Lunch breaks - page 2

I am interested in knowing if any facilities allow a person to leave the facility for their lunch break. In my facility it is sort of an unwritten rule that you hang around at least in the building... Read More

  1. by   rdhdnrs
    We get 15 minutes for breakfast and 30 minutes for lunch. There are many, many days when we can't take either. Then we claim our 30 minutes' lunch pay. What do you all think is the solution to this?
  2. by   nilepoc
    So I am going to stir the pot now.

    What about smoke "breaks" everytime I work, it seems that the smokers are the only ones that actually get and seek out their breaks. I have actually stated that I should take up smoking so as to get more break time. I am constantly covering for people who smoke and I am tired of that being a legitamit excuse to leave the floor. Some of the nurses I work with take four an five 10 to 15 minute smoke breaks and a lunch break. While the non smokers get funny looks if they walk off of the unit.

    I don't know if what I said made sense, but I think you can understand the gist.

    What are all of your thoughts on smoke breaks?
  3. by   huckfinn
    Smoking has no place in healthcare. We have a non-smoking campus. Employees cannot smoke on hospital grounds...even in their car.
    The problem with smokers will continue until this non-smoking policy is at your place.
    Smokers will always cover for each other and those who don't smoke are out of luck.
  4. by   spudflake
    Huckfinn - that's a bit on the harsh side. I felt a chill. Freedom of choice - remember??? If people want to smoke despite all the information that is available - that's their choice.

    Nilepoc - it's your choice to let those smokers get away with those breaks. If you want the same privileges then you will need to be assertive. Do what I do - tell them you're taking a smoke break - then just go! If someone asks to go with you (smokers seem to always go in pairs, eh?) say NO THANKS - I like quiet time when I smoke...but maybe we can do lunch....then JUST LEAVE. If someone squaks then be prepared to ask the ultimate question... why are the rules different for ME

    The busy ER I use to work in now makes sure that everyone gets a break. The fact that it's 75% travelers working there now does reflect on how they treat their employees. And it's getting worse....
  5. by   canoehead
    I take root beer breaks, and figure that whatever keeps me sane is fair game. Never got more hassle than a few strange looks.
  6. by   Sundowner
    I feel I must comment on the smoking issue, as for I am a junkie slave to niccotine.
    Wherever I have worked, I have been allowed two 15min breaks and a 30min lunch(unpaid). My lunch if I have time is usually a smoke.
    I will tell you from the point of view of an addict, that I must go have a smoke. I do understand that many people abuse the situation, and it shouldn't be tolerated at all. I take my alloted breaks, that is it.

    I hate my habit and I respect others rights to not have me fill up the air around them with my smoke. I also HATE self righteous people that tell me the great out doors is theirs too. I respect others feelings indoors or in close quarters, but when I am walking down the street, or at a park, I have said if you don't like it, get out of my airspace. A woman once sat down next to me, and my already light smoke and asked if I would please put it out. I was at a park watching my kids play, I asked he if she would mind finding another bench. I guess I was infringing on her rights. You would think I had contaminated the whole park. The whiff of my second hand smoke could have caused cancer in the whole tri-state area.

    Wouldn't work for a place that took that right from me.
  7. by   JennieBSN
    Last edit by JennieBSN on Dec 8, '01
  8. by   huckfinn
    You are right...People do have the freedom of choice. If they don't want to work at an institution that has a no smoking policy it is their choice. I have no problem with people smoking. Let 'em smoke my allotment too! However, smokers should not expect the privilage of 5 fifteen minute breaks a day to go smoke. Non-smokers do not expect this, especially when as many other posters point out "WHAT LUNCH BREAK?"
  9. by   kaycee
    We get a 30min lunch/dinner break unpaid. We are not entitled by law to any other breaks. It is up to the institution and no other breaks are guaranteed. I don't know anyone who takes 15min breaks twice a shift. Most units are lucky to get lunch/dinner. The only departments I know of who take breaks and lunch are non nursing.
    We can leave the hospital for our lunch/dinner break but few do cause where can you really go for 1/2 hr.
    I work ED and I don't know anyone that actually leaves the dept to eat. Most of the time we grab a bite in the kitchen, shove something down quick at the nurses station or snack all night. We do get paid for having no lunch.
    In regard to smokers, I agree many abuse that. I am a smoker but if I go have a smoke it's when the ED is dead or very slow and I'm gone for less then 5 min, plus I'm right outside the door. Also the nonsmokers are encouraged to go take "smoke breaks" just to go outside and get away from the dept and they do get equal time. I am in charge and I see to that.
  10. by   ktwlpn
    Originally posted by kday
    What is this 'lunch break' you all keep talking about???? LOL!! I'm lucky if I get to pee by myself...that is, without a patient poking their head in the door and saying, 'Oh, gee, I know you're on break, but...'

