12N Sleeping During Break - page 7

: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   peds4now
    I'm still a nursing student, but my husband works at Cedars in Los Angeles and there is a strict no sleeping during your shift, whether you are on break or not, rule there. It seems unfair to me, as I can remember jobs where I was pregnant and needed to lie down 45 minutes for my lunch, and my company actually provided a room and a cot for me! But maybe it is due to a belief that if someone falls asleep even for a short time they will be out of it when they return to work? Or maybe too many people oversleep? Doesn't your hospital have a policy on this?
  2. by   MacNurse
    Quote from Gompers
    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?
    I know on the floors where I've had placement, we've always had a nap at night. Nothing wrong with that at all. Note to self - never work in NC...
  3. by   neurotraumaRN
    "Sleeping on duty is technically not a violation of the NPA. However, if a nurse is sleeping she is neglecting the patient's in her care. So the violation is negligence. If a nurse is on break and has reported and someone accepted the responsibility of watching that nurse's patients then the nurse is not negligent. It may be against the facility policy for a nurse to sleep at any time while on duty and if this is the case it would be an employment issue."

    This is from the NC BON.
  4. by   rjflyn
    Miss post.

    Rj


    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!)
    Last edit by rjflyn on Sep 26, '05
  5. by   epiphany
    Quote from neurotraumaRN
    "Sleeping on duty is technically not a violation of the NPA. However, if a nurse is sleeping she is neglecting the patient's in her care. So the violation is negligence. If a nurse is on break and has reported and someone accepted the responsibility of watching that nurse's patients then the nurse is not negligent. It may be against the facility policy for a nurse to sleep at any time while on duty and if this is the case it would be an employment issue."

    This is from the NC BON.
    Thank you, Neuro!

    The glory of being getting documentation from the source!
  6. by   tonet0908
    I totally agree with you. If its my unpaid break time, I'm going to do what I want as long as it is not illegal. Personally, I take power naps. I wake up feeling rejuvanated so I can run around as much as when I first came in. This is why I will try very hard not to work a night shift because I am so used to going to bed around 10, 11pm that even when I go out to hang out with my friends, I am yawning uncontrollably, my eyes start getting watery and red and it is almost as if my body is shutting down and it is embarrassing considering that I just turned 25. At least she was still in the building and she told everyone where she was.

    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.
  7. by   copnlpn2
    At our 99-bed LTC/SNF facility, admin has us over a barrel. We are at work for eight and a half hours, 30 minutes of which is supposed to be for an unpaid lunch break, and are "entitled" to two 10-minute breaks. I work steady 11-7 five days a week and rarely, if ever, do I get to leave the floor for a lunch break. So for nearly four years, I've "donated" a half-hour overtime nearly every day to our corporate's pocketbooks.

    The facility's "policies" are 1) Nurse MUST take a half hour lunch or get written up because there is to be no overtime. (but admin it totally aware that most nurses, especially day shift nurses, get no lunch break at all.) 2) There is to be no eating at the nurses' stations (but admin brings "goodies" to the nurses' stations for the nurses to eat during charting because it's obvious they're too busy to leave the floor) 3) Nurses cannot leave the facility during their lunch breaks (no even to walk around the parking lot for fresh air) 4) Nurses can be terminated if they are caught napping during their breaks. (Admin says its because we must be "readily available" at all times, even during lunch breaks.)

    Not long after I was hired, I got fed up after a particularly rough shift and turned in a slip to our administrator saying I had worked through my lunch time and needed paid for the time. That ended up in me getting chewed out because of the Must Eat Lunch/No OT rule. And my co-workers , especially the charge nurse, got reamed outbecause they had not "made provisions" for someone to cover for me so I could leave the floor and eat. (They hadn't gotten to tak a break, either!)

    I spoke with a nurse who's worked our facility for 10+ years and asked her why the nurses don't punch out for lunch. She said they used to punch out for assigned times to eat, but it didn't work out very well. She reminded me there's only one time clock (longest distance from the break room) and nurses were expected to get to the time clock, but not pass by any call lights needed answering, eat their lunch and get back to the time clock, again answering any call lights they encounter on their way to punch back in. She said it left very little time to eat so when admin "suggested" no set lunch time and no punching out, the nurses thought it would be a good idea - but boy were they wrong!

    I am the rebel in our facility and the admin knows it. I worked many years in administration myself and am very aware of labor laws. I've spoken to the labor board who says all any nurse has to do is document for one month the number of times she works through her lunch break and submit it to them and they will be in our facility in a flash to check it out. I decided befor going that route, I'd try to get our administrator to change some of the policies, but her statement was to remind me that "nurses who make waves don't last long here."

