Why do some nurses hate it in others pump at work? - page 4

I was working tonight, when a traveler nurse literally walked off the floor when she was asked to watch out for another nurse while she stepped away to pump. There were words exchanged and pretty... Read More

  1. by   Farawyn
    Better than the smokers, who take way too long, still take their breaks and come back smelling like carp.
  2. by   CaffeinePOQ4HPRN
    Quote from Wuzzie
    Not supporting the traveler's bad behavior but I'll admit to being irritated with a staff member that pumped every two hours for 30-45 minutes each session AND took her 30 minute lunch AND her two 15 minute breaks during her 10 hour shift. You do the math on that one.
    There may be many other factors involved that the OP is omitting or unaware of.

    I worked with a nurse who exploited the fact that she was a nursing mother to take frequent, lengthy breaks off the floor (to allegedly pump) leaving our skeleton crew of nurses to constantly pick up her slack. She barely carried half her load and was still taking home the same salary as the rest of us who were breaking our backs because she #HadABaby. As someone who will never receive this kind of accomodation (because I don’t have a baby), it’s irritating to be taken advantage of by people who throw the “think of the children/children come first/as a mother...” position at you as though statement were an unquestionable defence or fact in an of itself. Why would anyone think that the patients they serve, and other staff deserve to be inconvenienced because they chose to have a baby? I think that is the bigger underlying question here. We all have to be accountable for the life choices we decide to make. What happens if a mother decides to continue breastfeeding when their child is older than 12 months? Are we supposed to accommodate your frequent breast pumping breaks indefinitely?!

    Nursing is not an industry like others, a person with certain medical conditions can even be precluded from the profession if their condition(s) prevent them from carrying out nursing tasks or puts patients at risk. If a person needs such an extensive accommodation in an industry where the people covering for them are often working injured, going without bathroom breaks/eating, etc...perhaps you need to find other employment. I can’t imagine how this would work, for example, on a busy ICU floor. I support nursing mothers, but not people who use their accommodation inappropriately as a strategy to pass off their workload onto someone else. I’ve seen this happen so many times I’ve lost count.
    Last edit by CaffeinePOQ4HPRN on Dec 18, '17
  3. by   decembergrad2011
    On a 12 hour shift, I would pump 4x for the first 9 months. At 9 months, I dropped to 3x, then at 10 2x, then the last month was spent only pumping once halfway through my shift. I plan to do this again.

    People had problems with it because it was impossible for anyone to take a break some days unless they literally said, "I'm taking a break, bye" and went away. I was protected by law and my baby was a priority, too, so I made sure to take my breaks even if my day dictated that they were brief. However, I didn't take any other breaks where I was unavailable, including my lunch breaks. I would often let my food grow cold as I attended to something, or would eat while charting. I did start allowing myself uninterrupted breaks again when I dropped pumping sessions, but I think that minimized people thinking I was getting extra breaks.

    Now, I try to be an advocate for pumping nurses and offer to watch their patients while they pump. I am thankful to those who did the same for me.
  4. by   rkitty198
    We are talking about the legal rights of women who pump at work, but what about the legal rights to standard lunch and breaks?
    I watch your patients while you pump and you watch mine while I take a break.
    It's called teamwork- no resentment
    however, it sounds like some of these nurses are taking advantage and not reciprocating.
    At that point I think the manager should get involved, because ultimately it is the employers duty to give the nursing mother the time not the staffs responsibility.
  5. by   decembergrad2011
    Quote from CaffeinePOQ4HPRN
    What happens if a mother decides to continue breastfeeding when their child is older than 12 months? Are we supposed to accommodate your frequent breast pumping breaks indefinitely?!
    I breastfed my daughter until 2.5 but stopped pumping at 1 year. Most women who do extended breastfeeding and work tend to give up the pumping sessions.
  6. by   Meriwhen
    Quote from OyWithThePoodles
    I pumped for about 15 minutes. Or until I got my second letdown, sometimes that would happen after 10 minutes and I would thank my lucky stars because it meant I could get back to work. I never took more than 15 minutes, but I also never left a mess for my co-workers. I always made sure my patients were medicated and comfortable before going.

    Like I said, I charted, took calls, and did not get the privacy needed, so pretty much not a break lol
    This is just me so don't presume I expect this of others, but I didn't see the point in creating a fuss so I could have breaks specifically for pumping, though federal and state laws would have protected me had I pushed for it. I just used my lunch and if necessary, one of my 15-minute breaks. I had a double pump so I could get the job done in 15 minutes, leaving me time to eat lunch...that is, if I didn't opt to eat while I was doing it. I didn't often need the second session.

    I never had a supply issue with pumping only once at work, though I did let the little guy go all free-feeding on me when I was at home. That probably helped keep the supply up. And he was also 4 months when I went back, so he--and I--were past the point of needing q2h sessions around the clock. Since I nursed into toddlerhood, I must have been doing something right (pumping stopped around 1.5 yrs--by that point, it was more for my comfort than for keeping up the snack stash).

    One of my jobs had an unused office that was informally designated the room for pumping. The other had a room specifically set up for pumping: chair, magazines, nice decor, the whole nine yards.
  7. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from CaffeinePOQ4HPRN
    There may be many other factors involved that the OP is omitting or unaware of.

