Drinks at nurses station/desk

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    Our facility says we are no longer allowed to hv lidded drinks with our names on them at the nurses station. We can only hv drinks in the staff lounge. We can take a drink during our shift, but not keep one. She said its a violation. Is this true? I live in IL. No it's not in our handbook and HR says they will look into it. It's hot, like 80 degrees, we aren't sitting, we are walking everywhere finding pts to give them meds-sweating. What about us (nurses) and hydration? The CNA are doing labor! To add to this she told us this while she was sipping on a pop!!
  2. 11 Comments so far...

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    Quote from nurseywifeymommy1
    Our facility says we are no longer allowed to hv lidded drinks with our names on them at the nurses station. We can only hv drinks in the staff lounge. We can take a drink during our shift, but not keep one. She said its a violation. Is this true? I live in IL. No it's not in our handbook and HR says they will look into it. It's hot, like 80 degrees, we aren't sitting, we are walking everywhere finding pts to give them meds-sweating. What about us (nurses) and hydration? The CNA are doing labor! To add to this she told us this while she was sipping on a pop!!
    Interestingly enough, this was just an issue at my place of work yesterday. The state dept of health was around to investigate something. Word on the street was that there was an EMTALA violation at an ER at another hospital in our system and since we are under the same accreditation (or whatever it is called for hospitals) they had to investigate us too. I have no idea of if this is why they actually were there, but this is what the rumor mill gave as the reason (and we all know that if it is in the rumor mill is the God honest truth ).

    Anyway, the 'no drinks at the nurses station' rule is basically never enforced in our ER unless the state or TJC is around. They enforce the rule. Based on what I have read before on AN, this rule is established by OSHA. In other words, your facility did not make this rule up. This rule applies everywhere, though everywhere I have worked has enforced this rule differently. Anyway, don't blame the facility for this one!
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    Every office I've worked in had this rule. One issue was OSHA compliance (or so they said, possible contamination) and another was spilling because lids can come off or leak out the drinking spout or condensation forms and papers could get wet/ruined. Yet the doc had his Starbucks cup sitting on his corner every day.
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    what t-b said and jcaho violation.
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    Why on earth is it 80 degrees in your facility? Maybe you should ask maintenance to adjust the A/C. Seriously, though, drinks and food have never been allowed anyplace other than the nurses' lounge where I work. Even doctors aren't allowed to have drinks out at the desks.
    loriangel14 likes this.
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    That's policy in every hospital/LTC facility I have ever been in. OSHA is always cited as the reason - but do I understand it? Absolutely not.
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    We have to have drinks in a closed area and not around patient care items, so no they are not allowed atbthe desk.
    loriangel14 likes this.
  9. 2
    Just spoke with an accreditation expert (JC, OSHA, CMS, CLIA, etc).

    The only 'regulations' that apply to this situation are from CLIA & OSHA - related to prohibition of eating/drinking in areas in which there is high risk of cross-contamination from specimens or dirty equipment. Some JC standards in Environment of Care are related to electrical safety... including avoiding liquids spilled into electrical circuitry. Most organizations cover this issue as part of their Infection Control plan - specifying areas in which eating/drinking is prohibited. And this must be enforced for everyone... physicians are not immune.

    So - the OP's employer is using accreditation as an excuse. But this may be part of that organization's Safety or Infection Control plan. The organization has a right to make this type of change, but blaming it on a vague accreditation rule is not a smart move... particularly when dealing with such knowledgeable staff. Dishonesty always undermines the credibility of leaders who engage in it.
    joanna73 and loriangel14 like this.
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    It has been a number of years since this has been allowed in my neck of the woods. Just recently. On my clinical unit where I bring my students, the NM asked me if that was my cup of DD coffee, looked around and asked whoever was in earshot, then tossed it. I think it was a resident's. oh well.
  11. 0
    Yeah this a big no no where I work as well. You can drink during your shift but you have to duck into the report room to do it.


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