Scheduling lunch breaks in the ED

Posted
by Elle2 Elle2 (New) New

I would be interested in hearing how other ED's schedule lunch breaks and manage patient coverage during those times. I realize "breaks" are far and few in the ED, but would like to know how other departments plan for them.

Thanks in Advance!

angel337

angel337, MSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Room. 897 Posts

the average "break" in our ed is 20 minutes. my break yesterday was 10 minutes. i went to the break room heated up my frozen meal, came back out to make sure all my patients were breathing and then i went back and ate. when its not to busy i will get a 30 minute break. its really up to you. you can wait until all your patients are stable (labs done, waiting on an admission etc..) and give report to another nurse or you can squeeze it in the best way you know how. i know that i can get more breaks than i do, but sometimes i hate when i take a real break and come back out and have 3 new patients with nothing done and the doc is in my face telling me that a patient i never seen is going to the cath lab. see what i mean? the sad part about this is that i am used to it. my ed pretty much works well together and that is very important in how well you prioritize your time. once you have worked ed for a while you will figure it out. good luck and welcome to ed nursing, ITS THE BEST!!!

jasonn

jasonn

35 Posts

scheduled breaks :rotfl: ... that;s a good one!:chuckle

rjflyn

rjflyn, ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency. Has 23 years experience. 1,240 Posts

scheduled breaks :rotfl: ... that;s a good one!:chuckle

about the only thing scheduled in the ER is when you are going to go in to work, that can change thought to.

rj:rolleyes:

shellyj-rn

shellyj-rn

4 Posts

Scheduled lunch breaks, or even the 10-15 minute breaks thru the shift, are few and far between. I do agree, you leave for more than 10 minutes, the nurse taking care of your pts has done nothing but take care of their own, and you wind up coming back to a mess. We mainly eat at the desk, (of course while pts watch thru the glass window as they are glaring from the door while "we do nothing"). We shovel bites here and there, and rarely do we eat while the food is hot. Rules were made that the supervisor was to relieve us so we could take our 30 minute meal. Supervisor's reply, I'm busy, can't you find someone else? Hence, viscous cycle that will never end. No meal time, no replacement, no breaks, punished for eating at the desk. :rolleyes:

NYCRN16

NYCRN16

Specializes in ER, PACU. 392 Posts

We do team nursing, so we cover each other for our breaks. It works like this:

There are 3 nurses on each team (for the main ED), and the breaks go from 1:30-3:00 am, 3:00-4:30 am, and 4:30-6:00 am. It winds up being an hour and a half because we are allowed to combine our 2 15 minute breaks into our lunch hour on the night shift. When one of my teammates goes on break, he or she will transfer some of his/her patients to me, and some to our other teammate. If there are stat orders or whatever, we will take care of them, but you try not to leave all the stuff for your teammates to do while you are on break. There is usually a relief nurse on staff who will relieve the resuscitation room, triage, peds and charge. They are not allowed to give you a patient 15 minutes before you go to break (unless its a fast track), but you may get one during the last 15 minutes. If that patient needs to be worked up right away, then your teammates are supposed to do it, otherwise they wait until you get back.

Sometimes we dont get to take all of our breaks, or take breaks at all, just as anyone else that works in ED.

traumaRUs

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 30 years experience. 164 Articles; 21,143 Posts

Whew - that is incredibly well organized. In our ER - we try to get at least a lunch break! However, this week and last week - that was a rarity!

MrsWampthang

MrsWampthang, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency room, med/surg, UR/CSR. 511 Posts

scheduled breaks :rotfl: ... that;s a good one!:chuckle

My thoughts exactly! :rotfl:

Brotherbob

Brotherbob, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. 100 Posts

I would be interested in hearing how other ED's schedule lunch breaks and manage patient coverage during those times. I realize "breaks" are far and few in the ED, but would like to know how other departments plan for them.

Thanks in Advance!

This is how we do it in the Swedish level one ER where I work.

Normally we are 4-6 nurses and 6-8 tech`s. Every nurse is working in a team with one or two tech´s.

The first shift is 06:45-4:15 and the second 12-9:30. The nurse on day shift reports to the nurse that will work the second shift and takes lunch. After lunch we work together until 3:00 when the nurse on the second shift takes a break and comes back before the nurse on day shift leaves. Lunch break is 40 min on a good day.

Sometimes the second shift starts 01:30 and if so the tech takes care of the patients when the day nurse takes lunch. Same for shorter breaks.

This system works for us, I get to eat have a full lunch break nine days out of ten.

Our tech`s are outstanding. We report together we chart together and we trust each other.

tridil2000

tridil2000, MSN, RN

Has 35 years experience. 657 Posts

This is how we do it in the Swedish level one ER where I work.

Normally we are 4-6 nurses and 6-8 tech`s. Every nurse is working in a team with one or two tech´s.

The first shift is 06:45-4:15 and the second 12-9:30. The nurse on day shift reports to the nurse that will work the second shift and takes lunch. After lunch we work together until 3:00 when the nurse on the second shift takes a break and comes back before the nurse on day shift leaves. Lunch break is 40 min on a good day.

Sometimes the second shift starts 01:30 and if so the tech takes care of the patients when the day nurse takes lunch. Same for shorter breaks.

This system works for us, I get to eat have a full lunch break nine days out of ten.

Our tech`s are outstanding. We report together we chart together and we trust each other.

techs???

did you say techs??? 6 of them??? this is in sweeden???

we have 1 for a 20 bed ed! never see them myself! nly in america!

Brotherbob

Brotherbob, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. 100 Posts

techs???

did you say techs??? 6 of them??? this is in sweeden???

we have 1 for a 20 bed ed! never see them myself! nly in america!

They are not called tech here but they work with a nurse, run EKG, sterile dressing, draw blood, do urinary catheterization, chest compressions as well as taking care of bedpans. No medications. The nurse is in charge.

Would that be a tech in the states or nurses assistant or what?

CEN35

CEN35

Specializes in ER, PACU, OR. 1,091 Posts

I would be interested in hearing how other ED's schedule lunch breaks and manage patient coverage during those times. I realize "breaks" are far and few in the ED, but would like to know how other departments plan for them.

Thanks in Advance!

Used to be we averaged 2 lunch breaks every 4.5 shifts.

I hear now, 4 pt's per nurse and when someone goes to lunch you have 8, because you have to cover the other nurses pt's.

Glad I left.

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