Sleeping Nurse = No Agency? - page 3

by kiyasmom

12,777 Views | 52 Comments

We have (my husband and I on separate occasions) caught one of our night nurses sleeping. The first time it happened, DH saw her on the baby monitor (I was already knocked out!) and he didn't say anything. He just got up to the... Read More


  1. 4
    Quote from marycarney
    Having been a night shift PDN in the past - I don't feel you over-reacted at all.
    I have inadvertently nodded off on a case, and it scared the bejeebers out of me. I had to give up a case where the parents wanted me to sit in a darkened bedroom with their sleeping child ALL NIGHT LONG - it is virtually impossible to stay awake (I ended up standing up most of the night).
    Not saying this is the case with you, but some parents are so totally unrealistic about the conditions they force the nurse to work under (sit in the dark and stay awake, no shoes, turning the heat down to 50 overnight etc....) that it makes me wonder at times about how OSHA regulations apply to home care nurses.
    YES! ^^This. I have worked to optimize the conditions to be condusive for work and sleep. I do have a unique perspective because I have worked PDN nights and I've been on shift in homes where it's pitch black, white noise, working by penlight. Really????! I also allow them to go downstairs if she's stable and IF the camera is on the monitors and the monitors are turned up. I know people work differently. One of our newer nurses from PSA likes it dim and she brings her iPad and earphones. I'm not a fan of the earphones so much but she's proven she hears the slightest change in breath sounds so I allow it even though I initially thought it would be problematic. I even allow access to coffee all night and supply sodas, water, juice, and snacks in a small pantry/dorm fridge in the closet. I try to be the best mom I can be and provide a great working environment... but sometimes it's not enough and some people aren't great fits for every case. She was a good nurse, when she was awake. She'd make a STELLAR day nurse... on a unit... with other nurses. I totally filed a report and made some calls though!
    uRNmyway, nursel56, poppycat, and 1 other like this.
  2. 1
    Nope, you did not overreact at all. Coming from a guilty accidental dozer!
    JustBeachyNurse likes this.
  3. 0
    You did not overreact at all! I work PDN on nights and although it gets hard sometimes there is no reason why someone can't get up and move around. Plus you go over and beyond with providing drinks and snacks for the nurses. Judging by the fact she was laying on the floor and then on the couch she purposely put herself in a position to sleep, it wasn't accidental. As for the headphones. I use mine at work, but I only put it in one ear so I can hear everything fine with the other sorry you had to deal with a ridiculous supervisor and I hope for the best for you! Your doing a great job! I hope to be a foster parent for medically fragile children myself someday
  4. 1
    I've always been taught falling asleep is patient abandonment. Immediate termination for it in all the places I've worked.
    KATRN78 likes this.
  5. 0
    Quote from NursexOx
    I've always been taught falling asleep is patient abandonment. Immediate termination for it in all the places I've worked.
    And it is patient abandonment. But in practice, unless a complaint is made to the BON, it is very rarely seen as such. In theory these rules are logical and ideal, but in practice companies are willing to let a lot of things slide. It's unfortunate but true. That nurse is still employed with that agency. Her license remains intact. Now, should she fall asleep at the wrong time and heaven forbid a child gets hurt or worse? THEN they'll cry patient abandonment on her part to save their butts. But not until...
  6. 0
    Sleeping night nurses must be an epidemic. I have some friends in my agency that admit to me that they sleep on their night shifts. "Oh I took a 2 hour nap while little John Doe was sleeping." One of these nurses was caught sleeping and reprimanded but not fired. Another nurse I know, I have no idea how she is not caught because when she dozes off (and she has dozed off when we've been out, in my car, movies, etc), she really SNORES.

    My night case is very stable. But I wont sleep because I believe it is patient abandonment, I am a honest person, I am a good person and I am an ethical and moral person.
  7. 0
    When U works nights one needs a break. Even if it is half a hour. By law. Who in their right mind can work a 8 hour shift without a break? And talking about the hospital, We do get breaks.
  8. 0
    I use to work as a PDN and the family was very nice. I work 12 hour shifts and they would make sure I got my break to take my nap. How could U function without a break. And the OP should know better being a nurse and all. How would the OP like to go to her job and work without getting a break?
  9. 3
    Quote from nurseaig
    When U works nights one needs a break. Even if it is half a hour. By law. Who in their right mind can work a 8 hour shift without a break? And talking about the hospital, We do get breaks.
    Not in all states unless you are under the age of 18 or belong to a union. A break does not = take a nap. Home care/private duty is different. These are pediatric clients that require constant monitoring. If you cannot work 8 or 12 hours without a break then this is not the best choice for you. There is down time but you are paid for all hours worked. The only exception is a 24 hour shift you are paid for 16 hours but not the 8 hours you are entitled to/expected to sleep.

    The hospital or other facility is different there is a nurse you report off to and he/she cares for your patient while you are off unit. You usually are not paid for your break. Most facilities do not permit/condone staff sleeping on break.

    This situation is also referring to a nurse sleeping for more than a half hour while a medically fragile client who requires direct monitoring is left unattended.
    kiyasmom, poppycat, and ventmommy like this.
  10. 4
    Quote from nurseaig
    I use to work as a PDN and the family was very nice. I work 12 hour shifts and they would make sure I got my break to take my nap. How could U function without a break. And the OP should know better being a nurse and all. How would the OP like to go to her job and work without getting a break?

    Over my dead body would I allow a nurse to sleep on a break. I would make sure that someone was with my son so the nurse could heat up her food. If you can't handle 8-12 hours of private duty then you have no business taking that job.
    KATRN78, kiyasmom, JustBeachyNurse, and 1 other like this.


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