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Nursing hours

Nurses   (1,036 Views 5 Comments)
by greensister greensister (Member) Member

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When I was working community nights--I retired recently----we worked 10 pm until 8 am----10 hours correct me if I am wrong. We were docked an hour for a break but during this break we were still on call, so I said we were entitled to 10 hours pay. Our boss disagreed and said the Trust could not afford to pay us ten hours. Okay I said, we will switch our phones off for our hours break. No no said our boss, you cannot do that, someone may call you out. After much hagghling and jaggling--thanks to my good self pulling stuff off the Internet about night working and breaks, we were paid 10 hours--take your break if possible but keep swiitched on--okay.

Unless they had two teams on to cover breaks this was the only solution. The Trust was advertising a 24 hour service but only playing for 23---until we got them to pay up. Apart from the money the worry of fatigue, particularly while driving during the night, was a concern. Even with appropriate sleep during the day, you could get sleepy at the wheel if you were kept going non-stop, which could occur with one team respnding to all calls. One person on the team was also known to work 36 hours without break, admittedly out of the goodness of her heart, but we felt that this was dangerous, and management knew and endorsed it-----saved a lot of money!

Since I retired the new people have started the night shift off from 7 pm, 13 hours but docked an hour for a break which may or may not be taken according to the unpredictable nature of the work,plus night work has its all problems, and driving is really perhaps the most dangerous.

I would be grateful for any views about this

Greensister.

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57 Posts; 1,216 Profile Views

Thanks ,FF , that is what I say---if I am on a break then the phone goes off and I have a rest, eat my sarnies--needless to say night nurses arent catered for at the canteen in the hospital, you make do on sarnies.(HEALTHY EATING HAHA!) If you are on call then you are working, so the new 13 hour nights are 13 hour nights if during their breaks the nurses have to be available-- ( ( SIL ILLEGAL) otherwise it is a 23 hour nursing service, not a 24 hour service. We won the case on this initially when we worked 10 hours--not 9 as they tried to pay us for, but the new person has gone back on it. As I am retired its no longer my problem, but some of my friends still are, though its mainly new girls who can be more easily bamboozled. Apart from that scam with the money, I feel it is dangerous to have the possibility of soemone driving for 13 hours without a break--though you are suppored to stop after 6 hours whatever you are doing and take" a break" to keep the Trust legal, but I feel you need a full hour in one go to benefit overnight, not some ludicrous ten minute down tools in the car--with your phone still on of course. The nurse who did the 36 hour shifts is no longer there, but it was condoned for a very long time, and it wasnt her idea to combine evening and night work either.

Even so I used to find a ten hour s tint driving at time 100 miles a night, more than exausting enough---dealing with controlled drugs you need to be

wide awake, especially as, with all due r espect to our wonderful night partners the nursing auxiliaries, you didnt have a second qualified to check what you drew up, and the exaustion of driving thses distances has not been factored into the equation as a secondary hazard. In fact I have been reading up about HGV drivers and driver fatigue--during this time that man drrove into the train at Selby due to falling asleep at the wheel and leaflets went round saying a tired driver is as bad as a drunk driver. Also the effects of the Circadian cycle makes night work extra tiring.

Greensister

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XB9S has 22 years experience and specializes in Advanced Practice, surgery.

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Greensister what your describing would appear to breech the European Working Time Directive working those hours without an adequate break. It would be worth your colleagues taking advice from their HR department and unions

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57 Posts; 1,216 Profile Views

Many thanks---this has been "looked into" but no one seems up for the fight, and management have managed to come up with some sort of "legal " (I WOULD SAY POTENTIALLY LETHAL) way round, splitting the breaks into 3 20 minute bits which is useless on a long 13 hour shift including driving. Everyone A is scared for their jobs. We fought it once and won but I am no longer there, THOUGH A FEW FRIENDS REMAIN WHO will be retireing soon and just want to get through. I think there could be a nasty accident either on the road or with drugs, and of course it remains a 23 hour service , so it is also on false pretences if they want to eb legal--which si how we one it a few years ago.

greensister

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