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Feedback requested before I give 2 weeks notice!

Posted

After receiving an e-mail from my nurse manager that I MUST take a lunch (which I would LOVE TO by the way) I am so fed up, I'm ready to quit. I've been at this facility as an RN for 2 years but only 9 months on this med-surg floor (my very first med-surg job). Can you fellow nurses give me some feedback on my reply to her note? We don't cross paths at work, so I'm ready to send this but wanted to run it by you all. I don't have another job lined up but I'm starting to think my well-being is more important. I feel used & abused by this facility. I bend over backwards for them. I love the work itself, but this thing about "you must take a lunch" is only lip service. They could care less if I eat or not.

Here's my note:

Dear ,

I implore you to ask two questions of your remaining nursing staff.

1.) Do you feel you have enough time during your shift to take a proper 30 min lunch?

2.) Do you punch out for 30 minutes but continue to work during that time?

These questions may be difficult for you to ask for two reasons: One, you won't want to hear their answers, and two, you don't have the power to do anything about it even if they tell you the truth.

I leave my house at 2:30 in the afternoon. I hit the floor running & don't stop until 11:30 pm - I chart that last hour. I remove my lunch from the break room refrigerator & eat it in the car on the way home - TEN hours later. I usually have a headache by then. When we have only one Care Assistant, it is impossible to take a lunch break.

I have told other staff (even on the day & night shifts) that every time they swipe out & 'pretend' to take a lunch, it makes ME look BAD but they refuse to write it in the book.

I have been nothing but a loyal, conscientious & dedicated worker at XXXXXX Hospital. I was under the illusion that if I worked hard, had a positive attitude, surrounded myself with like-minded people . . . all would be good. Thanks for your concern. However, you can consider this my two weeks notice.

- Sincerely,

-

Tait, MSN, RN

Specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Prof Practice. Has 14 years experience.

You said you don't cross paths with your manager often. Could this be part of the reason you feel underappreciated and now criticized over something you would love to do but don't have the resources to accomplish? If it were me I would find out a time which is good for both of you and come in and sit down and just chat. Perhaps she was told by management that she needed to check everyone's lunch punch outs and address anyone who wasn't taking one. While this doesn't excuse her, it may have just been a task she had to check off her list amongst a million other tasks assigned to managers.

I would sit tight on this letter, hold on to resigning without any options anywhere else, and take a moment to breathe. Then see if you can find some time to discuss concerns with her.

If after that, if it still isn't floating the boat, I would consider starting a job search.

Just my opinion though.

Tait

MPKH, BSN, RN

Specializes in General Internal Medicine, ICU. Has 10 years experience.

After receiving an e-mail from my nurse manager that I MUST take a lunch (which I would LOVE TO by the way) I am so fed up, I'm ready to quit. I've been at this facility as an RN for 2 years but only 9 months on this med-surg floor (my very first med-surg job). Can you fellow nurses give me some feedback on my reply to her note? We don't cross paths at work, so I'm ready to send this but wanted to run it by you all. I don't have another job lined up but I'm starting to think my well-being is more important. I feel used & abused by this facility. I bend over backwards for them. I love the work itself, but this thing about "you must take a lunch" is only lip service. They could care less if I eat or not.

Here's my note:

Dear ,

I implore you to ask two questions of your remaining nursing staff.

1.) Do you feel you have enough time during your shift to take a proper 30 min lunch?

2.) Do you punch out for 30 minutes but continue to work during that time?

These questions may be difficult for you to ask for two reasons: One, you won’t want to hear their answers, and two, you don’t have the power to do anything about it even if they tell you the truth.

I leave my house at 2:30 in the afternoon. I hit the floor running & don’t stop until 11:30 pm – I chart that last hour. I remove my lunch from the break room refrigerator & eat it in the car on the way home – TEN hours later. I usually have a headache by then. When we have only one Care Assistant, it is impossible to take a lunch break.

I have told other staff (even on the day & night shifts) that every time they swipe out & ‘pretend’ to take a lunch, it makes ME look BAD but they refuse to write it in the book.

