Smoking coworkers and fair breaks

  1. I just need to rant and see if anyone else if having this issue. I work in dialysis as a RN; I find that a lot of my fellow coworkers smoke. The issue I'm having is that we are allotted 2 fifteen minutes breaks and 1 half-hour meal break. I am finding that my fellow coworkers are spending 15min at a time smoking then they complain that they didn't get a break or that they are having a meal break late (they take 45 min by the way, because they have to have a smoke before returning to the unit). I expressed my concern for the patients (with almost everyone smoking, there isn't that many of us taking care of the patients) to my boss, but she is a smoker. I notice one coworker was only in the unit for 45 min in a two hour time frame. I think its unfair to the nonsmokers who aren't taking 4-5 fifteen min breaks plus a extra long meal break. Lets just say my fellow coworkers are not happy when I hold them to this rule and remind them that they have coworkers who may want to take a break too. Am i wrong for this?? has anyone had issues concerning smoking and breaks??
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  2. 40 Comments

  3. by   chloecatrn
    The rule on the unit where I used to work finally had to become that you had to find someone who was willing to accept signout on your patients and take control of your portable phone. If you couldn't find someone who would do those things, you couldn't smoke.
  4. by   MassED
    I'm a nonsmoker. Those smokers that I work with find each other and duck out. It has always been that way. They leave their patients and just duck out. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! I would... but I'm too busy taking care of my patients. Not any breaks for me, not a lunch/dinner, just plugging away. Oh well. Doesn't make me so mad anymore, I just go a bit slower when they have discharges and twiddle their thumbs actually discharging a patient because they had more time to smoke. Why should I break my back while they have a few moments of down time? If I were to hurry and discharge my patient, while that smoker also had a discharge, but had a smoke break while I hadn't had a break, what's the incentive here? I'll get a patient next if I hurry up and discharge, so it seems as though there's an incentive to smoke and dilly dally....
  5. by   NM nurse to be
    This is TOTALLY one of my hot buttons! My issue about breaks are the 'smoker's breaks'. My facility has scheduled times when the smokers take the smoker residents outside to gasp at their ciggies. This happens at least 3 times during day and evening shift. So at these times, ALL the smoker CNAs disappear outside for the 15 minute (PAID) smoke break.

    So not only are they getting paid for 45 minutes that they did nothing but sit at the table and talk to each other, there is no one but the non-smokers left on the floor. Do you think we could get away with 'non-smoker fresh air' breaks with the non-smoking residents? I highly doubt it. It makes the rest of us angry but the smokers have rights too, according to management. And we don't, apparently.

    It's almost enough to take up pretend-smoking just to even things up! I can hold one and cough like the rest seem to do I have no issue with smokers who manage to do it on their ACTUAL breaks but the ones who take advantage and leave at prime call-bell ringing time, 3 times per shift, really tick me off!
  6. by   SuesquatchRN
    Just tell them you need a break and take one.
  7. by   vlomankill
    Thanks, its nice to know i'm not alone. to SuesquatchRN, we are only allotted two breaks, my boss is quick to remind you of that if you say you need a break. By saying your going out for a quick smoke, it seems that she doesn't count that as a break. then there is the fact that they are taking more than two per shift.
  8. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from vlomankill
    Thanks, its nice to know i'm not alone. to SuesquatchRN, we are only allotted two breaks, my boss is quick to remind you of that if you say you need a break. By saying your going out for a quick smoke, it seems that she doesn't count that as a break. then there is the fact that they are taking more than two per shift.
    It sounds as if it's the culture there, which is a problem. Does the manager smoke? I'm betting she does.
  9. by   vlomankill
    yes, she does. its so bad, the patients that smoke know who is willing to give them a cigarette and who isn't. I've even spotted staff smoking with some of the patients. I'm just annoyed and a little fed up.
  10. by   sistasoul
    I don't know how anyone has time for a smoke break or any type of break period.
  11. by   OCNRN63
    You get breaks??? <faints>

    Our facility is totally non-smoking; you can't even go to your car and smoke. Solved the problem on many levels.
  12. by   JDZ344
    Smoke breaks annoy me. The smokers will ALL go out together. They duck down the back stairs. We're offically allowed 2 half hour breaks and 2 15 minute breaks in a 14 hour shift. The smokers will take an extra 2 or 3, plus extend their half hour because they 'have to eat as well as smoke'.

    It makes it worse that they have to walk off the premises to smoke now. Management know this is a problem, but can't or won't address it.
  13. by   tewdles
    Employers need to either enforce the rules or change them...
  14. by   vlomankill
    Quote from KatieP86
    Smoke breaks annoy me. The smokers will ALL go out together. They duck down the back stairs. We're offically allowed 2 half hour breaks and 2 15 minute breaks in a 14 hour shift. The smokers will take an extra 2 or 3, plus extend their half hour because they 'have to eat as well as smoke'.

    It makes it worse that they have to walk off the premises to smoke now. Management know this is a problem, but can't or won't address it.
    I've told a nurse, that she used up her meal break smoking and to get back to her patients. my boss told me i couldn't do that and that everyone should get a meal break. i responded that she did, she just used it to smoke. i just don't understand my smoking coworkers, and how they justify the extra time to smoke. i'm trying to understand, but i can't.

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