Accessing Documentation While on Break

  1. Stupid question, but I'll ask anyway: Is it ever appropriate to access documentation or document while on break?

    I work at a long term care facility where as long as I have internet connection, I also have access to resident's health records. Some nurses like to stay in the nurse's office while they are on break. At my facility, the staff lounge is quite far away from the nurse's office. Has anyone ever done documentation while on break or know anyone who has done this?
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Rose_Queen
    If you're documenting, you aren't on break.
  4. by   caliotter3
    I would rather do documentation while I am supposed to be on break, than to waste my personal time by staying after the end of the shift to get it done.
  5. by   jenlpn(i)
    Quote from caliotter3
    I would rather do documentation while I am supposed to be on break, than to waste my personal time by staying after the end of the shift to get it done.
    Right!? Same! For me, i consider a break as me sitting down i find it hard to keep up if i have to document after break, especially if i'm working a 3pm to 930pm shift. There is a cna who does her documentation while she is on break as well and there has been a time when i had to stay after work to document because the shift was just crazy! Then my documentation doesnt even get shown on the evening shift, it gets put on the night shift. I also just wonder if it is legally appropriate, but then again, the cna who does her documentation on her break has never gotten into trouble for it and she has a lot of people to look after, i think thats how shes able to leave work on time.
  6. by   brownbook
    Quote from caliotter3
    I would rather do documentation while I am supposed to be on break, than to waste my personal time by staying after the end of the shift to get it done.
    I agree with you completely. I never could admit it on Allnurses.

    The whole "don't work on your break.....hospitals need to hire more nurses...you deserve your break, you are working for free ..etc."

    I hate to feel rushed, I hate staying overtime. I feel better, more in control, more relaxed, if I finish things up on my break, better than worry and hurry the whole shift thinking...."I can't leave work late today but I am getting behind on my charting."
  7. by   Rose_Queen
    Quote from brownbook
    I agree with you completely. I never could admit it on Allnurses.

    The whole "don't work on your break.....hospitals need to hire more nurses...you deserve your break, you are working for free ..etc."

    I hate to feel rushed, I hate staying overtime. I feel better, more in control, more relaxed, if I finish things up on my break, better than worry and hurry the whole shift thinking...."I can't leave work late today but I am getting behind on my charting."
    There's a difference between documenting on a 15 minute paid break and documenting on the 30 minute lunch that is unpaid. If I ain't being paid, I ain't working. And the labor board is on my side.
  8. by   JKL33
    To each his/her own, but with the following caveat, IMO: If you are in a situation where you are forced to punch out for break, then no I absolutely would not do work of any sort while not on the clock. For legal reasons.
  9. by   jenlpn(i)
    Thank you all for your insights so far! If you were in a managerial position, would you allow your nurses to access documentation or document on their breaks? Also, don't facilities frown upon overtime...?
    Last edit by jenlpn(i) on Sep 25
  10. by   marie.rn2419
    I wouldn't approach management on this, because you will likely find that they'll tell you that you need to better 'organize your time' and shouldn't chart off the clock. Then, if you begin to accumulate overtime to chart, they'll "coach you" on time management and ask "what barriers" are in place to you completing your duties on shift. No experienced manager will ever tell you that you can chart on your break because they are bound by the labor law. Breaks are supposed to be uninterrupted and free of work.

    In your situation, you've just got to find what works for you and draw the line where you're comfortable doing so.
  11. by   Julius Seizure
    Quote from brownbook
    I hate to feel rushed, I hate staying overtime. I feel better, more in control, more relaxed, if I finish things up on my break, better than worry and hurry the whole shift thinking...."I can't leave work late today but I am getting behind on my charting."

    I agree. But I don't call it "charting on my break". I call it "sitting down to chart for 15 minutes" and not taking a break.
  12. by   CKPM2RN
    What is this "break" that you speak of?
    The LTC/SNF I work in is too overwhelming to get any charting done during the actual shift. It isn't just me, it is all of the RNs and LPNs that work there that stay late every shift to finish charting. We are getting higher acuity, higher work residents than ever before and staffing does not change to reflect the increased workload. I miss working in the ED where I could chart contemporaneous information on each interaction with a patient.
  13. by   kbrn2002
    If you are charting on a paid break it's ok I guess. Don't ever work off the clock though, not only because why would you work for free but because of liability issues. Where I work it's actually a fireable offense to work off the clock.

    Just my personal opinion so feel free to do what you want but no way any way ever am I working while on break. They don't pay me enough to work while I'm working, no way am I giving them any work for free.
  14. by   jenlpn(i)
    Does this raise a concern? The fact that residents information can be easily accessed with whatever device that has wifi? At my work, we have a guest wifi account but the only way we can access resident information is if we have accounts. Because I have my own account, I can easily access resident's information from my own cellphone. Should the login site be blocked from the facility's guest wifi account and staff lounges?

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