12N Sleeping During Break - page 3

:confused: I am a nurse manager in a HR dept. It has been reported to me that a nurse who was working 12N informed her CNAs that she was going to be in the facility break room for her 30 min lunch... Read More

  1. by   fungirl
    Quote from Gompers
    For every eight hours you work, you're supposed to get 30 minutes unpaid lunch break and two 15-minute paid mini-breaks. On my unit, we combine all of that time into one solid hour of breaktime each night. Most of us eat in the break room. Sometimes people go to the cafeteria or out to their cars to smoke. And others sleep for their hour break. Break time is YOUR time, so if you choose to take a nap instead of eat, why is that any of the hospital's business? Actually it's much easier to get ahold of a napping nurse on the unit than one that is hanging out in the cafeteria or in her car smoking! We know where they are, they only stay out for their designated hour, and they are refreshed when they get back from break. So what is the problem? This is BREAK, a time to get a bit of relief from working. It's not like they're sleeping at the bedside or nursing station, they're not visible to patients and their families.

    Do any of you work in California?? I took travel assignments in California and at one facility it was almost insisted that you take a one hour nap. That is your 30 minute lunch break and two 15 minute breaks. Also, to stay within the 2:1 pt. ratio law in CA, some hositals hire 1-2 rn's from 11p -2a just to cover breaks, so there is never a RN covering more than 2 pts. So, maybe the DON should take a couple of pm shifts, and have two pts. to care for, and then see how she feels about a little snooze time. I think these upper level folks in this scenario have been away from bedside nursing too long. Just goes to show you how nurses don't stick up for each other.....
  2. by   NRSKarenRN
    From my years of involvement on grievance task force:

    The issues here for you to consider are

    1. Does your facility have a policy regarding break time and was employee
    oriented to said policy? Facility has the right to determine policies regarding sleeping while on duty.

    If no policy then one would assume if UNPAID break, free to do what they
    want within reason with break time.
    If policy exists, employee needed to be oriented to it. Do you use a orientation checkoff sheet for all policies that one needs to be aware of OR do you give each employee an employee manual---that would suffice as given notice.


    2. If no policy, then what are the labor laws in your state?
    State law guides you with policy formation and if you can discipline employee over issue.

    3.
    informed her CNAs that she was going to be in the facility break room for her 30 min lunch if they needed her
    RN informed staff how to locate her WITHIN UNIT, there are no grounds that she "abandonded patients." Amount of time to wake someone up during break is considerably less that trying to locate someone who is off the unit to assist during emergency. Ask SBON if any regs over this issue in your state. Issue is usually over abandonment not reporting to another nurse over leaving unit, doen't apply here.

    4. Numerous studies have been done to show 30 min power nap recharges batteries.


    Let us know how this turns out.
  3. by   rnmom3153
    i've worked in several ltc facilities and generally it's done but not talked about. it's been quite a problem @ times with cna's going off to sleep and not disclosing where. if i do it as i sometimes have, i always tell my coworkers exactly where i am. i
    i remember one instance; the rn i was working with would always go on break with her pillow & blanket and not tell me. i was new at the time. one nigght when she pulled her little disappearing act, she slept thru the 6am med pass (till 7:30am) 3hrs.
    whoops lost a few lines!?
    as you all know, this is the busiest time of the night. i had to do her med pass and as many treatmets as i could. you know accuchecks, insulin etc.there is actually a sleep disorder called "shift work disorder" people who work the off hours, swing shifts etc. get it. there are specific symtoms associated with this disorder and you have marked improvement with treatment.
  4. by   hipab4hands
    [QUOTE=meownsmile]If its unpaid, it shouldnt matter. If she goes out to her car for 30 min and naps SHE IS ENTITLED. She however, chooses to power nap near her patients where if there is a problem she can be alerted and take action. I give her credit for that\\\\

    If its unpaid time, she can do whatever she wants, whether its sleeping in the breakroom, in her car, or running naked through the streets. The hospital has no say in what she does on her own time.

    If the the hospital is paying for that 30 minutes, then they can set standards of what is or isn't acceptable activity.
  5. by   SitcomNurse
    Get over it, it clearly is her time and the DON has insinuated that you havent been doing your job for 2 mos too.... lets not leave that out.
    ie: didnt you know this was going on?? that she was taking a BREAK???

    c'mon here... if she was in her car with a wind up alarm clock or pre set cell phone, it wouldt have been a problem. Why is it a problem since she stayed in the building.

    We combine our breaks too, and the girls with CHILDREN home need SLEEP. Even the girls with DOGS home need sleep.

