Sleeping on job? - page 2

I need to vent...where I work (LTC) the nurses and aides sleep (deep sleep) for HOURS (this is an ongoing issue that has been addressed to the DON and NOTHING has changed. A few aides/nurses were on... Read More

  1. by   Been there,done that
    File a complaint with the state.
  2. by   Wuzzie
    Just a little fun fact. I did a short mission to Peru several years back. We trained the Peruvian nurses to care for post-op pedi hearts. We were on all shifts. The night shift nurses all took turns sleeping. Two would sleep while two would monitor the patients and then they would switch every two hours. None of the patients were neglected and it was amazing to see the nurses pop awake in exactly two hours (no alarm) all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. We, on the other hand, felt like crap by the time our shift was over and we weren't doing the work.
  3. by   CCU BSN RN
    When I worked nights on telemetry floor I used to nap for 2-3 hours sometimes if I really needed it, but I was the only one napping at the time, a co-worker was covering my phone with explicit instructions to come slap me upside the head and wake me up if my patients needed anything or if they needed help with anything. If the patients are covered, you've finished your work, you've offered to help your co-workers, there's no confused old man jumping out of bed who you could sit with to help out...Go for it.

    Stepdown floor, we would have nurses combine their 30 minute lunch break with their two 15 minute breaks and go nap in the break room for an hour. Again, another nurse covered their patients for break, and this was only for allowed break times. Some people pushed the 1 hour limit, but it would piss off whoever was covering for them, and they'd get flack for it from co-workers, and next time they'd be way more mindful of the time.

    Basically, I think it's fine to nap during a break, and I think there are days when you're all caught up and really just need to put your head down for a few minutes. Sometimes a 15 minute power nap can really take you from practically falling asleep at your station and being unable to think clearly, and be totally refreshing and allow you to stay awake, think clearly, and perform your job duties better. The key is that SOMEONE needs to assume responsibility for the patient if you're going to sleep.

    That's not what's happening here, though. This isn't about sleeping or not sleeping, this is basically about neglect/abuse/patient abandonment. I would be tempted to take photos of the staff members sleeping and anonymously send them to a local newspaper or tv station (I ultimately wouldn't because it's probably ten kinds of illegal). It seems like complaining to your DON is only making your life worse because you get labeled a complainer and a rat, and the neglect still isn't stopping. Get out of that facility ASAP because when it does make the news eventually after a sentinel event and probably a lawsuit, public opinion of your facility will go way down, and will likely make it harder to get a job elsewhere because you're from 'that facility where everyone naps and neglects their patients'
  4. by   foggnm
    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can
    and the wisdom to know the difference.
  5. by   MA Nurse
    You definitely need to report this to someone higher up outside of this facility. It's unsafe and abusive. Would it be an ombudsman? The state? Not sure, but this needs to be reported. All nurses are mandated reporters when it comes to elder abuse, and this sounds like abuse/neglect to me!! You could possibly get in trouble for not reporting it!
  6. by   MA Nurse
    Quote from foggnm
    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can
    and the wisdom to know the difference.
    I don't agree with the serenity prayer in this situation. all nurses are mandated reporters of abuse/neglect. This nurse can change the situation by having the facility investigated for sleeping and ignoring the patients. It needs to be reported to the state or appropriate entity to get this issue looked at ASAP!
  7. by   billswife
    Not sure if this is completely ethical, but what would happen if you took photos of the seeping staff on your phone and sent copies to the DON and the Dept. of Health? My phone photos have a date and time stamp. Does this sound like it might work? Just a thought....
  8. by   Pixie.RN
    When I pick my battles, I think to myself, "Self, is this the hill you want to die on?" In this case? ABSOLUTELY. That is unacceptable!!! I am usually the always-awake-at-night person, too. When I was deployed with my little team, if we needed to sleep at night we'd take turns napping, but someone always had to monitor the MEDEVAC channel. If we had patients, I didn't sleep because we only had one nurse on per night shift and any holds for us were ICU patients who usually weren't uber-stable. Stateside in the ER, if we were lucky enough to have ZERO patients, I didn't mind if a nurse put her head down on the desk, but I cannot bring myself to sleep at work. I even had a hard time with it in Afghanistan at first, haha. (Daysleeping there was a challenge, though, with all the booms and bangs and explosions.)