I have been nothing but a loyal, conscientious & dedicated worker at XXXXXX Hospital. I was under the illusion that if I worked hard, had a positive attitude, surrounded myself with like-minded people . . . all would be good. Thanks for your concern. However, you can consider this my two weeks notice.

- Sincerely,

-

Your letter sounds a bit inflammatory towards the manager. I get that you're frustrated but try to word your email in another way. And don't complain about what other people do; mind your own business. Your coworkers pretend to take a lunch whereas you don't...but to whoever does payroll/ your manager, they don't know that. They just see that you've been skipping out on your scheduled break, which in some places, can become a liability to the facility.

I would take out the two questions at the beginning, as well as the paragraph following it. It sounds like you're telling your manager how she ought to be running the unit in a snarky way. Telling her she have no power to do anything about the situation is very rude.

Your last paragraph adds nothing to the concern that your manager wrote to you about; it just sounds like one big "it's not fair" whine. That doesn't help anything.

I'd suggest you rewrite your email and write out your concerns objectively. Why you can not go on break and maybe offer some suggestions to remedy the situation.

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

I wouldn't send it. Your email is one of those "burning bridges" types of activities that everyone warns you (with good reason) not to do. Sending it might make you feel good momentarily but could bite you in the butt big-time in the end.

Since your NM apparently is never on your unit during your shift, it may be that she feels that your organizational skills might be to blame for your lack of lunch. Others apparently *do* take lunch - why can't you?

At any rate, I think I'd invite the NM to spend some time on your unit (YIKES, shouldn't have to ask for this) and perhaps "help" you find the time to clock out for lunch.

Do not send that!!

Instead sit down with your manager and talk it out. That is the mature thing to do.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

Don't send it. If you are unhappy quietly find another position and then resign in writing without emotion. If they ask for an exit interview you can then tell them why you left. This letter was no doubt therapeutic to write but won't do anything beneficial.

The response, as the pp noted, does seem inflammatory. I get that you are understandibly upset, however, I would state things in a slightly different way.

"Thank you for your email. I appreciate your inquiry, and I welcome the opportunity to assist in finding a solution for this unit wide issue. For me, I find that I am busy with my patient load, and unable to get coverage to take a half hour lunch." If you are a union hospital, speak to your rep.

People who sign out for a lunch and continue working are in a couple of violations in some states (This is not legal advice, per TOS, however, just as I understand it)--HIPAA as when one is clocked out they do not have a "need to know" (the same with nurses who clock out for the day but then continue to chart off the clock past their shift) and if a situation occurs with a patient, or nurse is hurt that type of thing and a nurse is clocked out, it is probably not in ones best interest to say that "well I clocked out, but I really was not on a break". Wrecks havoc on one's malpractice insurance as well.

I would end the email with suggestions--maybe that the charge nurse covers for all nurses who need a lunch, and each break is scheduled at the begining of the shift. Or at the begining of the shift 2 RN's are partnered and cover for each other on meal breaks.

Look at this for an opportunity to change the current practice, and your NM wants your input. I would also add that you are willing to meet with her to dicuss it further. Again, if you are union your rep is going to want to know about this, and can help you to make changes to the current practice.

I see no good in talking at all. It's no accident or innocent action these "ghost breaks". Administration isn't going to listen to you and say, "Oh, we are so sorry, we didn't have any idea how hard you all work!! We'll reduce your workload so you can take your break comfortably" Ummm no.

If you feel you are just done with it all, just right a form letter saying you are giving notice and your two weeks or what ever you plan on giving them, thank them for the opportunity, work your notice out and exit. Done. No conversation or meeting with anybody in management. That would only make you the fool, and would put a target on your back.

You know what, while I appreciate the more mature outlook a lot of my colleagues above have, I have to disagree to a point.

