Lunch breaks - page 6

I am interested in knowing if any facilities allow a person to leave the facility for their lunch break. In my facility it is sort of an unwritten rule that you hang around at least in the building... Read More

  1. by   cindyln
    I work 12 hour shifts.We are supposed to have a 30 min UNENCUMBERED break.We rarely get that.The other night I was working on the floor alone due to staff calling in sick.I asked the supervisor who was going to relieve me for my dinner break.She said she had no one to relieve me,why couldn't I eat at the nurse's station.I reminded her about the law and my union regs.I still got no relief but you better believe I filled out overtime papers for that time. We rarely get the breaks and our union does nothing to help us.
  2. by   CMERN
    I am new nurse.... Have worked 7a-7p from my day of hire..As a tech, (with same hospital) got 30 minutes break each shift. As an R.N. have worked passed year, 96% of all combined shifts in "level 1" (high stress) and 90% of all those shifts I got no 30 minute break. Most times the charge Nurse never even asked me...did she ask others nurses..."have you had lunch"? Yes.. she did... I have learned assertiveness,and have improved my "get a break percentage". I honestly know of no other career where you work your brain and buns to exhaustion for 12 hours rarely getting even 30 minutes recoop time..Lawyers sure would not. We nurses work hard.........BIG SMOOCH and HUG to ALL... ( hey make it quick room 12's call lights blaring):blushkiss :kiss
    Last edit by CMERN on Sep 17, '02
  3. by   PHN_LYNN
    I'm in Public Health now, but when I worked in the hospital I always went outside to eat my lunch where I could at least see the sun and the birds. I refused to eat in the nurses lounge. I felt lunch was my time and I refused to be interrupted while I ate. Now I don't have to worry about lunch because I get an hour and can go wherever I want!
  4. by   Funjet
    I work at a place that does pay for an half hour lunch. The only bad thing is that everyone eats together, every day. If a patient comes in, you of us had to stop eating and take care of them. In 5 years we have only left the office once to have lunch at a restaurant. The rest has been bringing in something from home!
  5. by   shoppingsuel
    I work night shift 7p-7a we do not get lunch break. I would like to know the legality of this and does this vary from state to state. Does anyone know?
  6. by   deedee57
    I'm afraid I too have the dreaded nicotine addiction and am the only smoker in our small dialysis clinic. I work 12 hr shifts instead of the normal 10 for our unit and we (supposedly) are allowed a 30 min lunch and 2-15 min breaks. The staff usually take their breaks as one 30 min breakfast break because morning is our slowest time of the day. The techs are the only ones who always get their breaks. As for me, because I close the unit, I come in 3 hours later than the rest of the staff. I do not get breakfast break, smoke through my lunch break, and by the time things slow down again, everyone else is ready to leave, so I never get another break. By 8pm I am ready to chain smoke. I can't begrudge the people who are ready to leave but I wish there were some way to make it fair for all in this situation. Maybe we should take lessons from the non-nursing staff.
  7. by   nursegranny
    Hey ......I also am a smoker...I work noc shift in a nursing home and I try to take just 2 smoke breaks by breaking up my 15 min break and then I get a 30 min lunch break if i choose to take it....which I don't always....everyone is ok with this as long as I don't abuse it by staying gone more tah 5 or 6 min.
  8. by   Weenurse
    The issue here was not that the nursewanted to leave the premises during her break but that she insisted on leaving there and then. Yes we are all entitled to breaks, paid or unpaid, (whether we get them is another story! )but breaks are taken when it's convienient. If the ward is busy then you wait 'till it's less busy. If your break time is your priority then you have the wrong attitude for the job! I work with people with this same attitude and it leaves certain people doing more than their fair share while others put their feet up !!!
  9. by   Mimi2RN
    Last place I worked they changed our hours to give us a half hour lunch break on nights. We were told it was federal law that we get a break, and not be responsible for our patients for that 30 minutes. LOL

    In California, you cannot smoke in public buildings-hospitals, offices, restaurants, bars, an outside area may be provided. Our hospital has one area for smokers, away from the public entrance. As we only have one smoker out of about 30 in our area on nights, this has not been a problem, but we can always tell if she has been on a smoke break when she comes through. Sounds so different in the rest of the country!
  10. by   pollux
    We do what we want. Basically, it depends of the coverage. If my staff is quite senior then it is freedom. When it is more junior you hang around to make sure in case of emergency. Of course, that is when you are lucky enough to get your lunch or enough time to go anywhere..... :-)
  11. by   surgnurse
    a lunch break? what is that? We usually take a minute to run down to the cafeteria to get food and then sit at the nurses station and eat as we are answering call lights. I work on a general surgical floor. For istance, the other night, we had 5 patients with central lines and all had TPN going. We had 3 confused patients (1 was a wanderer and she was on every 15 minute checks per hospital policy) and a schizo that was screaming at the top of her lungs and not to mention 2 with chest tubes. Only 2 RN's on the floor. We did not even have a nursing assistant. So, how are we supposed to take a lunch break? ha ha ha What a joke! Had 14 patients on the floor and then they called us 2 more admissions. We did not even have a ward clerk so therefore we even had to put the whole chart together.
    Last edit by surgnurse on Oct 16, '02
  12. by   Mart24
    For my facility I am looking at the problem of missed lunch breaks. Our Cafeteria is open from 11:15 AM till 1:00pm and 5:15 to 7:00pm. They will save a tray for pick up after that time. Someone posted 5 hours into a shift as cut off for the 30 minute unpaid break. Is it than acceptable to relieve someone from 5:15 pm to 8:30 pm if shift time starts at 3:30 pm? If I give you a 15 min break between 5 and 6 pm could we run later on the 30 min break?
  13. by   fab4fan
    If you are not paid for your lunch, then you have the right to do whatever, as long as you return on time. If you are expected to be "available" in case of emergencies, then you are in essence "on-call", and should get paid the on-call rate for that break.

    Hospitals count on their nurses to do this; it's just another way for them to get work on the cheap.

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