    Now I'm damned if I do go to labor board with documentation and damned if I don't. Please don't ask why I don't seek employment elsewhere, because I have several legitimate reasons why I choose not to at this point in my career. I know, as long as I fence-sit, I should just suck it up, but maybe I just needed to vent a little...it's been a long, long week!
  8. by   DusktilDawn
    Well Copnlpn2,
    This goes on all over and in all types of settings. I wouldn't get reamed for submitting OT over a missed lunch, my place would just refuse to pay it.

    What burns me on this issue is that THE PATIENTS are used by administrators in this. Basically by using the nurses' sense of duty, compasion, sense of responsiblity we have towards our patients, places all over are getting at least 30 minutes to 1 hour free labor. How many of us are going to go for breaks when we have a patient not doing well/deteriorating?

    The fact that nurses are not getting lunches/breaks or usually leaving late is not exactly a secret. Administrators know this is going on. They have such little respect for nurses and really don't think we're entitled to the same rights as other employees in the state we work in.
    I am the rebel in our facility and the admin knows it. I worked many years in administration myself and am very aware of labor laws. I've spoken to the labor board who says all any nurse has to do is document for one month the number of times she works through her lunch break and submit it to them and they will be in our facility in a flash to check it out. I decided befor going that route, I'd try to get our administrator to change some of the policies, but her statement was to remind me that "nurses who make waves don't last long here."

    Now I'm damned if I do go to labor board with documentation and damned if I don't. Please don't ask why I don't seek employment elsewhere, because I have several legitimate reasons why I choose not to at this point in my career. I know, as long as I fence-sit, I should just suck it up, but maybe I just needed to vent a little...it's been a long, long week!
    Unless you could get all nurses to document the number of times they work through missed lunch breaks and everyone submit this documentation to the labor board, you could actually change this situation. However, the hard part would be getting ALL nurses to do this. This is where I feel nurses are their own worst enemy, when we don't stick together on issues that affect us and our patients.
    Last edit by DusktilDawn on Oct 1, '05
  9. by   hipab4hands
    Quote from DusktilDawn
    Well Copnlpn2,
    .

    Unless you could get all nurses to document the number of times they work through missed lunch breaks and everyone submit this documentation to the labor board, you could actually change this situation. However, the hard part would be getting ALL nurses to do this. This is where I feel nurses are their own worst enemy, when we don't stick together on issues that affect us and our patients.
    She could also do a quiet survey with her coworkers, to see how many would be willing to sign a petition and present it to Admin. BEFORE going to the Labor Board. If enough of her coworkers are willing to put Admin. on notice that they will go to the Labor Board, if the lunch/ breaks situation doesn't change.
    With the nursing shortage, Staff can call Admin. bluff. They can't fire ALL the staff at the facility, and I'm willing to bet they couldn't train and staff a whole facility very quicky.
  10. by   DusktilDawn
    Quote from hipab4hands
    she could also do a quiet survey with her coworkers, to see how many would be willing to sign a petition and present it to admin. before going to the labor board. if enough of her coworkers are willing to put admin. on notice that they will go to the labor board, if the lunch/ breaks situation doesn't change.
    with the nursing shortage, staff can call admin. bluff. they can't fire all the staff at the facility, and i'm willing to bet they couldn't train and staff a whole facility very quicky.
    that is true, but i've noticed that it is often hard to get all nurses or even a majority to go along with things like this. also even a "quiet survey" could find it's way to administration.

    but if she can get everyone on board with this, i think she should go straight to the labor board.
    i've spoken to the labor board who says all any nurse has to do is document for one month the number of times she works through her lunch break and submit it to them and they will be in our facility in a flash to check it out. i decided befor going that route, i'd try to get our administrator to change some of the policies, but her statement was to remind me that "nurses who make waves don't last long here."
    it sounds like the administrators here have the staff right where they want them. nurses must eat lunch/no ot rule appears pretty inflexible at this place, in fact you will be written up (reprimanded) if you admit to not having a lunch at this place according to copnlpn2. "nurses who make waves don't last long here," now that is a threat. organized harassment if you ask me.
    Last edit by DusktilDawn on Oct 1, '05
  11. by   jgrace
    I believe that breaks and lunches are personal time. This RN made herself available at any time during those lunches and breaks if anything comes up. Nurses work very hard and have every right to rest on their own time!!



    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.
  12. by   DF-LPN
    I work 3rd shift and feel that if the staff wants to nap on their 30min lunch break that is fine by me as long as they clock off for lunch (we are not paid for those 30 min regardless). But this way if someone brings it up to admin I can say hay they were punched out. My cenas know that I don't even mind if they are sitting at their desk and have their eyes closed as long as feet are on the floor and heads are not on the desk, and that if I come up to the desk they open eyes and look at me without me saying anything to them.
  13. by   Spidey's mom
    I just attended a conference on Depression - there were two health insurance companies there with cutting edge changes . . .one of the things they talked about was taking care of their employees better - one was appropriate breaks and ability to take a power nap!!!! All the research shows it to be a good thing and makes for a safer and healthier staff.

    Now if the word would just spread . . . .

    steph

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