    .................................................. ........................................I truly resent ancillary staff interrupting my lunch break with pt care concerns...E-mail me,write me a note and leave it on my desk or wait until I am back on the floor.And phone calls-like cousin John from 4 states away who has not seen the pt. for 7 yrs.Don't call me to the phone from my break for that-just handle it-as I will handle issues involving your pts while you are on break
  11. by   CindyJRN
    We have a break room on our unit and it is more convenient than staying in the cafeteria because we can shut the door. My issue as a Charge Nurse is the people who think they are entitled to a breakfast break, lunch break and of course the smoke breaks. Yes, 12hr shifts are long, but we are there for PATIENT CARE. I'm not bashing the smokers, because years ago I grew a backbone and just started announcing I was going on my "Non smoking break". Sometimes we all have to just get outside the building for a few minutes. I'm lucky enough to work with people who at least try to cover for me for a few minutes....I guess if the unit were larger we'd actually leave the facility but 30 minutes isn't really long enough to leave, eat, and return. Major pet peeve are those who leave to "run their errand", stay gone 30 minutes, then return with food and sit in the break room.
  12. by   betts
    FAQ # 1 If an employee believes he has been terminated unfairly, does he have a legal right to challenge the termination?
    Virginia is an employment-at-will state; this means the employer may terminate any employee at any time, for any reason, or for no reason. As a general rule, therefore, the employee has no right to challenge the termination or request a hearing. There are a few very limited exceptions. For example, an employee may not be discriminated against or terminated because he has filed a safety complaint or exercised his rights under OSHA law. Section 40.1-51.2:1. Also, federal law protects employees from discrimination because of age, race, sex, religion, national origin or handicap.

    FAQ #2 Who handles discrimination questions?
    If the employee believes he has been discriminated against because of his age, race, sex, religion, national origin or disability, he may be protected by federal discrimination laws, and a complaint may be filed with 1) the Virginia Council on Human Rights, 1-800-663-5510; Richmond Office, phone number (804) 225-2292; or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (E.E.O.C.), Phone number 1-800-669-4000, Richmond Office, 3600 Center, Room 229, 3600 W. Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia 23230, phone number (804) 278-4651.

    FAQ #3 Does an employer have to provide employees breaks or a meal period?
    No, unless the employee is under the age of 16.

    FAQ #4 Are there any restrictions as to how many hours an employee can be required to work or when he may work?
    No, not after an employee attains his 16th birthday.

    As you can see Spudflake, it depends on the State you're employed in.
  13. by   KatWright
    We really need to work with each other to make sure that everyone gets a break.

    Bargain...If you cover a smoker, then they should cover you.........go get a coke, take a quick walk away from the unit....and no I don't smoke.

    Also, if the nurses decides to brown bag it and eat in the lounge, we should cover each other and prevent people from interrupting.

    I will not interrupt someone at lunch when a family member wants to ask a question. I think that what burns me so much is that they are there for an hour or so and as soon as the nurse sits down, they have a question and cannot wait. So I ask them to leave their number and the nurse can call them or I give them the mumber at the desk and they can call the nurse when they get to their destination. Some times they get angry, but if the staff can't refuel, they can't give proper care. (Yesterday, the family member that got angry said that they had to leave because they were meeting someone for lunch......I just raised an eyebrow and said nothing. They said they would call later)
    Also, if a patient calls and wants to see their nurse, if I can't answer the question, I'll write it down for the patient and tell them that i will give it to the nurse when he/she gets back.
    And trust me, our nurses only take a few minutes, but if you get called out for any reason, then that gives everyone permission to ask for other things.