sleeping staff - page 9

It's incredible! just went down stairs to use their xerox machine and everyone of their staff members is sound asleep, all wrapped up in blankets and "Mouth Wide Open." They just don't care about... Read More

  1. by   Gardengal
    Originally posted by night owl
    Isn't anyone reading my posts? First of all, it's not happening just on a break, they sleep for 2-3 hours straight...all of them wrapped up in blankets and NO ONE is alert! Second of all, I've tried to do something about it. I have written them up to the NM, nothing was done. I've brought it to the attention of the supervisor. She saw it herself and nothing was done. Now I'm getting ready to go over some heads to the DON to see what he can do. If nothing, then the Director of Administration. I'm hoping that the DON will look into it at least. After that, what else can I do? I didn't want it to go this far, but since no one seems to care, I will take it as far as I have to to get some action. I'm actually thinking they just don't want to deal with it. When the entire staff sleeps, no one is alert to the fact that the residents are being neglected. We have plenty of people who would love to work nights to fill their shoes even if they're just suspended. I wish JACHO would make a suprise visit one night...maybe that's what it'll take or at least tell the DON either do something about it or he'll leave me with no alternative but to report it to JACHO and then management, administration and the sleeping staff will have to face the consequences...Maybe their tune will change then. I'm fighting for what is right ... the resident's's what I believe in.
    Night Owl:

    I agree with you with the exception of the JCAHO surprise visit. I sure wouldn't want the fall out institutionally for that. I'd deal with it internally and if inefective quit this unsafe situation...then report to the state after telling them I was doing so. I quit a management job because of my inability to make a discipline stick for sleeping on the job and poor care by an employee. (Not supported by human resources because how could I prove that the nurse was sleeping at the nurses station?-I had a written complaint of a coworker,(but only 1 of 5-no one else would document for fear of repercussions) vitals documented in the medical record which did not correlate with the bedside monitor in the ICU for the time frame , the employee when confronted who said that 'might have dozed off for a minute', and a patient who had a femoral IV line discovered by another nurse lying in the bed, blood dripping to the floor and the site already clotted. The other nurse entered the room because an IV pump was beeping. I couldn't see a question. The patient died a few hours later. I can't say it was directly related to the event, but it sure was contributory-exanguination is never really healthy. The RN in question had returned from a sleep break of at least 1 hour less than an hour previously according to the coworker.

    NO ONE should sleep while on the job. Lives depend on it.

    I do agree though that when on break anyone can nap(out of sight in the break room), as long as they wake themselves up and report back to work on time. It should not be a coworker's responsibility to come find you if you oversleep. That is taking them out of care giving while getting you. If you work with a staff who routinely naps on break everyone can quickly get acclimated to needing to wake up the previous co-worker. This is only OK if someone else is getting report from you as you leave to go on break, and a different person is giving report to the person coming back from break-otherwise you can have too many people gone at the same time and emergencies always happen when least expected.

    Having lived thorugh this, as an unsupported manager I agree with you wholeheartedly. Employee handbook says no sleeping or immediate dismissal. I have found that this is difficult because of permissive human resource practices which don't match policy and takes successive occurrences and much documentation to enforce. There is always a fear by an institution that things will be overturned because everyone is not following the same rule the same way. Vicious circle.
  2. by   Good_Queen_Bess
    My last word on this - HONEST

    The thing I have a problem with, is that policies about night shifts and people sleeping are often written by people who are earning a hell of a lot more money than me for less hours and whom have never worked nights. (As with most policy makers!)
  3. by   graysonret
    Being an agency nurse, I am not allowed to sleep at all over a night shift. The agencies make it well known that sleeping is cause for termination. I agree. If I work 11-7, I need to stay awake and provide the proper care for the patients, if needed. I've seen a lot of nurses snooze as well as aides. If I'm sleepy, a good walkaround helps...even some night air for a couple of minutes does well. If I find myself constantly struggling overnight, it's time to consider a different shift.
  4. by   ChainedChaosRN
    The thing about policies is that they usually develop to "assist" the employee in understanding what is right and wrong at a job situation, because people sometimes leave the common sense factor at home.