    I am so sorry you are dealing with this. Report it as appropriate. I hope you find a better place to work!
  9. by   kbrn2002
    Quote from Here.I.Stand
    A call to your ombudsman is in order. Someone needs to take action against this NEGLECT, and clearly your management lacks vertebrae. Shame on them.
    Exactly what I was thinking from the second I finished reading the OP. Sleeping on the job is grounds for immediate termination where I work. It's beyond awful that this happens regularly with no consequences to the sleeping beauties that are being paid to work, not sleep. I'm amazed that upper management puts up with paying people to sleep! Since nothing is being done, this is pretty clear cut neglect and a call to state is in order.
  10. by   Neats
    I once came in early as the LNHA and found a LPN sleeping in an empty room, I terminated her on the spot. Under no circumstances should you have fellow co-workers sleep unless it is on their breaks. It is common to sleep on your lunch break or 15 minute break and I have no issue with this. I am always amazed at the basic disregard in our healthcare arena that assumes we are "entitled" to services... both as healthcare providers and as patients.

    I would seek out new employment for the other comments are correct it is not a battle you will win, you will be the one whom the residents who really need assistance go to, and you will become drained. If the management is "fine" with this arrangement then they are not doing their jobs and making this environment unsafe, they too should be let go and a letter placed in their employee file that clearly states non-hirable ever again.

    This clearly is a problem that only will get fixed with higher company involvement and if not that, then when the surveyors come around because if you know and recognize the staff sleeps then residents and family know this too. They will surely contact the state ombudsman/the state surveyor hot line to report what NOT is being done for them. It is irresponsible, ill advised and will hurt this facility in the long run. Good management would not let this occur: unless the staff are sleeping on their breaks or if there is an emergency and staff must stay (tornado, flood, bad storm come to my mind) if this occurs then I am right there beside staff working, feeding and doing anything I can to assist residents and staff. I once experienced a bad storm that lasted 3 days and we had slept in shifts. I also bought lunch (afterward) and provided a $100.00 gift card for the staff who went through that and made the company pay for the total amount of hours they were at the facility (72 hours) the company did just that.

    Maybe I am too harsh but I do not know any other job where one can sleep and get away with it unless you are a bed tester.

    Lastly there is too much to do in a SNF to sleep other than your breaks. I can think of many items on a honey do list that I would provide to staff to keep them too busy to sleep, you are there to work-this is why you get paid... and if an employee cannot stay awake then maybe it is not a good fit for employment. or they need a different shift to work, or medical intervention/exam to rule out any medical condition that maybe impairing their ability to work.
  11. by   Irish_Mist
    If I am not mistaken, this could be considered patient abandonment. If the DON doesn't want to correct this, I bet the State Board of Nursing would love to look into along with countless other regulatory bodies.
  12. by   Meriwhen
    Check with your BON because sleeping while on the clock (i.e., not on lunch or break) may be considered patient abandonment in their eyes. So if your facility/union can't or won't do anything about it, a discreet report to the BON may work wonders.

    I'm not saying automatically report everyone. More than once I've had to nudge awake a coworker who was nodding off, and there's no way I'd dream of reporting every single catnap to the BON. But if these nurses are sleeping for hours at a stretch and it's a consistent problem, patient care and safety is being compromised.
  13. by   VegGal
    Quote from Nursing617
    I need to vent...where I work (LTC) the nurses and aides sleep (deep sleep) for HOURS (this is an ongoing issue that has been addressed to the DON and NOTHING has changed. A few aides/nurses were on their toes for about a week and quickly fell back to their old habits. I know 12-8am is a tough shift but come on it's not fair to the residents who are pressing the call light, yelling help, need their brief changed, medication, drink, etc. it's abuse plain and simple. .....
    In my opinion it's neglect, and the nurses should know better, but I've experienced that on the 3-11 shift, and not night shift, and I finally left because it was so frustrating to be the only one who thought that was a problem. We had an LVN who constantly slept with his head lowered down to the desk, and when a CNA would need something they'd just wake him up and let him know what they needed. They (CNAs) told me that they had complained about him to management but no one did anything.

    Then we had another LVN who did that several times while I was working, and I first spoke to her about it, and she agreed that she shouldn't be sleeping on the job, but when she continued to do it, I spoke with the DON about it, but again, nothing was done. It was a small facility but I was the only nurse awake on for the last few hours on the 3-11 shift, and I finally decided that it wasn't a good situation to be in, and I left for that reason and several other reasons. I'm glad I did.

    I think you have to do what you think is best for you and your residents.

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