12N Sleeping During Break - page 6

: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   epiphany
    Quote from neurotraumaRN
    In my unit, you get a one hour unpaid break for lunch. You are allowed to leave the hospital to eat and if so, you clock out and then back in. If I stay in the breakroom, and decide to take a short nap, I could face disciplinary action for sleeping? Yet the ones that leave the hospital completely are not penalized? That doesn't make sense. To me, unpaid break=off the clock, employers shouldn't be able to dictate what you do. (And I'm in NC....maybe I'll email the board and ask!)
    Would you mind sharing that info with us when you've asked them? I am skeptical that the language can be construed to imply that being caught sleeping during break is a violation, but being totally absent and unavailable is okay.

    On another matter, I also find this manager's attitude disturbing. There's something very cold about the way she's looking at this situation. She doesn't treat this nurse as a human being, but a useful piece of pawn that she can shuffle around to keep the status quo of the floor. I think this nurse should look for another place to work.
  2. by   rjflyn
    Just an FYI dont do it in North Carolina. The BON suspends licenses at almost every meeting for the offense of sleeping on duty. In fact when my hospital a few years back was putting together a transport team 24 hrs shifts were ruled out for this very fact, ie we would not be allowed to sleep at night while on duty.


    Rj
  3. by   MissPiggy
    Quote from zambezi
    I don't advocate sleeping on the job AT ALL- However, if she is on her unpaid 30 minute break and is available if the staff needs her in an emergency (I think the break room would be considered available) then I think it is okay.

    I don't agree with those that sleep during their breaks and then want time to eat and then want a smoke, etc...that is not what we are at work for. JMHO!!

    I definitely agree with your statement about sleeping during her break & then wanting time to eat etc., after all the nap WAS her break, but as far as what she does on her break is nobody's business unless she in on company time; in fact they are lucky that she is making herself available to the staff at that time, as she really doesn't have to do so unless she IS on company time, after all, she could choose to leave the building for her break, couldn't she?... Just my two cents
  4. by   Gompers
    Quote from rjflyn
    The BON suspends licenses at almost every meeting for the offense of sleeping on duty.
    But if you're on your unpaid break, you're NOT on duty.

    Legally you are allowed at least a half hour break per 8 hour shift, in any job. What you do with that half hour is your business. You are NOT working during that time, that's why it's called a break. Whether you choose to eat, read, watch TV, walk around the hospital, smoke, or sleep...for that break, you are not responsible for your patients if you reported off to another nurse. If the unit doesn't have enough coverage for someone to watch your patients while you break, then that is a major staffing issue that needs to be addressed by the hospital.

    I still don't get how someone can be down in the cafeteria eating, or in their car smoking...and that's okay. But staying on the unit and taking a power nap...that's grounds for your license being revoked?!?! We're talking about sleeping during an unpaid break, not during any other part of the shift.

    Ridiculous!!!
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Gompers
    But if you're on your unpaid break, you're NOT on duty.

    Legally you are allowed at least a half hour break per 8 hour shift, in any job. What you do with that half hour is your business. You are NOT working during that time, that's why it's called a break. Whether you choose to eat, read, watch TV, walk around the hospital, smoke, or sleep...for that break, you are not responsible for your patients if you reported off to another nurse. If the unit doesn't have enough coverage for someone to watch your patients while you break, then that is a major staffing issue that needs to be addressed by the hospital.

    I still don't get how someone can be down in the cafeteria eating, or in their car smoking...and that's okay. But staying on the unit and taking a power nap...that's grounds for your license being revoked?!?! We're talking about sleeping during an unpaid break, not during any other part of the shift.

    Ridiculous!!!
    I know, I don't get it either. A break is a break. What you do on that break, unless you engage in illegal activity like drug dealing, is your business. How can people be allowed to leave the facility (no smoking hospital) and walk out to the parking lot to smoke and be completely unavailable and that is ok and being in the breakroom taking a short nap, easily available, is not.

    Common sense has left the building . . . . . . . .

    steph
  6. by   VickyRN
    Quote from Gompers
    But if you're on your unpaid break, you're NOT on duty.

    Legally you are allowed at least a half hour break per 8 hour shift, in any job. What you do with that half hour is your business. You are NOT working during that time, that's why it's called a break. Whether you choose to eat, read, watch TV, walk around the hospital, smoke, or sleep...for that break, you are not responsible for your patients if you reported off to another nurse. If the unit doesn't have enough coverage for someone to watch your patients while you break, then that is a major staffing issue that needs to be addressed by the hospital.

    I still don't get how someone can be down in the cafeteria eating, or in their car smoking...and that's okay. But staying on the unit and taking a power nap...that's grounds for your license being revoked?!?! We're talking about sleeping during an unpaid break, not during any other part of the shift.

