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- Aug 25, '12 by FMF CorpsmanOne way we often managed to eat was sort of a broken up meal break. A couple of us would go down and get their meals to bring back to the Unit to eat in the Break Room, while the rest of us covered all of the patients. That way if anything went down, we would have a full compliment of Nurses to handle the event. Meanwhile, when the other people got back with their meals, another rotation would go down and get theirs. Then everyone who chose to eat would eat in the breakroom. It wasn't ideal, but we all managed to eat and our patients didn't suffer from lack of coverage either.
- Aug 25, '12 by mustlovepoodlesThis is exactly why I left hospital nursing. I worked in the NICU for many years. When it became standard practice to NOT get lunch or breaks, I decided I had had enough. I switched to school nursing 5 years ago. Not only are the hours decent--no more nights & weekends--I get lunch every day, barring a true emergency, AND I leave on time. Of course, the pay isn't nearly as good but I came to the conclusion that quality of life trumps money.
OP, you are the only one who can draw your boundaries. If you are not getting breaks and lunch, you need to explore why. Is it because you are understaffed? need better time management? Do you need to learn to say no to non-emergent requests? I can understand missing a lunch here and there--we all do, in the interest of patient well-being. But it shouldn't be a daily thing.
- Aug 25, '12 by brandy1017When I'm super stressed and busy and if my patient took a turn for the worse and I'm struggling to stabilize them, I feel too stressed and that I can't take a break until the patients stabilized or transferred to ICU. This may take an hour or may take most of my shift, doesn't happen often, thankfully, but it is nerve wracking and stressful when it does. Also when I'm stressed out or overwhelmed, I lose my appetite and am no longer hungry at all, just get by on a soda. Luckily this doesn't happen everyday!
Even when I do go to lunch I always feel so rushed and then get back to find out the covering RN dropped the ball for instance a cardiac drip ran dry so they just turned it off rather than getting another bag from pharmacy!
- Aug 25, '12 by Animal3Mustlovepoodles....I am fine on time management but I do have a hard time saying no to non-urgent requests. I seriously think patients and families come up with the craziest requests and I have a hard time saying no or explaining to them that their being ridiculous in a polite manner. I do believe the reason breaks are not taken is due to management and the fact we are always being floated to other floors to help cover them.
Lately I have been floated half way through my shift which as you can imagine makes the shift very difficult and stressful. I am starting to think I would fit in more in a clinic or a true per diem position.