My med-surg unit will begin utilizing break RNs in the near future. I' m currently a staff RN and accepted a break RN position. I'm pretty excited about the change.
Management is open to new ideas so we can make this work effectively. Does anyone have experience with break RNs in a med-surg unit? Do you have any suggestions?
Our unit has 44 beds and typically staffs 11 nurses for each shift.
Is the position eight hours, or how is it scheduled?
When I worked in ICU years ago, we had a nurse who was out for nearly eight months with cancer. When she came back to work, she could work only four hours at a time. Our manager offered her a position from 10:30 to 2:30 Monday through Friday as a lunch relief nurse. At first, there was a lot of resistance to the idea from some of the newer staff, but within two weeks we could all see the value in it. Even when Velma was able to return to work full time, we kept the position. People signed up for a four hour "lunch relief" shift as an extra four hours (3 12s is 36 hours, and you could work one 4 hour relief shift without going into overtime status) until another nurse needed the accomodation after emergency surgery.
I did it in the OR, first for circulators' potty breaks and then for their lunches. Worked nicely. Guess it will be
good in M/S also. At least they're trying to give everyone a break and lunch. There's usually some resistance to new ideas at first.
These are 8 hour shifts 11am -7:30pm and we are hiring several break RNs. This will be interesting. I've only heard of break RNs in the OR.
I know...there will be some resistance for sure, but I'm excited to part of something new.
I work as the "resource nurse" on a med-surg unit. We typically have more surgical patients than medicals, so we have lots of admissions/discharges. I work 7-3, weekdays and my role includes helping with morning med pass (try to do one patient for each nurse), admissions, discharges, post-discharge follow-up calls and covering lunches. It's very crazy, but it has worked very well for our unit.
We generally have 1.5 or 2 RNs as the break relief. It is not an actual position. You just get randomly assigned to it.
When we could, the ED had someone to just do lunch coverage then float. It was a gift.
That sounds like a great idea! We have been working so short, so breaks are impossible (Sadly a common issue that many nursing units face).
I'd give my eye teeth for a break relief nurse.
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