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Nurses eating on shift...

(576 Posts)
PatsyAndEddy Fri 12-Jul-13 20:44:24

Just back from hospital visiting a friend who had her tonsils out today. She had to fast from 10 pm last night and didn't get taken for her op until 2pm, that's a long time without food for anyone!

She missed dinner on the ward but they got her a sandwich but she's really sore and hungry!

On the ward her bed is right next to the nurses station. She said they were sitting munching on a large bag of kettle chips in front of her between the three of them. She commented on how she thought that was a but mean, they snapped back saying 'well we have to eat' at which point my friend reminded them that's what they're breaks were for.

I don't think she's flavour of the month in the ward! She can be a bit of a grump at the best of times but starving, sore and groggy I think she reached her limit!

We're the nurses being unreasonable, eating on shift?

NatashaBee Fri 12-Jul-13 20:46:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

That's what breaks are for, yes.

If you actually get a break.

gordyslovesheep Fri 12-Jul-13 20:48:09

no - you could have nipped out and got some crisps for your friend - nurses have to eat and often don't get breaks

westcoastnortherner Fri 12-Jul-13 20:48:44

If they are short staffed they may not get a break, one of them may be a type 1 diabetic and actually need to eat regularly!

westcoastnortherner Fri 12-Jul-13 20:49:10

Forgot to add YABU

Thurlow Fri 12-Jul-13 20:49:13

Of course not confused They've probably got a 12 hour shift to get through, do people expect them to do that without food?

Though possibly if they could hide a bit that might be nice for the patients, but I suspect that's not possible.

ImNotBloody14 Fri 12-Jul-13 20:51:24

if they didn't eat on shift sometimes they wouldn't eat and that is the last thing you need- nurses making mistakes due to hunger and dehydration, collapsing on their patients, falling and hurting themselves and being off on the sick while they recover.

Smartieaddict Fri 12-Jul-13 20:52:03

They weren't being happy in front of her too were they? How unreasonable. They should be miserable and hungry, so they don't make the patients feel bad! wink

Pancakeflipper Fri 12-Jul-13 20:52:25

Your friend is BU.
When kind patients or their families leave nurses pressies of treats the nurses don't take a break to have a scoff.

Smartiepants79 Fri 12-Jul-13 20:52:34

Unless them eating is causing actual harm to a patient then they should be allowed to eat when ever they get a chance.
Suspect breaks are few and far between.

The thing is people just see a snapshot.

I've worked shifts where taking a break just hasn't been possible.
On one occasion it was so busy the ward manager made a big tray of tea and biscuits and put it on the nurses station for everybody to grab a drink.

A visitor came on, spotted this and subsequently complained that we were all drinking tea at the nurses station.

On another occasion our hard working house officer had spent the whole early shift rushed off her feet and hadn't had the chance to eat or drink a thing.
We got her a sandwich and a cup of tea to have whilst she was sitting at the computer writing the take home prescriptions.

A visitor came on, saw her and complained that the doctor was sat lazing around eating at the computer.


BellaVita Fri 12-Jul-13 20:53:33


3littlefrogs Fri 12-Jul-13 20:54:18

What is a break?

PatsyAndEddy Fri 12-Jul-13 20:54:34

I think she was feeling hard done to after her surgery and 18 hours without food!

VinegarDrinker Fri 12-Jul-13 20:54:54

YABU and living in cloud cuckoo land if you think HCPs always get the breaks they are entitled to.

Can't count the number of times I've done 13+ hour shifts without time to go to the loo let alone eat a proper meal.

marriedinwhiteagain Fri 12-Jul-13 20:56:04

Disagrees with thread. I think it was unprofessional, thoughtless and unacceptable. There were three of them - one can disapper for five minutes for a snack if necessary. If one was diabetic and eating crisps to deal with that a pretty poor show of nutritional knowledge if you ask me.

thistlelicker Fri 12-Jul-13 20:57:09

I work from 730 am until 930 pm 3 days a week with only one hour break! Am I unreasonable to grab food as I go in order to care for people in hospital?

Yes Vinegar grin
When you finally do get to go to the loo you fear you've gone into urinary retention.

Featherbag Fri 12-Jul-13 20:58:27

Another nurse here who regularly works 13 hours straight with no break! Tell your friend to get a grip.

pleiadianpony Fri 12-Jul-13 20:58:52

No they weren’t, they were surviving. Sorry. It's fucking shit hard work being a nurse. I have a family member who is a ward nurse and know quite a few nurses. The hours are insanely long, shift patterns are irregular, breaks are very rare. Some don't get them until 7 or 8 hours into a shift. The working conditions are actually frequently illegal. Hospitals are severely understaffed, patients who don't understand the barbaric conditions people are working in are often rude and demanding.

We can all get a bit righteous and grumpy but you try working day in day out, risking your registration (and livelihood) daily because you are looking after twice as many people as you should be. AND are functioning on not enough sleep and food. AND not being able to do the job which you thought you were being trained for. Basically caring for people in a holistic and positive way.#

Nope your friend won't be popular, she'll just be another person chipping away at the already rock bottom morale of the nurses who are trying to care for her. Yes there are some shit nurses but the majority of the failings are systemic.

People might think they are having a crap time being laid up after a minor operation but try being a nurse for a couple of years. That is a crap time!

PatsyAndEddy Fri 12-Jul-13 20:59:18

Grab food by all means, my own job often results in eating at my desk, in the car or on the hop.

It was the reading it in front of patients who can't eat and are starving part that irked my very hungry and sore friend!

Hooleywhipper Fri 12-Jul-13 20:59:42

3littlefrogs spot on, what is a break?

marriedinwhiteagain Fri 12-Jul-13 21:02:15

Well every time I've been in hospital the nurses have had lots of time to talk about boyfriends, holidays and surglf the net, often waking patients with their noise. And if the patient asks for assistance are very quick to bark "we're understaffed and busy". And they didn't like it one little bit when I walked behind them 10 minutes later and noted they must be very busy if they were on holiday websites. I was looking after my dd and they ad ignored an 8 year old on the ward who had no carer with her.

Yep, totally overworked and deeply professional people. Happened also with midwives, my mother and when ds was inhosp. Utterly disgraceful.

Kafri Fri 12-Jul-13 21:02:17

Nurses and HCA's rarely ever get to take their breaks and leave the ward. I'd hazard a guess that if those nurses had taken it in turns togo for heir break the op's post would be complaining that the ward was short staffed as the nurses kept nipping off.
Wards are always short staffed and it's the HCP's being willing to give up their breaks that keep the wards running so yes YABU!!

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