12 and 1/2 hours with only 30 minutes for lunch

  1. HI I am in my second semester , we have clinicals in the hospital now, we have to work practically 13 hours every shift and be there at 6 15 am and leave at 7 15 or later
    My instructor would not allowed us to take any brakes exception for 30 minutes for lunch. We not allowed to sit and do paperwork for more than 1 hour for entire day (we expected to stand in hallway and write on clipbord while being on lookout for bell lights)

    My friends hiding in the bathroom every hour to get some rest, but it is kind of stinky there. I am not learning anything in clinicals, under huge stress and just tired. I am not joking I have really bad experience , do you have the same experience ?
  2. Poll: do you required to work 13 hours shifts with just 30 minutes break?

    • yes

      60.78% 31
    • no

      21.57% 11
    • is this even legal ?

      17.65% 9
    51 Votes
  3. Visit blenderbottle profile page

    About blenderbottle

    Joined: Jul '18; Posts: 38; Likes: 7

    46 Comments

  4. by   Devon Rex
    Hello,

    You're supposed to be allowed two 15-minutes breaks and one 30-minute break on a normal shift. The reality is that you're lucky to get your thirty minute break. Having said that, your professor should not be depriving you from your 15 minute breaks.
  5. by   Glucagon
    It sounds like she's trying to get you ready for how busy nursing can be. Some of the nurses I know barely get to take their lunch and definitely don't get breaks in between. Though they might be able sit down for more than an hour a day, but I know my clinical instructor also had a concern if students sitting down at a computer too much and not working on skills.

    I doubt it's illegal since you aren't an employee and thus I imagine don't fall under labor laws. Plus, depending on your state, you might not even have laws mandating breaks. Like my state, which doesn't require breaks be given period, just that if the employees decide to give breaks, that employees aren't forced to do any work if they are unpaid ones.
  6. by   elkpark
    Quote from Devon Rex
    Hello,

    You're supposed to be allowed two 15-minutes breaks and one 30-minute break on a normal shift. The reality is that you're lucky to get your thirty minute break. Having said that, your professor should not be depriving you from your 15 minute breaks.
    That's the law for working nurses -- I'm not aware of any similar requirements for nursing students. I would think that would be up to the individual school.
  7. by   verene
    Honestly it sounds like your instructor is getting you used to the reality of being a nurse. 12 hour shifts with 30 minutes for lunch are the norm. Legally you're allowed 2 15 minute breaks, but in reality I've yet to meet a nurse who actually take 1 or both on a regular basis. Charting should be done succinctly and ideally in real time so you shouldn't need to be sitting at the desk for long periods of time.

    If you're bored and not learning anything then you need to be proactive - talk to patients get to know them, be willing to jump in and help out the CNAs with their tasks, shadow an RN and offer to help with tasks (just not things you aren't trained to do yet) - even taking the time to take out the trash or get water for a patient, run to the supply closet for something the RN needs will both keep you busy and free up some of their time so they are more willing to answer questions or take time elsewhere to show you something cool. Make friends with staff from other departments - if someone looks like they have down time and they aren't a nurse talk to them and find out what their role is and how nursing interfaces with their profession and what you as a future nurse can do to work effectively with them. (Plus side you may learn cool thing - talking to a pharmacy tech is how I learned the hospital where we were doing clinicals at had a concierge pharmacy service for patients - my patient that day was super anxious about having to stop to pick up meds on an already 3+ hour drive home - got him signed up for the concierge service all his meds were delivered to his room prior to discharge! Win-Win for everyone!)
  8. by   Guy in Babyland
    Welcome to nursing

    In the words of the Shirelles "Momma said there will be days like this."
  9. by   hurricanekat
    So not even a nursing student yet and I'm willing to bet you aren't "learning anything in clinicals" because you are too busy figuring out how to sit down or hide. Find a nurse and follow her/him. Ask questions, be involved. You can be right in the middle of a situation and get nothing out of it if you choose to - or you can put yourself in the middle and learn something. Sounds to me like you are too busy trying to be lazy that you are more of a problem than part of the solution.

    I've started this post over a few times now trying to be nice and I just can't find the right words - I'm sorry. I just don't have any sympathy for you. Sick people come to a hospital for a reason and nurses are there to take care of them. You knew when you started school that nurses work long and hard hours. You have to be physically capable of working long shifts - so if you aren't - do something to fix that. No one cares if you are tired or hungry or haven't peed in the last 12 hours. Sick people come first. Maybe the one thing you have learned from clinicals is that you aren't cut out for the hospital environment.

    Legally you are allowed breaks and lunch and all that. Truthfully it boils down to being a squeaky wheel and not having a job or sucking it up and doing your job and taking quick breaks when you can. People are trying to change the way that it works and advocate for better nursing conditions - but for now - this is the way that it is.... Like it or don't. Work in a hospital - or don't. For now - as a student if you want to graduate - it is what it is. Complaining won't get you anywhere.

    You can't learn with your butt in a chair. Nothing interesting happens in the nursing station. I'm sure there are experiences to be had on your floor - do yourself a favor and find them!
  10. by   OsceanSN2018
    You are a student, not a nurse! You should be allowed ALL of your breaks if you're just standing around. Honestly, you don't have to stalk the call bell because there is still a nurse and a tech still in attendance.
  11. by   OsceanSN2018
    Quote from hurricanekat
    So not even a nursing student yet and I'm willing to bet you aren't "learning anything in clinicals" because you are too busy figuring out how to sit down or hide. Find a nurse and follow her/him. Ask questions, be involved. You can be right in the middle of a situation and get nothing out of it if you choose to - or you can put yourself in the middle and learn something. Sounds to me like you are too busy trying to be lazy that you are more of a problem than part of the solution.

