Sleeping

  1. Just out of curiosity, how many of you, when on nights, sleep on your break? Is it part of your unit culture to take turns sleeping for 2 or 3 hours?

    The reason why I ask is because I know that it is typical of many units for the staff to sleep. However, these are usually medical/surgical units where the patient acuity isn't as high. Although I have seen it done in an adult CCU, I haven't heard much about it when it comes to NICU.

    So my question is, do you do it ? Is sleeping typical or are your babies so critical that you wouldn't risk it? I have made a promise to myself that I will not sleep because I don't feel right about it and I figure if anything went wrong, I would never forgive myself.

    What about the rest of you?
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   XB9S
    Where I work sleeping on night duty is a disciplinary offence
  4. by   babynurselsa
    I don't know whose culture it is to sleep for 2-3 hours of their shift. I have NEVER worked anywhere that this would be found acceptable.
    Every place that I have ever worked this is a fireable offense.
  5. by   danissa
    we cant sleep in the NICU on nightshift, really dont have time. Wouldn't really consider it. But, I have a friend who's a nurse, works in adult medical, where the staff take turns of sleeping for three hours at a time!!: wish I worked there!
  6. by   jnette
    Have never heard of this here... no way. :uhoh21:

    Unless it was STAFFED in a way where it was understood that the staffing was specifically to cover sleep periods for each nurse.

    Never gonna see that here in the US.
  7. by   porcelina22
    I work in a small ER, where we might have 5-6 pts between 0200 and 0700. Some of us will, occasionally, doze off. More often though we'll watch a movie in the breakroom or sit at the nurses station and play solitaire. There is ALWAYS an understanding of where all the staff is, and always the understanding that if something rolls in the door, everyone is expected to help. It works for us, though it is definitely not policy.

    Chrissy
  8. by   elizabells
    SOME people on our unit set up little nests in the locker room and sleep during their break... which could be anywhere from 1-2 hours, depending on the person. I think it's insane and dangerous, but hey, what do I know, right? I'm just the dumb newbie who takes 15min to get a cup of coffee and grab a quick smoke because I don't like to leave my patient(s) alone for longer than that.

    Not that I'm a little, uh, bitter about a few times when I got left with a crashing patient by one of the sleepers, or anything...:uhoh21:
  9. by   everthesame
    When I worked in NICU, there were some nurses who slept during their break. They only slept for the 45 minutes they were allowed as a break though. Everyone was assigned a break buddy and you and your buddy worked out break times. While I never slept on break, I see no difference between eating or napping in the break room on one's unpaid break time. I don't know of anyone ever taking a 2-3 hour sleep break when I was there.

    Given a typical assignment and how often you usually had to feed and assess your babies, there simply isn't enough time to be off the unit for more than an hour at any one time and keep all of your babies on their schedules.
  10. by   MA Nurse
    I think it's ok to sleep in the break room if you come back ON TIME. 45 min. max, not 2-3 hours! And sleeping at the bedside looks really bad and is just wrong...I've seen it.
    Take responsibility if you're tired and bring an alarm clock to your break, i know a nurse who used to do this. Or get off of nights if you can't handle it.
  11. by   SteveNNP
    I agree with the above posts.... especially if you are like me and are "given" an unpaid 1 hour break during the shift. As long as I am on the unit, readily available, have reported off to my podmate, and come back on time, I see no problem with using my break as I choose. The last place I worked, we were given a 45 min paid break, and I never slept. That being said, I didn't have the 1+ hr commute to work I have now.

    Also, what about the fellows and NNPs that clock in for the same 12 hour shifts that I do, only to have a call room with beds to sleep in whenever, and for however long they want? (While I have to find a chair to curl up in and hide like a criminal to close my eyes for 30 minutes)
    Last edit by SteveNNP on Dec 24, '07
  12. by   TiffyRN
    I think it's your own business what you do on your designated breaks, which where I work are one 30 min. break and two 15 min breaks for a 12 hr shift. These are not strictly enforced but that's what's on the books. What is strictly enforced is that sleeping is NOT acceptable regardless of if one is on one's break.

    Now though I think it's your own business what you do on your break, I don't understand someone getting paid for 12 hrs of work and sleeping for 2-3 hours. I know there are jobs that this is acceptable (like firefighters) but they are working 24 hr shifts.

    There are exceptions made for example with some nurses who have migraines and the charge nurse allows it knowing that if this person can take a short break in a dark room they may be able to finish their shift versus going home immediately.

    I also have a problem with placing the burden of caring for a double load for several hours while the other nurse in the room is napping. But if you want to forfeit your lunch break and sleep instead and BE BACK 30 minutes later, that's fine with me.
  13. by   preemieRNkate
    Napping on your unpaid break, fine with me. Napping while you're supposed to be working, .
  14. by   fergus51
    I work with a lot of people who nap on their break time, but they take one hour just like the rest of us. It always surprises me that people complain about sleepers. It doesn't matter what they do on their break as long as they come back on time. And I am not going to play martyr and only take 10 minutes break for a 12 hour shift. Unless my kid is literally coding, I take a break. I'm entitled to it and yes, someone is going to have to cover my assignment while I'm gone just like I'll cover theirs when they're gone.

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