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Drinks in the nurses station...


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Specializes in Med Surg, ER, OR.

not now, RN

Specializes in LTC, med-surg, critial care. Has 3 years experience.

No drinks at the nurses station is hospital policy where I work. They don't care what JACHO or OSHA think, administration says it's a no. We also can't apply chap stick, eat or apply make-up (who does that?) in any patient care area. Soooo, we have to walk to the break room. Thankfully, my new NM is understanding. He's trying to find a way to make it all work while still following the rules.


Specializes in Everytype of med-surg.

That is absolutely ridiculous that you are not be allowed to have a drink at the station. I run around enough at work, I am not going to also run into the break room and gulp down a drink! If you can be exposed to body fluids all day long, the I think you can risk the exposure of having drinks at the nurses station.

Patti 2nd gen RN

Specializes in L&D, medsurg,hospice,sub-acute.

I work on a unit where we can RARELY leave the place for our 30 minute break--even if it's quiet, leaving the night skeleton staff even smaller in case of emergency can be dangerous--3 nurses for 55 rehab/subacute patients--acuity matters---and on top of that the heat is very dry, and there is something in the system that no matter what we say administration won't take the time and money to investigate---many of us come to work and immediately have runny eyes, sneezes and cough--and opening a hall window and standing there for a few minutes before closing it make the difference--and drinking plenty of water makes a huge difference!!! We are told that drinks must be covered and not visible to people walking in the hall past the station--but thank-you for all the people who acknowledge that caring for ourselves does NOT look unprofessional!! As I read the posts, I looked at the age, experience and generel time of original education of those that were against fluids at the desk--they are from a different school of thought and learned a different picture of what professional looked like--my mom was horrified when sneakers became my work shoes too....

Check with your local OSHA rep. If you don't make the effort to check; management is not going to. Usually their rule is that food and drinks cannot be anywhere where patient specimens are handled. If you push bring drinks (never food!!) up to the working station; make sure you are not bringing patient specimens up there. It seems like a disproportionate number of nurses get kidney stones. This is because we do not drink enough water during our shift. Challenge your management!!:w00t:


Specializes in ICCU/CCU/PACU. Has 7 years experience.

I just left a place where they also said Joint Commission said no drinks...but the fact is, Joint says no drinks/food in patient care areas. So, as long as u aren't doing patient care at the desk...

Remember tho, your facility can make any rules they want.

Where I am now, I have noticed that every unit is brought a pitcher or drink (ice tea, juice etc.) each shift by dietary for the staff. I thought that was pretty cool. We, however, don't use Joint commission, as I am at a Nursing home now. (Landed me an admin job! WOOHOO!)

Just my 2 cents.... :)


personally I feel that drinking at the nurses station is ok. we are allowed to do it or maybe we do it and no one says anything, but whats wrong with having coffee while your doing paper work? Its about the last freedom left at my work place,


Specializes in ER, ICU, Infection Control. Has 18 years experience.

Joint Commission doesn't care about drinks in the nurse's station as long as their covered. If anyone says no, it's OSHA, and we're allowed them. Management will use Joint Commission as the excuse for any rule they come up with.:uhoh3:

UR totally right - no food or drink in a place where it could come intact with B/BF. Of course Ns have long ago banished the practice of having specimens in the Ns Station (I pray you have!). But you'll be swimming upstream. And JC says you must follow ALL other agencies rules or you will get a no-no on your JC Report (actually it'd come under Infection Control and he/she will come gunning for you! I KNOW I would if you got me a ding - as the MOUNTAIN of TOTALLY SILLY PAPERWORK involved in clearing your self of a ding could reach the moon (wee almost!). And believe me that takes valuable time away from your REAL job. And yes, ICPs are working just as hard as you do - but you just don't see it!!!


Specializes in ER, ICU, Infection Control. Has 18 years experience.

We are allowed to have drinks at our nursing station, but we have to hide them when IC comes around (aka the "pop cop"). We rarely have spills and everyone cleans up after themselves and others. It's the docs that leave their coffee lying around uncovered :/

I know one day I was on hour 11 out of 12 and I had discharges and admissions back to back (I work on a tele/step down unit) plus a busy patient load. Our admission assessment includes a 45min-1hr long questionaire. I was nodding off! It was a choice between having a pop to keep me caffeinated or me sleeping on the keyboard. lol. Not something I would normally do, but you do what you gotta do!

Ha! Ha! The proper term is Bug Enforcers (and MUCH more ugly things behind our backs - we have ways of knowing what you say about us - didn't you know the whole hospital, etc is bugged?. I hear we were gonna be given tasers for those clinical personal with long or artificial nails!!!


Specializes in ER, ICU, Infection Control. Has 18 years experience.

I was told that it is an infection control issue, and unsanitary to drink in clinical areas. I work in a clinic, and we are not supposed to have food and drink in the nurse counseling room or exam rooms. I do admit that I have a water bottle and don't place it near computer equipment, but when someone is coming, I hide it immediately. Sometimes, we do not get a break, or we do not break when we are scheduled. I need my energy.

Ah, but when we happen on your bottled unattended we take fingerprints and find you out - JK! I worked in ER and ICU - both areas where food and drink must be fought for!!! I understand the rules...as long as they are followed during inspection - and if an OSHA or JC surveyor happen by unannounced - you know they have that power now (sorta like superman with his X-ray vision) institute an early warning system where to administrators secretary quickly initiates "the chain of protection"! :redpinkhe:redpinkhe

Luv, buggal

I personally don't see the problem if you leave it near where you are, and it's COVERED! If you know you're making rounds, sip on something between patients or when you're out of sight. Personally, if I'm drinking from a can, I'm taking the 10 mins to make sure I'm finished before I set it down....The other issue I have is that as a CNA on nights, I'm expected to do all those extra housekeeping duties that days doesn't have "time" for....well, if they picked up after themselves, the break room wouldn't look like a jungle with garbage....the last time they pulled that when I showed up, I left it exactly how I found it, cleaned up the trash we made on nights(even had our own garbage bag), and when I left I was asked, "Why does the break room look so bad?" (me: "Gosh, I dunno, that's the way I found it when I came in....maybe yall need to learn how to pick up your own trash? Least that's what my momma taught me...")

:angryfire My "coworkers" started doing the same thing to us 3rd shifters, so I started throwing out everything that was left behind after 1st and 2nd shift. Indiscriminate cleaning- paper, styrofoam or personal cups, holders, H2O bottles, whatever. "I thought you didn't want it, as you had left it sitting around after your shift". The area was surprising clean for quite a while afterwards. Harsh, maybe, but I'm a nurse, not your maid and your mom quit after she got tired of cleaning up after you and your friends. :w00t:

Its dept of health issue.

Its for appearances.

Its so you don't have to take time to go to the BR.

How about camelbacks they work for biking.

Then you would need a leg bag.

At the hospital I work at, we had what was called a "hydration station" at the nurses station. As we had been sited in the past for having uncovered drinks, (unhygienic). They also said something about i being unlabeled... I don't really recall the particulars. Anyways, we implememnted a hydration station. This is a specific small area at the nurses station off to one side of the station. There is a sign that states, "hydration station, drinks must be covered and labeled with a name."

I thought this was a great idea. As we are all running around and on our feet. We are lucky to take a bathroom break. But hydration is important, it's not just a consideration for our patients.


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