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  #1  
Old 03-25-2008, 10:26 AM
MelJayne
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Cool Almost 15 hours and no lunch.

I was always on the verge of being caught up yesterday, but never quite got to where I could take a lunch, heh. So irritating! Then, a nightshift friend asked if I would stay over until 10pm for her since she had school. It's not unusual on Mondays for me to do this for her. But, man, it makes a long day. My whole body was aching. Fortunately, I'm off today to recover, lol. Of course, I say this as an 18 month old is climbing me like a tree. Still, he's more fun than work, lol.
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2008, 11:37 AM
LesleyJoy
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The "no lunch" issue bothers me. Is it common for nurses not to take lunch (and breaks)? If so, why? After a rather extended investigation at my place of employment I have discovered a couple-three reasons why nurses are not taking the lunches/breaks that are so necessary to good health (not to mention patient safety). I'll post them if anyone is interested.

Would anyone like to express why they occasionally/routinely miss their breaks/lunches?

Thanks!

Joy
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2008, 11:53 AM
MelJayne
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I don't routinely miss lunches per say. I do on occasion. I've learned to take lunch right at 11am or as soom as possible. A lot of nurses I know won't take an early lunch and will wait until later in the day when we are too busy and that's why they miss them. I just literally had too much going on at the time. I could have maybe taken a lunch but it would have delayed patient care too long or my patient was too sick and it would have been detrimental to their care. For instance, I had a couple intubated patients come in throughout the day and it was touch and go with their blood pressure or in one case her ET tube wasn't working right and the doctor had to re-intubate from the one the paramedic had placed. It wasn't lack of desire to take a lunch, but just lack of a chance. We did have a float that came in at 1p, but he was slammed helping everyone. He did finally cover me for about 15 minutes so I had a chance to eat some popcorn (someone had taken my lunch out of the fridge for some reason and my sandwich was bad... so annoying). But, 15 minutes to slam down some food I don't count as a lunch really. However, it was better than nothing. Also, at 7pm shift change I took another 15 minutes. So, it wasn't that I didn't get anything, but I didn't get enough to count as lunch either.
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:16 PM
LesleyJoy
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Oh, MelJayne, I was not asking for you to 'justify' your lack of break/lunch. I hope I have not offended you in any way!

The way I see it, there are quite a few reasons why working without rest occurs. Certainly an unexpected increase in acuity, as well as too high census, being a novice or disorganised nurse, and wanting overtime can lead to missed breaks/lunch. Do I sound like the middle-management, paper pusher that I am? Yes, I do. Furthermore, I think that it is incumbent upon middle/senior management to provide breaks/lunches. We have an obligation to ensure that staff have the time and the tools to provide excellent patient care. Adequate rest/hydration/nourishment, along with appropriate staffing and education most definitely facilitates that care.

OK. Stepping down from my soap box,

Joy
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:24 PM
MelJayne
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Oh no, I wasn't offended in any way. I was just explaining in my case why I missed lunch. I agree, with what you are saying though. The reason why I normally do take an early lunch is because I've learned over the years that a lot of the time I don't get one if I don't go as soon as I possibly can go. And I do think that a lot of the novice nurses tend to miss lunch a lot until they get the idea of priority and organization down which ,of course, is just imperative at my work.
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:09 PM
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I used to miss lunches here and there before we had break nurses. I would feel too bad making another nurse with two patients of their own also watch MY two patients, many of which had things that needed to be done that could not wait 1/2 hour.

Now that we have dedicated break nurses, the nurse who watches my patients ONLY watches my patients. So anything needing to be done can reliably be done by that person.

Break nurses have been a godsend.
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Last edited by geenaRN; 03-25-2008 at 05:10 PM. Reason: mixed verbage
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  #7  
Old 12-24-2008, 05:08 AM
darkogirlie
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I've just started in the nursing profession and when I asked on my first day about breaks, I was told 'in this profession, you don't get breaks''.
And I never have. Ok well actually, I did do my first ''long'' day of a 14hr shift the other day and after negotiation managed to get half hour. I understand that sometimes you kinda don't need a break, but on that sort of shift, I think at least two separate breaks are needed. I'm sure others have this problem, but are there any others who work in the NHS who do? And have you tried to tackle this?
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Old 12-24-2008, 12:28 PM
runningnurse
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Default Take your breaks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkogirlie View Post
I've just started in the nursing profession and when I asked on my first day about breaks, I was told 'in this profession, you don't get breaks''.
And I never have. Ok well actually, I did do my first ''long'' day of a 14hr shift the other day and after negotiation managed to get half hour. I understand that sometimes you kinda don't need a break, but on that sort of shift, I think at least two separate breaks are needed. I'm sure others have this problem, but are there any others who work in the NHS who do? And have you tried to tackle this?
You ALWAYS need to try and get your breaks in and anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong. If you don't step off the floor and take care of yourself how are you going to take care of your patients? It shouldn't have to be wrangled out of your day, it should/is mandatory...especially with 14 hr shifts! Where I've worked we did 12 hrs and we were supposed to try and take a 15 min in morning, 30 for lunch, and another 15 in the afternoon sometime...(I don't work in the NHS tho).
I would suggest that you tell the person you are working with (if you do team nursing)that you plan on taking a break at X time and do your best to stick to it (naturally the way nursing is you may not get to it right away) it's important to make a break a priority early on, otherwise you'll burn out way too soon.
Good Luck
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Old 12-24-2008, 03:37 PM
darkogirlie
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Thanks for that. I just assumed that was the case, as I generally don't see anyone taking breaks and it was a senior nurse who informed me I'm not entitled. I also had my shifts for this week and the next totally altered without asking me, and holiday allowance used without my consent. The team I work in are generally a good bunch, but someone, somewhere is taking the mickey a bit.

Glad to know it's not like that everywhere, maybe I should ask about it again tomorrow, thanks
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Old 12-24-2008, 05:59 PM
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If you are not taking breaks, make sure you are being payed. Many places automatically take out 30min of pay for lunch (as it is an unpayed break).

Check with your employment agreement as to how long you are entitled for. My work places are very strict on breaks, a 10-15min then a 30min, you can elect not to take it one day but you will be 'nagged' (in a kind way) to take it, as it is in your best interest and theirs.
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