Unwritten Social Contract: Your Needs Come First! - page 3

According the the unwritten social contract, "each individual in a society has an underlying obligation, to the best of his ability, and before all else, to take care of his own basic needs, both... Read More

  1. by   vintagemother
    Deep thread! I'm starting my 3rd week of work as a new grad nurse and I have had to tell my trainer, it's break time because she doesn't take them.

    I have a dear friend outside of work who encourages me not to skip my breaks, to not work for free because it sets you up for your boss to criticize you later on when you decide to take a break.

    The list of tasks is never ending as a nurse. Recently I ran into the conundrum of having the nurse I relieve leaving urgent items undone to add to my tasks. I don't stop moving all shift and I never leave stuff undone for my relief to do.

    Then my administrator told me I can't take any more overtime! She told me to leave stuff for the night shift.

    So there is an unspoken pressure on us as nurses to get it all done.
  2. by   ChiTownRN5
    In my place of work, we punch out for meal breaks. If you don't (assuming you have a good reason that you couldn't take a break that night-all your patients were coding..at the same time), you get written up. I find it crazy that women I work with punch out on their breaks, then grab their meals and eat while they chart, or skip them all together. I love my job, don't get me wrong, but I'm entitled to take a break just as much as any employee in any other profession. I really wish health care workers would stop making themselves forever the martyrs..We all deal with so much stress in this field already, take the time to sit down and enjoy your 30 minutes of uninterrupted break time. Maybe if everyone did and everyone started having to stay overtime to finish, administration might have to adjust staffing ratios seeing as how we can't handle the workload in the allotted time (probably not, but a girl can dream).
  3. by   ceccia
    Quote from CherylRNBSN
    What a crap culture.
    pretty much. the last place i worked for (SNF/LTC) did the same thing; when talking got me nowhere, i reported the facility to my state's labor board and filed a complaint. (prior to that, i e-mailed my immediate supervisor about the situation and included the DON as a recipient - included specific dates that i was docked 30 minutes of pay without a break, etc) - always good to have it in writing.

    idk if anything will ever happen as far as consequences for the facility, but i couldn't do nothing. (many of my family members are/were labor union organizers and workers' rights activists; i grew up hearing 'don't let people take advantage of you at work' like other kids grow up hearing 'just say no to drugs' ).

    the sad thing is, *everyone* complained about being docked for breaks they never got, but when i tried to encourage them to report as well, everyone just looked at me like i was nuts and were like "that's how this job is, get used to it".
    Last edit by ceccia on Jan 15, '14
  4. by   vintagemother
    That's why I'm on break now...30 mins before I click out. Still gotta chart. But I'm tAking my breaks!!!!!!!
  5. by   Amistad
    I generally take a 10 minute break to scarf down my lunch. I'm a little disappointed that it's taboo on my unit to take a 30 minute lunch even when another nurse is covering. Honestly, when I do sit down for 30 minutes (on day shift) I start to feel anxious that I am looking too lazy haha.
  6. by   BlueLightRN
    I never get a break. Never. I sometimes take a 10-20 minute lunch but usually people bother me on it.
  7. by   BlueLightRN
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    Yeah, this also made me think of the article about nurses not taking their potty/meal breaks. I know I ruffled a few feathers when I commented that any nurse who doesn't take two minutes to pee during a 12 hour shift is *choosing* not to. I stand by that. I totally get others' point that nurses have insane ratios and workloads. But once nurses start implying that they are *literally* unable to set aside charting for a couple minutes to go pee, they are venturing from "legitimate complaint" territory to "playing the victim card" territory. (hey, that's another article!)

    I have LITERALLY had to tell patients, fellow nurses, and docs that I will return to see them in 5 minutes or do whatever they ask in 5 minutes because I HAVE to go use the bathroom. This is not a joke, and I usually get eye rolls. This, however, doesn't constitute a break and it doesn't help my stress level when I'm running around crazy all day otherwise.
  8. by   Amistad
    Quote from BlueLightRN
    I have LITERALLY had to tell patients, fellow nurses, and docs that I will return to see them in 5 minutes or do whatever they ask in 5 minutes because I HAVE to go use the bathroom.
    Good for you for taking care of yourself!! I've told patients that before and they haven't had a problem with it. Sometimes it helps with time management to say something like, "I'll be back with your meds/dressing change/etc in fifteen minutes, can I bring anything else for you when I come back?" and chart/go to the bathroom/etc before coming back with whatever it is they want.