    This is a true story about a storage bin I rented when I first moved to Detroit and the owner handed me the policy sheet. Some of the policies:
    You may not live in your storage bin.
    You may not keep animals in your SB.
    You may not store dead bodies in your SB.
    You may not keep dead fish in your SB.

    The list went on and on I started laughing....and she said well, the list just keeps growing because some people just don't quite get it. She actually encounted these things!

    I agree policies can be stupid..but sleeping ON THE JOB is not right. Punched off the clock...sleeping off the unit....happy dreams to ya.
  5. by   OrthoNutter
    Originally posted by karoline
    My feeling is that if one cannot commit to staying awake, alert and available then they should work a different shift.
    In a perfect world, I would agree with you. I'm one of those lucky people who can work whatever shift and still do my job. I don't need to sleep on nights....sometimes at 4am my brain gets a little fogged but I find the best thing to do is go outside in the freezing cold without a jacket. That usually wakes me up.

    But I digress....lucky me, I work for the state. They give us NO choice when it comes to shifts. You either work all three on a rotating roster or you shift your keister to the private sector, which incidentally pays less. Money is important to a lot of people, so even though it may not suit their body clocks to be working all sorts of shifts, they do it for the differential and the public sector award pay rate. I continue to work public because I couldn't live on a part-time wage if I worked in the private sector. I'm just lucky that I can cope with the constant "back and forth" nature of a rotating roster.
  6. by   Moonflower1206
    I was on orientation, new to the 7p to 7a shift....when I arrived at work, the RN I was supposed to orient with called in sick, and the RN that was on the unit said that she was 'too new' to have anyone orient with her, even just for one night.. i notified the supervisor about the situation, and she never got back to me....a travel nurse offered to help/orient with me that night....and I wasnt sure if that was against hospital policy, so i felt uncomfortable orienting with her, i basically just observed and helped out as much as i sum it up...the RN that didnt help me out told the supervisor that i fell asleep in one of the back rooms....which was NOT true....on my break i had my eyes closed...what a rat
  7. by   passing thru
    HI Moonflower. It sure sounds like you two ggot off on the wrong foot. Do you think when you notified the supervisor about the situation....or tried to....that the RN thought you were going to complain and so she "beat you to the punch" by complaining about you first??

    She doesn't sound like the kind of nurse I would want to work with...her first rejection would have been enough for me.
    She could have made the best of it with you with the orienting business.
    Some welcome , Huh ?
  8. by   FsPilotMed1
    Hi all, just found this thread and thought I'd throw in my two cents, if I may....

    I'm starting nursing school this fall, and I have quite a few nurses in my family, all who have encountered employees sleeping on the night shift. I find it disgusting and hard to believe that one would even consider sleeping while on the clock. I guess it just bugs me to think that I could be a patient in a hospital, and my nurse would be asleep should something happen in the middle of the night. I enjoy reading all of your opinions!

    Purdue School of Nursing '06!
  9. by   hollysunshine
    Are you kidding me? So the night shift nurses get differential and get paid to sleep? As a day shift nurse, I'd like to know what additional benefits I'm going to receive.
  10. by   sbic56
    Originally posted by hollysunshine
    Are you kidding me? So the night shift nurses get differential and get paid to sleep? As a day shift nurse, I'd like to know what additional benefits I'm going to receive.
    Maybe about 7 years longer to live.

    I was a nurse on nights for 11 years and would never feel their job has any true benefit over day nurses! If that were the case I don't think there would be mainly night positions available. With all that extra money night nurses make and all, it's a wonder that days can keep their staff.

    Even once I got myself acclimated to nights, it was never easy living in a day world. I have nothing but respect for night nurses. (Including the occasionally needed nap and all.)
  11. by   fergus51
    AMEN to that! If nights were so easy then I don't know why there are so many nurses out there dying to get onto straight days positions!
  12. by   TinyNurse
    oh geeze, as a new grad, that sorta makes me scared.
  13. by   sbic56
    Originally posted by TinyNurse
    oh geeze, as a new grad, that sorta makes me scared.
    What's scaring you, Jen?