Lunch vent

  1. My assistant usually covers my 30 minute lunch, but on days when the front desk, or other front office employees are out (which is often), they use her to cover for them. I guess they assume I can shove food in my mouth in between students because that's what I've always done, without complaint. Well, that's gotten really old and it bugs me that everyone else's lunch is considered except mine. Not to mention, they don't have the constant interruptions that we do, so it's easier to fit a lunch in whenever they want. I try to be flexible and understanding, but it's clear that they just really don't care.

    Well I do care, so today I decided to close the clinic door with my sign that says "clinic is closed, please go to front desk for all emergencies". Not 5 minutes after I do this, I get a call on the radio that I need to come to the gym for a student because my door is closed. I put my lunch down and rush down there to be informed by a student that a "pimple popped" on his ear and he thinks it's bleeding. It wasn't. I'm beyond irritated and lunch is over.

    I know every job has it's fair share of annoyances, but I don't think I can do this for another school year!
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    About tictac

    Joined: Jun '06; Posts: 83; Likes: 64


  3. by   Tina, RN
    I feel for you. I don't really have any advice, because I don't get a lunch break, either. The times I have tried to take one, I have been interrupted within minutes for something stupid, too. *sigh*
  4. by   NursChu
    Another nurse that I knew would take her lunch at a designated (by her) time and put a sign on the door if she did not have relief. It read something like this:

    Health office closed for lunch. Please call (number of nurse's office) or front office if in need of immediate assistance. For any other health concerns, I will be happy to see you when I return at _:___.

    She had also sent out an email at the beginning of the year informing staff that she would be taking lunch at that specified time and that she may or may not have a relief depending on the day. She got paid by the hour and would not get paid for working through lunch. She never got burnt out and loved her job. Teachers and administration liked her too. In Fact, most days she had lunch with the administration.

    That being said, I never take a lunch "break." I just eat when I can; maybe a little bowl of soup or a meal replacement bar. I am the nursing supervisor and I am always telling the other nurses to take their breaks . Do as I say
  5. by   stephaniehowe
    I have a set time I take lunch which is not until 230. I emailed teachers beginning of year to not send anyone after 215 because that is when I'm finishing up charting and getting kids out of my office. They do know this and when I am interrupted and it is not an emergency I tell them go back to class office is closed! If it was a real emergency and I mean there better be blood squirting, something coming out of a hole or they better be turning blue! We get out of school at 315 and I don't have time to be bothered on how a child gets home because many of our students it changes daily. I tell them they can suck it up for 45 mins till it's dismissal! I also do not give meds unless I have my nice pants on after 130. It's a liability when a little kid goes home and still has that headache and gets another dose of Tylenol.

    This wk how ever I have been in at 7, either preparing or playing catch up from the day before. Usually I am there at 745. Did not take my lunch break any day this wk or I would have been there till who knows how long?! So because of the signatures that will be going on my time sheet because I get paid by hr I tried to leave at 2, but didn't get out till 3 after finally finishing charting and billing for IEP kids.

    Next wk I'm hoping will be better till then I've deleted my work email from my phone and will enjoy my wkend!!!!