    Ridiculous!!!
    May not be logical, but it is what the Board says here in NC. Our Board set the standard for the state. If you are caught sleeping, even on your break, and someone reports you, you will have to answer to them, have your name published on their dreaded disciplinary sheet for the whole world to see, and then face the real possibility of losing your license.
  7. by   epiphany
    Quote from VickyRN
    If you are caught sleeping, even on your break, and someone reports you, you will have to answer to them....

    There is a difference between being reported and actually having committed a violation. Anyone can report you, and you definitely have to answer to an accusation, but that doesn't mean it's the law. The worded violation is : "sleeping on duty."
  8. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from MEDRQST
    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 if they needed her. The ADON of the facility came in at 5AM (early for 12D shift) and saw the nurse with her head down on the break room table. .
    A nurse gets a 30 minutes break? That's news to me. Seriously though, when I worked night if I would have taken a break it would have only made me sleepier. I feel though that whatever a nurse wants to do with her own unpaid time is her business as long as she is on the floor and available in an emergency. I would have told that DON what she could do with her job if she didn't like it.
  9. by   VickyRN
    Quote from epiphany
    There is a difference between being reported and actually having committed a violation. Anyone can report you, and you definitely have to answer to an accusation, but that doesn't mean it's the law. The worded violation is : "sleeping on duty."
    "Sleeping on duty" and "Sleeping anytime on your shift" are synonymous here in NC. You can lose your license even if you are "on break." It is simply not permitted. Just about every facility in our area also has a written policy against nursing personnel sleeping (even on break time).
  10. by   Gompers
    Quote from VickyRN
    "Sleeping on duty" and "Sleeping anytime on your shift" are synonymous here in NC. You can lose your license even if you are "on break." It is simply not permitted. Just about every facility in our area also has a written policy against nursing personnel sleeping (even on break time).
    Boy am I glad that I don't live in NC, and that I work on a unit where it is perfectly acceptable to spend one's night-time break taking a cat nap. Again, this is on break, not during patient care time.

    I hear that in Europe there is a two-hour overlap on hospital shifts, and also that nurses (for all shifts, I believe) work 10 hour shifts and 2 of those hours are scheduled for napping. Am I crazy or is this true in some places?
  11. by   Angel816
    Quote from MEDRQST
    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 if they needed her. The ADON of the facility came in at 5AM (early for 12D shift) and saw the nurse with her head down on the break room table. Instead of approaching her she went to the nurse's station and in 10 min the nurse returned from the break room. Is this an acceptable practice since we deduct 30min for lunch or is this grounds for disciplinary action? The ADON was upset stating that she did not know how long she had been in there that night and then the DON started questioning "how long has she been sleeping on the job" - meaning the two months she has been employed. The DON has made statements that patients were neglected and that she should be discharged and reported to the nursing board. The nurse has told me that she saves her break until the later part of her shift so that she can get a burst of energy for the end of her shift job duties and the long drive home. The nurse feels that her break time is her personal time and she was still accessible to the staff and patients if the need arose ie instead of going to her car. The nurse had excellent references and has received numerous compliments from our day time staff. I feel I should recommend assigning her to straight day sfts to not lose a good employee but feel that others would want her to be discharged to set the example of no tolerance, but with her rebuttal of personal time I feel unsure of how to proceed. They have mentioned that it was an isolated incident that was poor professional judgement on her part, but to me it seems that she had thought out her actions and did not feel she was doing anything wrong so I wanted fellow night nurse's opinion of this or similar incidences. Thanks so much.
    I don't think there is a thing wrong with her napping. I think if people in the work enviroment would worry about thereselves more and not so much others things would run alot smoother. For some reason everyone is worried about everyone else and if you ask me I think that those whom complained need tobe observed and see how perfect they are.
  12. by   hipab4hands
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    The point is that staying in the buidling is a courtesy. This being the case, my point would be FINE! I'll take a nap in my car during my break and won't be available, regardless.

    It is, after all, an UNPAID break - I can take it anywhere - taking it in the breakroom was simply a courtesy.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    I'm with you. The problem is solved by leaving the building unless the supervisors have the employees chained down to the unit or wearing electronic ankle bracelets.:chuckle
  13. by   hipab4hands
    Funny how employers are never disciplined when it comes to this issue. It is an unspoken and unwritten rule apparently that nurses are not entitled to the same rights as other employees within the institution (ie: any staff who is not involved with direct patient care, clerks, housekeepers, dietary, etc).[/QUOTE]

    Actually, in California, the break and lunch rules are enforced strictly, and employers can be fined for not providing these.

    It's funny to go to work on some days, when we are extemely busy and to have the supervisors "ordering" us to go to lunch or on break, so the company doesn't get fined.

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