    IMHO
  6. by   finchertwins
    It is hard to say what to do here. I would have to review your facilities policy as far as sleeping or naping goes. I would also have to review your BON policies and see if this is pt abandonment. Even with all of that I would just make a general policy on your floor that sleeping is a taboo and deal with it from this point on. There is no need to make an example of a good nurse unless you have to. It was a break and it was off the clock so I don't think abandonment would be an issue. Her fellow workers knew where she was and how to get a hold of her in case of an emergency. In my hospital it is forbidden and it is considered abandonment by the BON. At my facility I never get the chance to take a 15 or 30 minute breather and we have a no smoking policy for the entire campus so even the smokers don't get off the floor. Oh and by the way I work 12 hour shifts from 7p-7a.
  7. by   caroladybelle
    In the South, sleeping even on your unpaid break, frequently is considered a firing offense. But then these were hospitals that would dictate to you to wear makeup if it made you look "better", etc.

    In NYC, there is evidently a mandated one hour unpaid break plus some 15 minute breaks per shift. As such, some people find a place to curl up and catch a few Zs. As it is their time and I could find them, I really didn't mind. They did not do it if the floor was busy.

    As a traveler, though, I have to attend to "appearance of inpropriety" and do not sleep even if entitled to that break.

    I would also probably take issues into account. It is quite difficult to fight your body rhythms and sleep during the day, and the rest of the world interferes with one's ability to do so. There will be times when NOC nurses cannot and do not get enough sleep. And we can rarely go home "sick". So who I am I to gripe if someone gets a power nap on their unpaid break.
  8. by   imenid37
    If it is during unpaid time, so what? It's healthier than smoking and as another poster said, we watch the smokers' pt's all the time for them. I work 12 hr. nights. If I took a nap, I wouldn't wake up. If she does her other work, then it's her business what she does during unpaid time. For some people, I hear a power nap is refreshing. Ask the DON if she realizes there is a shortage of nurses. Good grief, they'll be checking the kind of underwear we are wearing soon! Some people don't know that in this day and age, you need to give up CONTROL over every nit picky detail. The nurses aren't little automatons. Sheesh!
    Last edit by imenid37 on Sep 21, '05
  9. by   CrunchRN
    It is her unpaid break time and she probably functions better because of it. No way should she be punished, and in fact I think she is terrific for being close by and avail. if needed. I hope this whole situation does not make her decide to leave for a more understanding work place.
  10. by   Chicklet2
    Hi, I just finished my first night at my preceptor hospital. You take all your breaks together on a 12h night so that gives you an hour and a half. They have quiet rooms that u can go to and sleep. They really recommend you do. I think this is a good idea b/c sometimes u just need a little cat nap.
  11. by   DusktilDawn
    Believe me I cannot power nap on nights because I would actually feel worse if I tried, however if another person can power nap and recharge their batteries on THEIR break, I have no issue with it.

    It's bad enough that nurses are frequently short changed when it comes to breaks and lunches irregardless of shift. In essence we are working for free for half an hour and we are denied the paid fifteen minute breaks that other employees are entitIed to. I think some latitude should be given if a nurse chooses to take a nap on her unpaid break.
  12. by   Ann_RN
    If diciplinary action were taken on every nurse who took a break, there would be no nurses at all, except possibly a few anal retentive miserable types. If you don't work nights on a regular basis, how can you judge someone who takes a power nap? Nobody says this is quality sleep, but it is often enough to recharge the brain cells to improve one's function during that hectic time when we increase our level of activity before the daylight people come straggling in with their 7-11 coffee cups chatting about the latest episode of Everybody Loves Raymond while we are trying to give them report. 10 to 15 minutes is often all it takes to recharge me and keep me from slapping my daylight colleagues. Keep in mind, while you daylight only types are disparaging the night staff, we are doing likewise to you. I thought the days of nurses eating their young were over, but shift-ism continues, I see.
  13. by   James Huffman
    But as I mentioned before, whether we need "power naps," whether it keeps us from slapping anyone, whether a nap refreshes our brains cells, or whatever, none of that makes a bit of difference if the BON chooses to make a stink about it.

    I know that the NC BON regularly provides disciplinary actions such as the ones I've listed below. (The information on the BON website has the names of the nurses; I've edited the names to protect the guilty).

    I recommend again: check with your BON. They are usually quite helpful on such matters. It is FAR better to find out beforehand that a practice or behavior is unacceptable than dealing with a complaint. Never underestimate, too, that someone with a vendetta against you can cause problems with such a complaint, even if it's normally something overlooked.

    "Joan S., RN (Rockingham, NC & Charleston, SC)-sleeping on duty; issued a Letter of REPRIMAND

    Entered into Settlement Agreements with the following on March 30, 2001:

    Leatrice W., RN-sleeping on duty; license suspended 3 months; must successfully complete a Board approved Ethical/Legal Decision Making Course; reinstate with restrictions; may be listed as NA II."

    Jim Huffman, RN

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