    Feel much better now, sorry for the vent now time for retail therapy=)
  6. by   Nurse ABC
    This is all too common. I've found no one cares if you eat. I've been sitting at my desk literally chewing and have teachers say "sorry to interrupt your lunch (if you were really sorry you'd leave) but she's been complaining all morning of not feeling well..." Really?! Couldn't have waited 20 more minutes? No, because that would've inconvienced the TEACHER. If you shut your door, they knock until you answer or call you. If you go to a workroom they come and get you. The only way I've found to be left alone is to leave the building. This is sometimes a pain when I'd like to just sit at my desk in peace and catch up on paperwork or read. However, the medical supplies are in my office so even if someone is covering for me they need access to that stuff then since I'm there... Not everyone can leave. The I only way you can really keep this from happening as much is just to flat out refuse to see or treat anyone unless a true emergency or appoint someone to take care of these issues while you take your break. You're lucky you have an assistant that helps. I'd ask the principal who will cover your lunch when they're using your assistant for someone else. You don't get paid for your lunch. Maybe if you start trying to get overtime they'll figure out a solution really fast!
  7. by   Wave Watcher
    I have 2 signs for my clinic. One sign hangs right on the front of your face....low enough for even the smaller students to visibly see and it says, "CLINIC IS CLOSED. RETURN TO CLASS OR FRONT OFFICE." My second sign is an actual Stop Sign (the kind you see crossing guards wave around) and it says, "STOP, Nurse is eating lunch." I put BOTH signs out every day at 1:05 - 1:35. I have also emailed the teachers and put a note in their boxes about my lunch time. It never fails at least 3 days a week or more....a student will bang on my door during my lunch sent down by a teacher. Makes me sooooo mad! I normally get up and open door....look at the student and ask if they can read? If they say yes then I make them read both signs and ask them why they think it doesn't apply to them? Then I ask if it's an emergency and if not (never been an emergency yet) I tell them to come back after 1:35pm. Over it! I'm there all day for everyone's need without fail. I deserve 30 minutes of peace and by God I'm going to take it.
  8. by   100kids
    For years I never had a set lunchtime and so I never got a lunchtime. This year I changed that and I will never go back. This year I chose a lunch time and I go to the faculty room at that time everyday. The front desk covers for me and I told them please do not call me unless someone is having difficulty breathing or bleeding profusely. Otherwise please jot down their name and I will go check on them after my lunch. It's not perfect and sometimes I get disturbed for non emergencies but 4 out of 5 days I get 30 minutes of peace. The key was leaving my office and setting boundaries. We are entitled to eat lunch.
  9. by   Flare
    last year when i came to this school (as a veteran school nurse, mind you) they tried the old take your lunch whenever -just close your door bit with me. Well, Wouldn't you know - if i left and went to the break room, i'd get two bits into my lunch and have to leave every time. If i stayed with a closed door, they'd just knock until i'd answer. I don't have the option of leaving like the teachers do despite being on the same contact and being considered an equal. So i just started going without lunch and marking it on my calendar. When I got to the end of my school year and showed it to my boss and started tossing around the idea of greivances, they got someone in quickly to cover my lunches really quick this year. Its not ideal - i still think a part time nurse would be better, but i'll take what i get.
  10. by   tictac
    Nice to know I'm not alone, but gosh it burns me that we get treated like this!
  11. by   Tina, RN
    Quote from tictac
    Nice to know I'm not alone, but gosh it burns me that we get treated like this!
    Yup, it's a shame. I think people expect nurses to be so selfless and giving that we don't mind being a martyr for everyone else. But I get so mad when I hear other staff members complaining about being 3 minutes late to their lunch break. I am supposed to have a 45 minute lunch each day, and I do not get paid for that time. But, it is impossible to take it, with all of the stupid interruptions. Yet they complain when once in a blue moon, they go 3 minutes late... *sigh*

    Unfortunately, there is very little support for nurses in my district.
  12. by   coughdrop.2.go
    Yesterday I was so mad. My office at one school is in the back of the library. I decided to take my lunch at work and just do some paperwork because it was already about an hour and a half before I leave anyway. I told the library clerk that I'm on lunch and if students ask I'm not here. I closed my door (which I rarely do unless I'm having a private conversation) and I put a privacy screen behind my door because there's a window opening. Even with the screen up, you could still see my lights are on. I can't lock my door on the inside, but silly me I assumed that staff or students (high schoolers) would see the privacy screen and the closed door and think to knock before they enter. Well one of my frequent fliers, who's always dizzy during this particular period, decided he wanted to see me. Either the clerk wasn't at her desk in the front of she was busy and didn't notice the student walking in. The student pushed open my door and stopped briefly noticing the screening was in the way, and just pushed harder and knocked the screen over. I was irritated. I told the student, "Excuse me, but I'm on lunch. I put up the screen and to give myself privacy. If you see something like that blocking my doorway again you need to knock because I could have had a student in here undressing. Furthermore, if a door is closed you should always knock before entering." Student, "Oh. Well I'm dizzy." I told the student to wait outside on the bench and I could check them out in 10 mins. I go outside and the student is listening to their iPod and texting. Sent back to class.

    Edit: Today during my lunch break I went to the Dollar Tree and brought one of those Closed signs with a clock stating when I will be back. I will hang it in my little window on my door and see if it will prevent more incidents like this.
    Last edit by coughdrop.2.go on Feb 7, '14 : Reason: more info