Do nurses get breaks, etc?!!

  1. After reading Echo Herons books, and over on that other forum called Would You Recommend Nursing as a Career I wonder if nurses get breaks, do you have time to eat lunch? Are you worked to death like that?!

    Who here has actually worked as a nurse or in a hospital to see what really goes on? There was even a new nursing student over there who was saying that she just graduated from nursing school 5 months ago and already regrets being a nurse, she hates it and she said you dont know what its really like until you are out on yor own.

    Is part of the nursing shortage because nurses get so burnt out and HATE their jobs and quit?!

    Sorry but hearing all that did scare me! Maybe I should just finished up my English degree and go to law school. I dont plan on being a floor nure for any long lenght of time, I want to get my master (CRNA or NPor CNM) and maybe teach eventually. But still, how aweful to know there are nurses out there who it is that bad for.

    Marilyn
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Furball
    When I did floor nursing I rarely got breaks. I always compared a shift like being in a tornado....sucked in at 7pm...then spit out at 7:30 am. You don't realise it until the shift is almost over that you haven't stopped.
    ICU is nuts too but I do get breaks here and there. I can even peek in at Allnurses to see if I've missed anything....if my pts are stable and doing ok....if not....it's back to the tornado

    Edited to add: Not getting breaks isn't the reason for the shortage...there are a deluge of reasons....it depends on where you work, the facility's philosophy, management support, type of nursing, personality..ect ect

    Everyone has a story....just because Susy in California has great support , time for breaks and loves her job... doesn't mean that Alex in NY isn't being treated poorly, works unsupported, severely stressed, burnt to a crisp even after changing jobs, specialties, night/days and still not finding his spot. (just hypothetical examples...I know California has a pretty severe shortage)
    Last edit by Furball on May 21, '03
  4. by   zambezi
    Any profession has people that dont work well with it and truly hate their job...on the other hand, every profession also has those that love their job...some nurses hate it, some love it...i truly enjoy being a nurse and would not have any other job...there are some nights that i don't get a good break (or any break) due to busy patients/short staffing...however, most nights i get my breaks when i want...some nights are slow and some are busy...i think that it is really important to find a position that is right for you, your work style, personality, etc may not fit on one floor as well as another...find a floor that supports you and the staff....with any job that you work in, there will be ups and downs, nights you work all night and dont sit down, nights where all you do it sit (or days, can you tell i work nights?)keep looking see if you can follow a nurse around if you arent in school yet to get a feel for what goes on during a typical day...the first place you visit may not be right for you, but that doesn't mean that there isnt a place that meets your needs...good luck...
  5. by   GPatty
    I work 7p-7a in LTC and by the time I finish answering call lights, passing meds, doing treatments and passing more meds, then doing charting ( in what seems like 15 different books and places), then answering more call lights, then checking on the tube feeds, doing vitals, more tube feeds (3 on the same side...all at different times), accuchecks, more meds, injections and getting paperwork ready for appointments in the AM.......
    no, I usually don't get a break, nor do I take a lunch. But I am (what seems like) one of the few nurses who actually do everything I am supposed to.
    Wouldn't trade it for anything!
  6. by   Furball
    PS You'll never be bored!
  7. by   kimtab
    After being on two floors for clinicals, I think yes they do, but not in the way that a former 9-5er would think of as a break. Most of the nurses on one floor took them when they could, when things were slow they took advantage of that to have some down time. It wasn't necessarily when they "needed" the break or when they were hungry, just when they could take it. Others didn't avail themselves of the opportunity, preferring to spend the whole time taking care of business so they wouldn't run the risk of falling behind. When breaks were taken, they were usu. on the floor so as to be available if they were needed.

    On another floor the nurses had a system whereby they would schedule breaks in the morning so that only one would be on break at a time and that way the others could cover and the one nurse on break could actually sit down and eat. It seemed to work pretty well, but sometime things came up of course.
  8. by   graysonret
    Sounds like a typical day in a LTC, JulieLPN. . I work the 2nd shift, 3-11 and am an agency nurse. Many times, in a new assignment, breaks come rarely and dinner break consists of "bites" between call lights and treatments. Once I get the routine down in a place I've been to before, I usually can take a break, later in the shift...once patients are in bed, and meds/txs done. A lot too, depends on the quality of the CNAs. Some places have excellent, caring aides, so I can take a break without worry. Others have terrible aides, that I wouldn't trust out of my line of sight. So, breaks vary, depending on the shift/personnel.

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