mandatory break time

Nurses General Nursing


:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :where i work @ the nursing supervisor seems to care less whether her staff takes a break or not.. and when you do request coverage to take a 10 minute break, you alot of static .... she really gets upset when you request a break.. am i not allowed to take a 10 minute break.. i work 9 hours a day???:confused:

Hellllllo Nurse, BSN, RN

3 Articles; 3,563 Posts

Unfortunately, this is pretty typical in nursing.

I do get most of my breaks now, it's like pulling teeth, sometimes.


777 Posts

Doesnt nursing fall under the same rules as other jobs..


691 Posts

Specializes in Clinical Risk Management.

Check your state labor laws. Often in health care, the expectation is frequently that you will take your breaks (meal & otherwise) during down time in your area. This, of course, doesn't make it right but it does tend to be an expectation.

In these days when it is difficult to keep staff, many managers are looking at how to keep their folks reasonably happy so that they'll stay...instead of leaving in droves.


35 Posts

In the office where I work, the smokers get to take cigarette breaks ( 2 in the am, and 2 in the pm), whereas for us non-smokers it's like pulling teeth, to get permission to step away. Our manager allows all this too. (I'm lucky if I get to pee once a day!) Sad, huh?


415 Posts

If you are really in Calif. I suggest you contact the Labor Board (you can find the phone number in the whitepages under government, state or on the Internet at Under the Wage Orders employers are required to provide employee with a ten-minute rest period for each four hours of work or major fraction thereof. It is not permissible to self-administer an "exemption" from this requirement, e.g., by entering into an agreement with the affected employees not to take a break. Also, the rest periods may not be combined with the meal breaks.

In other words, your employer is required by California Wage Orders (the law) to make certain you get a 10-min rest break for every 4-hours you work. If you are not getting or have not gotten these breaks you can file a complaint and the employer will not only be fined but also have to pay back wages to you.

Specializes in many.

After several months of getting irked about not getting a break while all the smokers ran out to have a butt, I decided to take up smoking...NOT!!! But I do get my breaks now, I don't talk about it, complain about it, or ask permission, I just do it. Once again, you will get as much crap as you will take.

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,525 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Definately sounds like a labor law violation to me. I insist on nourishment when I work, and I insist my co-workers when I'm in charge get nourishment as well. As least a 30 minute break, minimum. The reality is sometimes we don't get our two 15 minutes and our 30 minutes, which we are entitled to.

Working without a break is slavery.

Demand your break, if you get attitude and a hard time so what? You need to look after yourself, obviously they don't care about you, so who cares what they think. Take your break!


541 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac/Vascular & Healing Touch.

I don't take a break except to potty, & I work 12 1/2's because of the inexperience of my staff. I am very protective while I am there. I eat my sandwich on the run, if I eat @ all. I was not so bad when I was "regular staff" but with the promotion, I feel a lot of pressure to know what is going on! :rolleyes:


87 Posts

I work 12 hour shifts. I quit asking for breaks and lunches years ago. When I have down time, I find coverage and TELL them "I'm going now". If you wait for someone to schedule you, you'll be waiting till retirement. And if your fellow nurses are busy, that's what you have a charge nurse for. And if he/she won't do it, you call the house supervisor.

You are, by law, entitled to breaks and lunches. And yes, your patients come first. But nurses need to stop feeling guilty about leaving them and start taking what is entitled to them. And that includes their lunch and break time. Quit asking and waiting, and start telling and insisting.


6,011 Posts


One good thing about team nursing is your partner can watch the patients while you take your break.........of course that's assuming you have a NONSMOKING team-mate.:smokin: :smokin: :smokin:

jnette, ASN, EMT-I

4,388 Posts

Specializes in Hemodialysis, Home Health.

Never been a problem where I work. Our DON insists we take our breaks.. ALL of them, and if she sees you're tied up, she'll be right there to relieve you and send you on your way. Guess we're really lucky... can't believe so many of you are working without your breaks... that's as unhealthy as smoking... shame on you !

Yes, I'd be doing the same as posted above... not asking, but telling. "See ya !"

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X