I would never want to leave a laboring mom's side, just in case, you know? I hope that you get some nice, slow days mixed in with the hellish ones!

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