Do Students Get Breaks In Clinicals?

  1. Hi, I really would like to know if nursing students are allowed to have breaks during their first Medical-Surgical Clinical. Our CI only gives us 10 min. for a break and we are in clinicals for 6 hrs I feel we should at least have 30 minutes. It takes at least 3 min. to take the elevator and that is not enough time to do anything. When we asked her about the breaks, she got pissed off and for the rest of the day treated everyone unfair and wrote most of us up for any and everything. She stated that we were there to learn and do patient care not to take breaks. Please give your opinion on this situation. Do you feel this is fair? What would you have done? Oh by the way, we still only got 10 min.

    Confused and Discouraged
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  2. 39 Comments

  3. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    We get a 10-15 minute break during all of our clinicals (7hrs). I don't bother going down to the cafeteria....too much time on the elevator/stairs. I just throw a little baggie of cookies or a granola bar into one of my scrub pockets, and just sit in the visitors/waiting room (which is usually empty) or wherever its quiet. Most of the time we don't even end up taking our breaks. The way I see it, we're ONLY there for 7 hours, and I can munch on a granola bar slowly as I find little breaks between doing/learning things. Usually we have time for lunch/dinner during our post-clinical discussion.
  4. by   foxyhill21
    we take 10-15 min breaks we r there 8 hrs and during post conf. we eat
  5. by   smk1
    In the official "rules" we get 45min-1 hour at the discretion of our instructor. (9 hour clinical) In reality it is up to us to take care of getting our lunch and breaks. Usually I take a 30 min lunch and 1 "5-10" min break for bathroom and a mid-morning snack. At times there is no time for any bathroom breaks and lunch is a rushed 20 minute thing, but overall our instructor comes to remind us to drink water, get some food etc...
  6. by   suznan
    We have nine hour clinicals and according to policies at the school we are entitled to a ten minute break every hour. What we do is take a fifteen minute break for breakfast and a thirty minute lunch break. We could have another break in the afternoon but choose not to so that we can have post clinical and get out of there a few minutes early.

    Susan
  7. by   AuntieRN
    I only had two instructors all through school that let us take a lunch break or any break for that matter. This was during my last semester. Peds and OB. They both made sure we had a half hour break for lunch. Otherwise we were on the floor the whole time. We were told to get used to it and you know what?? They were right. Today was my 3rd day of orientation on the floor. I had 3 pts. One was a fresh postop from today one was 2 days postop and the other was a dialysis pt who was 3 days postop...it was 1230 before I actually got a minute to pee. I know part of it is because I am new and slower but even as a tech there were nights when I ran until 3am before I got to sit down or anything.
  8. by   suznan
    Right now during clinicals we have plenty of time to get a lunch break. I live in rural north dakota and we do our clinicals in a hospital with 30 beds. Right now our ob unit has been closed for almost two weeks. There are times when we get on the floor for clinicals and there are only 6 patients and there are six students plus the staff that work there. There are a lot of times that we are desperately searching for something to do.

    Susan
  9. by   NaomieRN
    45 minutes, 7.5 hours in clinical
  10. by   suznan
    we are actually there for 9 hours from the time we get there and have postclinical at the end of the day. those nine hours do not include our break times.
    susan
  11. by   hikernurse
    Lunch, always. Most of the CI's plan a time for us to meet and have us tell our nurses what time we'll be leaving. Their rationale is that we may not have a chance to take lunch once we start working (which is true--some days I live on graham crackers and apple juice from the fridge) and we may as well take advantage now.

    I find that taking a lunch with my friends/classmates really makes a difference in my day. We can't talk much about our day since we eat in the cafeteria, but it's nice to sit down and eat and talk. I think especially since clinical days always bring so many new things, it's good to get away for awhile and relax.

    Our clinical days range from 8-12 hours depending on our semester.
  12. by   hikernurse
    Quote from suznan
    Right now during clinicals we have plenty of time to get a lunch break. I live in rural north dakota and we do our clinicals in a hospital with 30 beds. Right now our ob unit has been closed for almost two weeks. There are times when we get on the floor for clinicals and there are only 6 patients and there are six students plus the staff that work there. There are a lot of times that we are desperately searching for something to do.

    Susan
    That's definitely worse than being swamped.
  13. by   texas_lvn
    We had 8 hour clinicals and were supposed to get 2 10 minute breaks and a 30 minute lunch. We were also told that we needed to act like nurses and if there was not time, then do not take it. We usually at least got one 10 minute break. Uggg. Good luck.
  14. by   lisabeth
    All of this seems brutal. I guess gum or mints or something is an alternative to drinking. Otherwise, I will never make it as a nurse. I have had myself checked for diabeties, but it was all clear. I am thirsty all the time and I need to pee all the time.

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