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Nurses General Nursing


Hi all,

Was wondering if anyone has had a problem with employees sleeping excessively at night? Where I work, it seems to be a big problem. If I go to another unit to borrow something, the RN is sound asleep at the nurses station and does not even wake up when I come thru the door.On my own unit,na's

get comfy around 1am and never wake up 'till 4:30-5am. It's getting crazy!!! The pt's aren't getting turned, myself and another nurse are left to answer call bells, bed alarms make rounds q30min,plus everything else we have to do. Some na's are very good yet there are those few...Security came around checking for about two weeks just before JCAHO came and caught one. Then one of the girls had to go to the security dept. for some reason and foung the same security guy sound asleep at his desk, but was too scared to write him up. I would think that after a couple of verbal warnings and a written counseling, then there's a termination. We even had a girl who slept in one of the employees bathroom that had a tub. She took a clock off of the wall stuck it in the bathroom and made a bed in the tub. Now that's excessive. She is on the day shift now. Just wondering if any of you had such problems or even came close...

realnursealso/LPN, LPN

1 Article; 783 Posts

Specializes in Peds Homecare.

Night Owl....Never heard of such things. I haven't worked the night shift in a long while, but we were never allowed to sleep instead of doing our work. Where is the supervisor while all of this snoozing is going on? I think maybe someone else should be clued in on your discovery. Security is sleeping also? Who may I ask is taking care of the residents? As the charge nurse in a nursing home I was allowed to write anyone up who was sleeping and refer them to the supervisor. I'm not talking about someone who had a bad day and not gotten much sleep and dozing off by accident..but blatent sleeping was never allowed in any facility I worked in in all the 5 years I worked the night shift. You need to talk to someone in charge and go up the chain of command if you get no support. Sorry you work in such a place. Maybe you should get a job where people work and not sleep. You and that other nurse shouldn't have to take up the slack for all the snoozers.



121 Posts

What floor do yall work on, "THE MORGUE". On the floors that I have ever been on. either assigned or pulled, there wasn't time to sleep. This is absurd.


79 Posts

You got to be kidding!!!!!I have worked night shift for 100 years or, both in a LTC facility and in home care. The only action I have ever heard of is imediate dismissal. forget write ups and peer counseling this is pure and simple pt abuse.These people are making an hourly wage and being paid to sleep now that's fraud. I find that if you feel a nod comming on doing something physical ( rounds etc.) usually wakes you up. these are the people that give all nursing a bad name. Even if you do work in a LTC facility the pts. know who is sleeping when and where.

greg in mass

42 Posts

People sleeping on the job. Wow! Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. I think it would be considered neglect...among many other things. If you are on duty and this is happening while you are charge, well there's a good chance you too can be in really deep trouble.

There have been cases where people have slept on the job where I work, but people get a 5 day suspension. If this person sleeps again, they are automatically terminated. Sometimes people get there job back when terminated. This occurs if they grieve their termination with their union. The best ways one gets their job back after being terminated is if there documentation is not filed properly, there are no witnesses, or that disciplinary action was not done properly.


216 Posts

Hello Night Owl,

Wow, as a night shift nurse, I can't even imagine sleeping on the job or finding the time to do it. I wouldn't be able to sleep for fear I would miss something with the patient. As others have said, this is a disaster waiting to happen. I have seen some dose off while sitting down, but never ever saw anyone just go off and sleep!! That scares me!


39 Posts

I worked as a weekend sup in a LTC facility. When I would arrive early, I found residents soaked with urine, feeding pumps going off left and right, meds not passed, etc. I got permission to "float" my hours and found nurses and aides asleep, gossiping, and/or in the break room. At the time, most of the night staff was agency. I'd call the agency and request people not be sent back and tell why-- the next weekend, the same people would be in again. The scheduler got kickbacks and would "work things out" with the agency . . . guess why I'm not there anymore!


1,577 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg Nursing.

There is an NA on night shift where I work and she is constantly sleeping. She was supposed to be precepting a new NA(who happens to be the CEO's son!). Well, he wasn't learning anything so the head nurse pulled a day shift NA onto night shift to train this guy right. Last week, our head nurse came in at 4am and caught this NA sleeping and had a talk with her. Well the very next night our head nurse came in early and caught this same NA sleeping AGAIN! Her excuse is that she's going to school(to be an RN) and has a hard time staying awake. Where I work, we aren't supposed to bring school books in to study while we're on the job. But to be caught sleeping 2 nights in a row is pretty stupid don't you think?


Jenny P

1,164 Posts

Specializes in CV-ICU.

Last night I got 5 minutes off to go to the BR, now you're saying there are people who actually take planned naps at work? They don't work in ICU, do they? Our State Nurse Practice Act says your license can be suspended if you are sleeping on the job. If you take your break and take a nap during your break, that is okay, but you lose your license for sleeping in a patient area when you are on duty. That is absurd that you are covering for aides who are sleeping-- not only are you increasing your own work load, but you are risking your license too!


99 Posts

Night Owl: I am always outraged by this topic (not at you!!! smile.gif). I was a night shift RN for 10 years. When I found out that someone was sleeping, I confronted it immediately. If it didn't stop, I reported it as high on the ladder as I needed to go to get action. Often the problem was substance abuse or poor preparation for work on the part of the nurse. No nurse should sleep on nights. Many of us have worked very hard to establish a sense of pride in night shift workers and it wounds me personally when I hear about stuff like this.

Personally, when I did floor nursing, I never had 2 seconds to sit, even at night. If someone is sleeping it means that work is just not getting done. I don't think a nurse should tolerate this behavior in co-workers. You get a differential for nights because it is an extra effort to get day sleep and arrive ready to work.

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,856 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Well, you should find out if you have backup from administration before taking "formal" action. But certainly if you and the other nurse confront them about leaving all the work to you it is justified whether admin is lax or not. Of course, if you regularly trip over their feet, or spill water on the offenders because they were in the way, or you didn't realize they were there it might make you feel a bit better. Personally I might mistake their open snoring mouths for a hopper and you can bet they wouldn't dare sleep again. wink.gif


100 Posts

Where I work sleeping on duty is grounds for immediate termination. I have found though that it is best if (assuming you are the one who finds it) another employee be requested to veiw the offender sleeping and both write it up. The sleeping employee is then immediately awakened and sent home.



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