Self care...

  1. 4 I find it so funny that nurses preach self care blah blah but during a eight hour shift I can barely eat, sit down or let alone use the restroom. Why do we put up with this kind of work environment?! I love taking care of patients but this type of environment is burning me out and makes me want to leave the bedside for good. Anyone else feel like this?
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  3. Visit  Animal3 profile page

    About Animal3

    Joined Feb '08; Posts: 112; Likes: 28.

    13 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  RNperdiem profile page
    2
    Some people wear guilt/martyrdom like a badge, but I don't think that is most people.
    There are a lot of nurses who take care of their bodily needs, take lunches most days and survive long term in their jobs. I suspect this group of nurses are people with a strong sense of their rights and will not stay in a job where conditions are so bad that a nurse cannot use the bathroom.
    I had a job like that once. I put in my year and left. I hear the floor is always hiring.
    VivaLasViejas and jmay2013 like this.
  5. Visit  Animal3 profile page
    0
    Lol thanks Rnperdiem, I find that to be true as well. What did you move to after working the floor?
  6. Visit  RNperdiem profile page
    1
    I have been working in my well-run ICU happily for the last 13 years. I always eat lunch and take care of myself. Turnover here is low and morale high.
    Meep,RN likes this.
  7. Visit  Creamsoda profile page
    0
    I try to take care of myself. At work I always use the excuse "im going to get really b$%%@y in the next 10 minutes if I dont eat (and I will) so I make sure I get my break. There are odd days I can only get away for 5 mintues, but thats very rare. You have to make some time for yourself. You can give better care when your not cranky, have a full bladder ect.
  8. Visit  Good Morning, Gil profile page
    0
    RNperdiem, just asking: how do you always eat lunch in your ICU? I work in an ICU, as well, and can't always take a lunch. I usually do, but sometimes it's just a eat quickly and run, and sometimes, it's no lunch at all. If I were to eat lunch in the situations where I don't eat lunch, it wouldn't work out as well for my patients.

    I always try to eat something, but there are nights when your patient is so sick you can't eat lunch at all. How does your unit manage those times?
  9. Visit  KelRN215 profile page
    1
    Quote from Good Morning, Gil
    RNperdiem, just asking: how do you always eat lunch in your ICU? I work in an ICU, as well, and can't always take a lunch. I usually do, but sometimes it's just a eat quickly and run, and sometimes, it's no lunch at all. If I were to eat lunch in the situations where I don't eat lunch, it wouldn't work out as well for my patients.

    I always try to eat something, but there are nights when your patient is so sick you can't eat lunch at all. How does your unit manage those times?
    I wasn't an ICU nurse when I worked in the hospital but at my hospital, the critical care nurses ALWAYS got their meal breaks. In the 4 1/2 years that I worked in the hospital, I took a full lunch break a grand total of 4 times... the 4 times that I had to float. My floor didn't take breaks and unfortunately, people were just kind of complacent about it. I took a per diem job earlier this year and my first day there when I left thinking "I ate lunch, I left on time and no one yelled at me" was the day that I decided I was leaving hospital nursing. It was the best decision I've made in my professional life so far.
    Good Morning, Gil likes this.
  10. Visit  tysmama profile page
    1
    Quote from Animal3
    I find it so funny that nurses preach self care blah blah but during a eight hour shift I can barely eat, sit down or let alone use the restroom. Why do we put up with this kind of work environment?! I love taking care of patients but this type of environment is burning me out and makes me want to leave the bedside for good. Anyone else feel like this?
    I feel like this all the time. I work in LTC...only my "LTC" facility is more like a step down unit. Most people are not there long term....they are there for PT/OT/ST/IV therapy. We are responsible for 25 people during the day and 50 people during night shift. It's IMPOSSIBLE to take a break, and you are lucky to get a 10 minute "moment" to eat your lunch. I've gone multiple days not even using the restroom because there wasn't even enough time to do that! I don't think that our administration really cares about our needs, because as much as we've tried to make them understand how incredibly overworked we are on this unit, we are always working short....Not enough Aides, Not enough nurses. And then admissions to do on top of taking care of all of these very needy people! I am beyond exhausted when I come home from work, and I believe that the environment is making me hate being a nurse. Time to get out, I think!
    NancyPie likes this.
  11. Visit  Meep,RN profile page
    2
    I think the key is "well-managed". There is no reason why nurses should skip breaks and be unable to use the restroom. I see it as a problem with management.
    itsmejuli and NancyPie like this.
  12. Visit  Labrynth profile page
    2
    I have heard many times "I wish I was a smoker cause they always get their breaks". While this may appear true I believe they use being a smoker as an excuse to take a break even if they do not plan on smoking. My point is where there is a will there is a way. The nurses not taking breaks need to slowly work those breaks in and train management to accomodate them. The work place does not have to be like this.
    kattycakes and Sparrowhawk like this.
  13. Visit  FMF Corpsman profile page
    0
    One 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.
  14. Visit  mustlovepoodles profile page
    1
    This 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.
    elprup likes this.
  15. Visit  brandy1017 profile page
    0
    When 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!


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