    I've started this post over a few times now trying to be nice and I just can't find the right words - I'm sorry. I just don't have any sympathy for you. Sick people come to a hospital for a reason and nurses are there to take care of them. You knew when you started school that nurses work long and hard hours. You have to be physically capable of working long shifts - so if you aren't - do something to fix that. No one cares if you are tired or hungry or haven't peed in the last 12 hours. Sick people come first. Maybe the one thing you have learned from clinicals is that you aren't cut out for the hospital environment.

    Legally you are allowed breaks and lunch and all that. Truthfully it boils down to being a squeaky wheel and not having a job or sucking it up and doing your job and taking quick breaks when you can. People are trying to change the way that it works and advocate for better nursing conditions - but for now - this is the way that it is.... Like it or don't. Work in a hospital - or don't. For now - as a student if you want to graduate - it is what it is. Complaining won't get you anywhere.

    You can't learn with your butt in a chair. Nothing interesting happens in the nursing station. I'm sure there are experiences to be had on your floor - do yourself a favor and find them!
    So, a nursing student must stand for 12 hours??? You are crazy. Nurses don't even stand that long and sit when they can. Sometimes I even see them scrolling through their emails or on Facebook when they are sitting in those chairs at the nurses station.
  12. by   chare
    Quote from hurricanekat
    [...]
    Legally you are allowed breaks and lunch and all that. Truthfully it boils down to being a squeaky wheel and not having a job or sucking it up and doing your job and taking quick breaks when you can. People are trying to change the way that it works and advocate for better nursing conditions - but for now - this is the way that it is.... Like it or don't. Work in a hospital - or don't. For now - as a student if you want to graduate - it is what it is. Complaining won't get you anywhere.
    [...]
    No, you're not. As elkpark noted this pertains to employees, and it should be noted that many states don't mandate either breaks or a lunch period.
  13. by   AceOfHearts<3
    Quote from hurricanekat
    No one cares if you are tired or hungry or haven't peed in the last 12 hours. Sick people come first. Maybe the one thing you have learned from clinicals is that you aren't cut out for the hospital environment.
    Nurses are not martyrs. A nurse who hasn't peed or eaten is a nurse that won't be at the top of their game. I'm an ICU nurse and my manager is adamant that we all take our lunch breaks. We must take care of ourselves so we can take care of others.

    I've had a patient come up from the ER and start crashing- half the unit was in the room and residents were running to the blood bank for coolers of blood. Once things were under control and it was discovered that I hadn't had lunch yet (it was close to 2pm) I was pretty much ordered to take my lunch and was strongly encouraged to leave the unit for a true break- others took over care of my patient while I was at lunch.

    Another day I was extremely busy with a critical patient- lots of labs, IV meds, multiple infusions of blood products, scans, central lines being replaced, possible emergent trip to the OR, etc. I went to the cafeteria to grab some food to eat at a later time and saw my manager who sits with us at lunch at times. I explained I wasn't eating right then, but I was definitely going to take my lunch break later. I went back and took care of a few things then ate in the break room. When I finished eating and went back into my patients room my manager was in there helping- she had stopped by to check on me and to see what she could do to help me take my lunch break.
    Last edit by AceOfHearts<3 on Jul 12
  14. by   blenderbottle
    Thank you so much for your responses, I will work as I am working right now and when I graduate I will try to make a difference for nursing students through ANA organization or never join up with them, because in my opinion their job is to support and protect nursing students and nurses (they not doing it now)? I do not want any one to have the same bed experience as I had. Clinicals should be for learning not to give hospitals free hands. I honesty would prefer to have simulations in stead of clinicals in learn more in 4 hours of simulations than in 50 hours of clinicals.
  15. by   tonyl1234
    Quote from blenderbottle
    HI I am in my second semester , we have clinicals in the hospital now, we have to work practically 13 hours every shift and be there at 6 15 am and leave at 7 15 or later
    My instructor would not allowed us to take any brakes exception for 30 minutes for lunch. We not allowed to sit and do paperwork for more than 1 hour for entire day (we expected to stand in hallway and write on clipbord while being on lookout for bell lights)

    My friends hiding in the bathroom every hour to get some rest, but it is kind of stinky there. I am not learning anything in clinicals, under huge stress and just tired. I am not joking I have really bad experience , do you have the same experience ?
    Sounds like an instructor that likes having power. It's only a couple years, and then it's over, and you can be back to being part of the real world, where people sit when they get a chance. If you're getting that much downtime that it's up to standing in the hall, looking out for callbells, though, that might be something to bring up with whoever runs your program. You're there to learn in a real-life setting. You're not learning by standing in the hall. Looking out for call lights is the aid's job, that's what they're there for, and they'd rather be the one taking care of their patients. Your instructor should be busy teaching you how to be a nurse.

    As for the only getting a 30 minute break, that's life in the working world, just get used to it. Once you're done school, and actually working as a nurse, you'll notice that they'll get 5 minutes of downtime and have a quick snack and things like that.

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