I have just recently joined the management team in the ER where I have been a staff nurse. Drinks in the nurses station has been an ongoing battle for as long as I have been a nurse. My manager simply comes out to the floor and procedes to throw any drinks in the trash, this action makes people mad and they resent her for it. I know that OSHA regulations state we cannot have food/drinks in area where contamination from blood borne pathogens and such may happen. My question is, is there a better way to get compliance from staff? I know as a busy ER staff nurse that it is hard to excuse yourself to the breakroom to get a drink and I always kept a covered cup with water hidden at the nurses station. So its hard for me as a new manager to expect compliance from my staff when I know how hard it is myself. Any suggestions?
Jan 13, '05
As an ICU nurse, I found it difficult to get a break from the unit between having to answer phones, watch monitors, patient care.. We came up with a compromise: we could have cups with sealed lids/straws. My managers were ICU nurses and understood...thank God. Between all the rushing around it IS easy to dehydrate...and 14 hrs without a break is too long.
those of you who GET breaks consider yourselves lucky.
Last edit by mattsmom81 on Jan 13, '05
It just cracks me up to read that management has so much time on their hands that they have to walk around throwing out nurses' water bottles and soda cans. Yet, I know it's true--I've had it happen to me in the operating room--chastised for having a soda can out by the scrub sink; by middle management, of course. When asked why anesthesia was allowed to eat a burrito IN THE ROOM--during a case--met with only a stoney-faced non-reply. :stone
All I can do is shake my head and say, nurses, TAKE THE BREAKS allotted you according to state and federal law--don't be martyrs. If you are allotted a 15 minute break every 4 hours--TAKE IT!!!!!! If you are allotted a 30 or 45 minute lunch, (depending on your shift)---take it!!!
So much of this nonsense falls into the category of "sacred cows" anyway. Trust me; I have seen the same issues--over the past 30 years-- brought up, only to fall by the wayside and then be brought up again like clockwork, every 5 years or so. Middle management can, and does, do anything and everything to justify their existence--
No one will take care of you except you.
Water, soda and coffee at the nurses' station have little to do with nosocomial infections. Pay more attention to good handwashing and less attention to who is drinking what during the course of a workday.
Gosh--I miss the good old '80s, where we would leave our full cups of coffee right outside our rooms--the surgeons would carry their full cups of coffee to the scrub sinks--the supervisor, when she came by your room to say hello, would have a cup of coffee or a can of soda in her hands--funny, we never had any nosocomial infections that I ever heard of....nor have I seen an operating room overrun by cockroaches, LOL!!
If anything, I wish that middle management would spend less time policing our every move and more time monitoring good housekeeping practices. One time, I moved an O.R. table to the side--guess what was under it? A $5 bill. Now, do you REALLY think the last shift of housekeepers mopped or wet vac'd under that table? Or the shift before them? It scares me to imagine just how long that bill had been there...
And don't even get me started about bits of bloody suture pushed into the corners of the rooms....
Last edit by stevierae on Jan 15, '05