Lunch breaks - page 3

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   tshores
    Everyone should get off the unit when they can take a break, smoker or not. Go to the lounge and put your feet up, go for a walk somewhere, to the gift shop, wherever. Gives you a chance to settle down and regroup. Most smokers don't mind watching your patients if you don't smoke; that way they don't feel guilty asking you to watch theirs. They're probably looking at you funny because you don't usually take a break. And, yes, some smokers take too many breaks. And then there are nonsmokers who disappear for 30 minutes at breakfast, 45 for lunch, and so on. But if you CAN take a break and don't, you're making your own choices. There shouldn't be a problem with breaks if everyone works together like they should.
    By the way, I thought you were supposed to get a 10-15 minute paid break for every four hours you work--two in an 8-hour shift, 3 in a 12-hr shift (not counting the 30 min unpaid lunch break).
    I am against nonsmoking hospital campuses because I think people should have choices in this country. If they're smoking outside (most of the time in designated areas), I can't see where they're hurting anyone else. I don't think cheeseburgers or french fries or sugar should be banned either. You have the right to make your choices...but not to force your choices on anyone else.
  2. by   jimminy
    We work 12hour shifts. We get one unpaid lunch break and two 15 min. breaks when there is time. For the most part we try to relieve each other without interruptions. We seldom get the full lunch. Our fifteen min. breaks we take in little four to five min. breaks. There is always the same few that push it. They take frequent smokes breaks (15 min), then go to the caf. to get food, then count their break starting when they get back. It is a very busy er, so the rest of us get a little peeved. They have been approached, reprimanded by management, etc. but the one thing that has worked the best is this.... If you are the one covering for their frequent breaks, dont say anything. Wait till they get back, then leave for as long as they were gone,, each time. I KNOW this sounds petty, but it only takes a few times for them to get the pix and they will not do it when they work with you. THEY dont like to do all the work. No, the patients are covered, the other nurses are in on it and cover incognito. heh.
    My one question about breaks is this ..... If your break is unpaid, should you be able to snooze? We are not allowed to in case some other dept sees us and it looks bad. However, days can leave the premises to eat breakfast and lunch ..two lunch breaks?I think we should be able to take a quick refresher snooze on our unpaid break, it really helps
  3. by   psnurse
    According to my interpretation of the law regarding breaks, you are entitled to 15 paid minutes for every 4 hours that you work and at least a half hour unpaid lunch. So for a 12 hour shift, you should be leaving the floor 4 times. And it isn't a break if you are interrupted. The time starts over from the beginning.

    Covering for a break doesn't mean that I am to do your routine tasks. You should have those completed to the point that a break is possible. But I should handle whatever urgent situation may arise while you are away, answer your lights, get things for patients that could not be anticipated (i.e. water, coffee, ect)

    I take my breaks and encourage (with varying degrees of success) others to take theirs. Re-charge those batteries for a couple of minutes. It will be good for you.
  4. by   psnurse
    One more thing... the night shift can snooze on their 30 minutes. They just have to do it away from the patient care area and have a designated wake up person.
  5. by   Riseupandnurse
    I am a smoking nurse, and I hate that about myself. But what people don't understand is that until we break our addiction we just *can't* go without a smoke break. Not and be any good at what we're doing. I do not abuse it; I use my lunch time, about twenty minutes of it, and then take another ten minutes at another time in the shift, two ten minutes breaks if I'm on a 12-hour (which is usually more like a 14 hour). Those who abuse it should be punished; I certainly don't condone taking more than your allotment just because you're a smoker. It's harder than ever because we have to walk pretty far to get to our designated smoking area. And everyone looks down on us.
    But the answer is not to punish us smokers who do try to take at least part of the break time we are entitled to. Look around you and see that the problem is that we nurses are the only people in the hospital who are expected to give up the very basic necessity of a break and a lunch. The secretaries, housekeeping and dietary staff, and almost everyone else get their breaks, including administration and the doctors. Why should we not get ours? Why do nurses punish each other and keep our profession working like dogs? Is it a wonder there is a nursing shortage?
  6. by   psnurse
    Here is another question that has plagued me for quite some time. What about those 11a - 11p people? They are on shift for 2 ordinary people meal periods. Are we saying that they are entitled to only a meal before work and one during their shift?? I guess the same is true for 7a - 7p, but the period they are on after the normal dinner hour is shorter.

    Are we saying you should have breakfast, come in at eleven, take a late lunch, and then not be hungry again until midnight when you get home. I think this is ridiculous. I have occassionally worked this shift, but attempt to avoid it on a regular basis because it seems that this is the expectation.

    One of the charge nurse where I work recently proposed, as a measure to be sure everyone gets a lunch break, that food be delivered to the unit and people eat in the break room where they were immediately accessible. I blew my stack. My break time is MY time to do with as I please. Covering my breaks is an institutional responsibility. Instead of trying to make things easier for the institution, why are we not demanding the same consideration other workers enjoy??

    I will take my break, and I will cover for others to take a break. Do whatever you want on your break... stand on your head in the corner, grab some local fast food, pick up a prescription, or dance the hula... I don't care. It is YOUR time!!!
  7. by   cinny071
    I always leave the building for all breaks. And I tell whoever needs to know that I am going to break/lunch.

    Yes I smoke but ONLY on my break times!

    Where I work they sometimes have Bging your lunch inservies.
    Don't go to those either.

    I need time away from the units to get myself "together" for the rest of my working day. (I work all over the building everyday)
  8. by   Ivy Purdom
    I work an 11 hour shift and get paid for 10, we are not allowed to leave the ward and as I am the only qualified nurse on duty I have to stay at the nurse's staion throughout the shift. I have tried for 22 years to change this but with no luck!!!
  9. by   OC_An Khe
    Breaks should be taken and be fairly apportioned. Smokers shouldn't get prority. Not that I'm knocking smokers as they do provide us with future job security.
  10. by   LadyNASDAQ
    In my facility, you are NOT to leave the building on your 30 minute break. I tend to feel that it would be a nice thing to be able to leave but then again, I am ok with it.

    What we do is order out and delivery is great like pizza, all kinds of foods that we all like and yes, it is more expensive, we at least feel that it is what we like and adds a bit of lifted spirits for the day.
  11. by   frann
    We're not allowed to have sex in the whirlpool, Even if it is our lunch break. Big no-no. Grounds for getting fired here, but if your spouse comes and begs you may be able to get job back.:roll :roll :roll
  12. by   canoehead
    I never thought of that- but I suppose we aren't allowed to use hospital equipment for anything other than patient care.
    And who would clean the whirlpool afterwards- surely you can't have sex AND scrub it down all in 30 min.
  13. by   donmurray
    Cue:" My wife says I'm no good at sex, but I don't see how she can judge that in 30 seconds!" Plenty cleaning time!