Excessive smoke breaks

Nurses General Nursing


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Whispera, MSN, RN

3,458 Posts

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

How about calling the nursing supervisor when the person is gone so the supervisor can witness it? You could talk to the supervisor ahead of time to tell her you'll be calling next time it happens. Then it's not just your word against the missing person's.

You need to do something other than just stew about it and let it continue to happen. You're responsible for what she does and doesn't do for the patients. Your job and license could be on the line...

Specializes in ICU.

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful responses. You all made many good points. And it has gotten to the point where I have to do something.

I know one thing. Her stogies are going to disappear the next time she sets them down.

Specializes in ED, Long-term care, MDS, doctor's office.

I agree with kooky kooky...Find out the exact policy regarding breaks and follow it to the letter..not just with this aid, but will ALL who you supervise...Let them know that this is how it will be when you are in charge & have them check in & check out with you whenever they leave the floor...You can keep a sign in/out log..If they are MIA when they aren't suppose to be, I would give them a verbal written warning and report this to your supervisor...This cannot be tolerated, as you are responsible and the enforcer for the facility policy...good luck:)

Specializes in Psych.

if she is gone for so long on her breaks, she may be falling asleep, which is a whole other thread altogether.

Calling the house supervisor might work. Saying that so and so went out on her 15 min break and has been gone for 25 min. As for having nicotine withdraw temper tamptrums,

what is she two????? Perhaps she just can't take the stress of the job.


658 Posts

Specializes in Medical Surgical.

We actually had staff pretending to be smokers because smokers were the only ones whose breaks were tolerated. Now they don't hire smokers. Eventually the problem will disappear, and no-one will get breaks, I imagine. But yes, don't tolerate this dereliction of duty. It's your license on the line.

Specializes in Emergency/Trauma.

eesh that sounds awful and stressful. sorry you have to deal with this.

most of the hospitals in my area are smoke free, and you must pass a nicotine test to get hired. the hospitals who aren't have plans to become smoke free within the next 2 years.


681 Posts

I don't think you can just wait for a pt to suffer harm. You are not effectively supervising if you don't correct problems. You are liable for that harm that you knowingly could foresee but did not try to prevent.

Sorry, I wasn't clear about documenting. I meant it to include reporting to mgmt the excessive breaks. Too often managers are poorly prepared for supervision, and think they have to build relationships with employees, rather than building an effective team.


837 Posts

We're a smoke free facility now. Now we don't have that problem anymore...

So do we, but the smokers walk off to the road. They are gone even longer because tey have to walk further.

Specializes in ICU.

She left to smoke when we were receiving a pt with a K of 8.8 and the WBF rhythm. Supervisor followed through on it and I didn't have to do a thing. It was perfect. She is transferring to another unit. There is a God.


38,333 Posts

I noticed in the facilities where I worked that the excessive breaks did not even have to involve tobacco. When the individual is a management favorite there is nothing you can do. However, I would still follow through with the warnings and writeups. Don't give TPTB any ammunition against you. You never know when their emphasis might change, and you do not want to be caught on the short end.


38,333 Posts

Keep on God's good side to insure she does not transfer back or that you transfer to her new unit.


30 Posts

I have to comment on this one....I work in a facility that for assisted living and we have dementia also there. I say to you about this...what you are talking about is so common I am over it where I work. I get attitude, people missing and no one carries any radio's in case we need them even when we are supposed to. I guess I am supposed to yell to the top of my lungs to get attention should I need it....sad thing is that even when people live in assisted living aren't they supposed to be checked, like the briefs being dry every hour to 2 hours? OR AM I totally missing the point here?

Lady with real bad red area not changed for 5 hours, is this acceptable, and I asked cna, "she said she was dry"? really? I wander who I am really working with and should I continue to accept attitude, eyes rolling, people smart remarks as an LPN?

nursing gal

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