    I worked with a nurse who exploited the fact that she was a nursing mother to take frequent, lengthy breaks off the floor (to allegedly pump) leaving our skeleton crew of nurses to constantly pick up her slack. She barely carried half her load and was still taking home the same salary as the rest of us who were breaking our backs because she #HadABaby. As someone who will never receive this kind of accomodation (because I don’t have a baby), it’s irritating to be taken advantage of by people who throw the “think of the children/children come first/as a mother...” position at you as though statement were an unquestionable defence or fact in an of itself. Why would anyone think that the patients they serve, and other staff deserve to be inconvenienced because they chose to have a baby? I think that is the bigger underlying question here. We all have to be accountable for the life choices we decide to make. What happens if a mother decides to continue breastfeeding when their child is older than 12 months? Are we supposed to accommodate your frequent breast pumping breaks indefinitely?!

    Nursing is not an industry like others, a person with certain medical conditions can even be precluded from the profession if their condition(s) prevent them from carrying out nursing tasks or puts patients at risk. If a person needs such an extensive accommodation in an industry where the people covering for them are often working injured, going without bathroom breaks/eating, etc...perhaps you need to find other employment. I can’t imagine how this would work, for example, on a busy ICU floor. I support nursing mothers, but not people who use their accommodation inappropriately as a strategy to pass off their workload onto someone else. I’ve seen this happen so many times I’ve lost count.
    At what point does using their accommodation become inappropriate?
  8. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from Flatline
    I never minded covering for someone breastfeeding, in fact I encouraged it.

    The only problems I have ever had was when someone has XYZ special need which required extra work on my part but did not reciprocate. If I have to cover you while you breastfeed, take a break because of your back, go on a smoke break, whatever, I expect you to do something for me when you get back. Start an IV, ambulate my patient, something.
    Make this clear before you cover for someone. If you cover for me, I would appreciate you and would always try to be a good team player, but I would not magically know that you expected me to do this or that for you automatically as payback.
  9. by   CaffeinePOQ4HPRN
    Quote from Kooky Korky
    At what point does using their accommodation become inappropriate?
    Lifestyle choices should not interfere with a person’s ability to do their job. Having a baby is a lifestyle choice.

    It becomes inappropriate when the accommodation is not used for the reason it was intended, and when additional time is claimed to be required (outside of what was already generously allotted to pump) and approved and you're caught using this time extra time to instead to have extra breaks to rest, read, eat, check your cellphone, etc... forcing your colleagues to take on a lot of the care of your patients. I suspect that the travel nurse the OP wrote about may have very likely been at their wits end for being taken advantage of. Who really knows?!

    Having a baby is a lifestyle choice. So, people need to be responsible for themselves and contemplate and reasonably try to plan how this choice will impact their lives. At the hospital you are not the patient, you are not the priority and while you are at work your patient deserves your attention. If your priority at work is your baby over the care of vulnerable patients who depend on you, perhaps you're not ready to come back to work?

    Having a baby doesn't exempt anyone from being responsible for their nursing duties. No one should be responsible because someone chose to inconvenience themselves. I worked while I was a caregiver to my father while he was dying from cancer, but when I was at work I did my bloody job and didn't make my coworkers suffer because my life changed. The difference is no one chooses to have cancer...

    No ones time is more valuable than anyone else's. Career professionals need to be respectful of their colleagues time, and reciprocate when people go out of their way to help them. The law protects nursing mothers, this is true, and I've sadly seen many women take advantage of this as an opportunity to get away with lighter duties or take their sweet time on frequent/excessive breaks when they were fully capable of their patient assignments.
    Last edit by CaffeinePOQ4HPRN on Dec 19, '17
  10. by   CaffeinePOQ4HPRN
    Quote from Kooky Korky
    Make this clear before you cover for someone. If you cover for me, I would appreciate you and would always try to be a good team player, but I would not magically know that you expected me to do this or that for you automatically as payback.
    Are you kidding? Even if this negotiation still takes place in advance there are many nurses who take advantage and don’t reciprocate when help is given to them. Also, no one expects anyone to be psychic but it’s generally considered good basic manners to offer your assistance to someone who has gone out of their way to help you, even if they don’t ask. I have a 1 strike policy: if I help you out during a shift and it’s not returned when I ask for assistance... I will never help you again, or switch a shift, give you a reference for a job, etc... Nurses who take advantage build a reputation and burn bridges to the point that eventually no one will help or want to be affiliated with them.
    Last edit by CaffeinePOQ4HPRN on Dec 19, '17
  11. by   Tenebrae
    As long as their work is up to date and I'm not left carrying the load for their patients as well as mine, I dont have an issue with it personally
  12. by   Tenebrae
    Quote from alexaway
    This doesn't seem fair to me at all. Mothers have the right to do what is best for their children
    Your colleagues have a right to have a nurse who is there for the full shift and not passing their work off on others by being off 45 minutes at a time.

    No ones saying dont pump, they are saying dont take the piss about it and end up leaving half your work to your colleagues
  13. by   Flatline
    Quote from Kooky Korky
    Make this clear before you cover for someone. If you cover for me, I would appreciate you and would always try to be a good team player, but I would not magically know that you expected me to do this or that for you automatically as payback.
    LOL.

    Do I need to tell you to say thank you and please as well?

    Most people understand the concept of common decency, professionalism, and teamwork without having to be told.

    In life as a general rule it is considered polite and professional to compensate someone when you burden them. Stay at a friend's house? Offer compensation. Someone buy you dinner? Offer compensation. Someone fix your flat tire? Offer compensation.

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