is this typical for a nursing home?


I just started working in a nursing home and I found out I do not get paid for lunch, I get an hour off but I never actually get time for lunch. So I get paid for 35 hours instead of 40 and I actually end up staying later everyday to finish my charting. I always come early because I want to have time to finish but I never actually finish on time anyway. Is this the norm? I get dizzy by the end of the day and dehydrated because I forget to drink anything because I spend all day running around. They have one nurse per 40 patients. This just seems crazy to me and seems like a form of exploitation. I can't imagine this is legal?


103 Posts

Specializes in None (as yet).

Yes this is very typical at the nursing home I work at

fawnmarie, ASN

284 Posts

Specializes in Psychiatric Nursing. Has 21 years experience.

Yes, unfortunately, what you're describing is typical in nursing home settings. I lasted less than 2 years in LTC because of the unrealistic demands of being responsible for 43 patients from 3-11pm. The endless charting would often keep me at work until 1am or later. I learned to always bring snacks and bottled water because sitting down for a 30 minute lunch was out of the question. I am glad to have moved on from that first nursing position!


11 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 4 years experience.

I'm not sure about nursing homes specifically, but I know that in my hospital we aren't paid for our lunches. We are scheduled for 12.5 hour shifts with a half hour of that automatically deducted for our lunches we are supposed to be taking. However, we have an option on our time clock as we clock out to choose "worked through lunch" which will pay us for the whole time we were clocked in, such as if we were too busy to take a lunch.


15 Posts

Unfortunately the ratios in LTC settings are high and it is overwhelming. I worked as an agency nurse and only lasted a few shifts in the LTC setting- I give all LTC nurses so much credit.

It sounds like it is a newer job for you, my main advice is to try to think of ways you can manage your time as efficiently as possible. I'm sure there are some great threads in the LTC section with ideas to be more successful from other LTC nurses. Perhaps as you get to know the residents more your assessments and med routine will go a lot quicker. You have to make sure you take care of yourself though and go to the bathroom when you need to and take water and snack breaks during the shift- you deserve to be taken care of just like you're taking care of all of your residents.