Published Mar 3, 2005
I have been a nurse for four years now and have worked at a number of hospitals while traveling and such. The hospital I work at now is strictly inforcing that there will be no eating or drinking at the desk. I have heard that this is JCAHO thing, but I can find nothing to back that up. I was wondering what your hospital policy is, and why would this be a problem. I don't know what is wrong with having a covered drink at the desk. Who has time to go and get something to drink?
I completely agree with you. Our new head nurse has started to enforce the same rules and we were also told it is a JCAHO thing with large fines. She comes in at all hours day and night looking for the rule breakers. She never says a word, she just walks up to the item (food or drink) and throws it away! teehee, It ticks a lot of people off. Your right, I never have time to actually sit and eat or drink. It's always those that don't work in the field that make up these ridiculous rules. I often ask myself, "Don't they have anything better to do?"
Believe me it is never my choice to eat at the desk. I would much rather get off the floor and have a peaceful meal. That I don't have to be constantly interupted during
eating. However this is becoming more and more difficult. it's very hard to get time off the floor. Due to staffing issues I often time must bring food up to the floor and eat in the nurses station answering call lights between bites.
Dixielee, BSN, RN
The saddest part is you probably don't have time to get away from the desk to eat, so the only time you can eat or drink is at the desk. In fact, most of my meals at work are consumed either sitting in the med room/behind a barrier/ desk or something close to the desk. They are consumed while charting generally while "on the run". I even worked at a hospital whose admin said, "we would rather "pay" you for that 30 min break time than have to pay another nurse to cover you for lunch". They completely miss the point that we NEED that 30 min. break in a 12.5 hour shift! The only way around it is if we DEMAND to have that 30 min sit down break. I won't even begin to try to get the "other" 15 min breaks we are supposed to have! I guess as far a drink goes, we are not supposed to be able to keep oursleves hydrated during our shift??? Too bad I don't smoke, they are the only ones who get breaks during the shift. Maybe we could demand "drink" breaks?
It's always those that don't work in the field that make up these ridiculous rules. I often ask myself, "Don't they have anything better to do?"
I was reading last night about some hospital, somewhere in which the administration was trying to pass a cost-cutting rule where the nurses would be required to clean the rooms after each patient in order to enable the administration to cut down on their housekeeping staff and therefore save money. One doctor fought it, saying that if the administrators had any idea what the nurses had to do each shift, they would so just how impractical that idea was.
I often ask myself, "Don't they have anything better to do?"
Oh boy, I hadn't heard of THAT one yet, but if they get rid of MY drink/food, they'd BETTER have the $ to reimburse me for it or else I will start to take my lunch breaks away from the facility altogether! It is bad enough that we are expected to take a break when we can (what a joke!) but then to tell us that we can't eat at the desk when we can't fit in a lunch break?
Gestapo, here we come! :angryfire
We are not supposed to have any food/drink at the desk at all. And when JCAHO visits, this is enforced. Otherwise, we do "lax" a bit. I think not getting dinner breaks leads to this. more than anything.
Running like mad makes me thirsty. It makes me hungry, too. But I do think eating at the desk looks bad, not to mention can be an issue involving infectio control .
I don't know what the "solution is". I practice in the "real world" too, where we do work 12 or more hours w/o a break, often. I think in a perfect world, like said above, we would ALL get our entitlement to a break honored and no eating or drinking "on the run" would be necessary to keep us going.
Naturally, those who dont' work the floor have no trouble at all passing these regulations. They don't have to deal as we do.
Reading this is making me thankfull. Here I was the other day complaining of only getting 15min. in an eight hour shift going on about how it breaks EU law I will not complain anymore! It this no break thing the norm in USA?
its very common expat. We are allowed to clock out "no lunch" so we are paid for that time. But it's the exception to get a true dinner break for many of us in the hospitals.
Many years ago...Our hospital started the no eating or drinking at the desk rule. The main target of the crack down was the coffee at the desk. When JCAHO came for a survey, we were all especially careful to not have our coffee at the desk. Imagine our surprise when the surveyers asked where our coffee was.:chuckle
Now a days, our facility is not so strict.
Pill Hoarding Hussy
would LOVE to clock out "no lunch" and at least get paid for my time, however, we are salaried, so no punching in and out. in order to get OT when you stay late, we have to email the asst.mgr. and request it. then watch your check to be sure we got it. how likely do you think it is that i go through all that every time i leave 10-15 min late? right! not at all! but that time adds up, and we all are required to stay through shift change (7am-3:30pm) to make up the time for the lunch none of us EVER get! so, even though we aren't supposed to eat at the desk either, you damn well better bet i do. i think that the normal rules of OT, lunches just don't apply to real world nursing...
cabbage patch rn
We had the same rule where I used to work. What I don't get is the JCAHO rule is "no eating or drinking in patient care areas" so how is the desk a patient care area? You don't acutally take care of your patients at the desk do you? My present employer says it's fine to have a drink at the desk as long as it is covered with a lid, and we are JCAHO accredited. Busylynn, your manager sounds like a real sweetheart. I wonder if she throws the doctors' coffee/drinks in the trash as well? Would be interested in your answer.
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