I'd completely omit the paragraph about she doesn't want to hear it and can't do anything anyway-- that will make it impossible for her to hear the rest. And in my opinion, she needs to hear it. I wouldn't change another word. I wouldn't add any, either. It is remotely possible that your letter could be the tipping point towards better management. Or not. But if you care about your coworkers and patients, why not try?

This assumes you will never, never, never get a job at this place again, and that you have no other black marks, disciplinary actions, improvement plans, etc. in your file, and that you have always had excellent annual reviews, so there can't be a hint of "sour grapes" bandied about.

Good luck.

Jory, MSN, APRN, CNM

Has 10 years experience.

DO NOT send that letter if you want to keep your job.

Set up a face-to-face meeting and explain your concerns...but be careful.

MN-Nurse, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg - Renal.

Do NOT send anything of the sort. Do not voice your displeasure. Do not do anything but nod and say, "I'll do my best."

Then use all that energy you would have spent on the letter and protest and go find a better job. When you find that better job, resign.

I agree with not sending the letter, unless you are prepared to be out of work . The job market for

nurses is tight. Get your résumé done and start applying . No matter how good of a nurse you are and no matter how great a job you do there is always someone out there waiting for your job. Be careful you really want to be able to use this job as a reference......smile and breathe

Tait, MSN, RN

Specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Prof Practice. Has 14 years experience.

I would just like to add, after reading GrnTea's post, that even if you leave and get another job, make sure you give feedback to the manager. This can at least give your co-workers a chance if there is a consistent issue with this manager.

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

I agree with others. Don't send that email, since it will do nothing positive. I'm not sure why you feel you need to resign over this, either.

Instead, take some time to reflect on a more diplomatic approach and ask for a face to face meeting to discuss your concerns.

I also wouldn't recommend directly discussing other co-workers behaviour in an email, or in person in that general sense. You will appear unprofessional.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Lots of great responses here.

This issue (fake breaks) seem to become ingrained as a department 'norm' with astonishing frequency these days as the workload increases. To me, it is a direct outgrowth of poor management. Either the manager is well-known for dead messengers (punishes anyone who tells her anything she doesn't want to hear) or is absolutely clueless, completely out of touch with staff - who understand that she is absolutely ineffective & don't trust her not to throw them under the first available bus.

At any rate, HR needs to know about the fake breaks. If anyone (I mean anyone) takes the time to collect evidence & report the situation as a FEDERAL wage & hour violation, that employer is in big trouble. They will be audited & each violation will result in big fines. Any manager who knew about it and didn't do anything has effectively condoned the practice, and is also vulnerable to criminal/fraud charges. So, any HR department should be very interested. If the HR department is not interested (!) then use your organization's Compliance rat line to report it. Basically, 'fake breaks' are fraudulent labor practices.

I know of several large organizations that have been subjected to Federal audits (one lasted 2 years) & had to pay out lump sums of retroactive pay to employees who had been working off the clock (with supervisor knowledge). They also had mega-fines for violating federal labor law.

If this is a job you would like to keep, given that circumstances improve for you and your coworkers then ask her for a plan, give her time to implement it, and if she either fails to respond or fails to improve, then quit.

Or if you really want to quit now and there will be no financial burden to you and this is not a facility where you ever want to be re-hired, it might be nice to tell her off and never look back!

I wouldn't send it. If you are truly ready to quit, take the higher road and try not to burn any bridges...I would continue working and take "fake breaks" while also trying to find a new position. I would than just put in a generic 2 week notice and that be the end of it.

canoehead, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

I loved the original letter, but you will regret sending it.

Jadelpn had the best alternative. Don't assume your manager actually knows what is going on- but make a written record of informing her. Send an email ("on April 12 we met and discussed xyz, and our decision was to do abc to solve the problem" ) so if anyone questions her knowledge, or your effort to fix the issue you can hand them that. If she doesn't follow up with other staff, or provide some relief so you can take your break, it's on her. Myself, I'd take the break, and then put in for overtime at the end of the shift if necessary.

Don't quit without a job lined up, ever, ever, ever. It's easier to get a job if you are currently employed.