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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?

nataliedewdrop Tue 13-Aug-13 11:09:45

I am an ICU nurse where the ratio for nurse to patient should be 1:1 because how critically ill the patients are, but this is not the case. The unit is very short meaning the ratio can be 1:3.

But previous to working in ICU I worked on an infectious/respiratory ward with 38 beds and on nights could be the only qualified nurse on shift with 3 health care assistants, although the health care assistants were extremely competent the buck lied with me. So eating my lunch at the nurses station was my only option, the patients we were caring for were not like in the carry on movies where they just lay in bed, we had patients in severe pain who needed comfort and care, we had numerous patients who suffered with dementia and unless had observation could be at risk of falls and hurting themselves.

Sometimes bringing up these issues with nursing managers just goes through one ear and out the other, this is a national problem. I can understand that not all nurses are angels and are unprofessional, however we do not deserve to be tarred with the same brush. Perhaps people should work a week shadowing an NHS nurse/doctor/healthcare assistant etc to see how difficult the job is.

Mouseface Fri 19-Jul-13 16:20:43

I've spent countless days in hospitals with my disabled son and the lack of staff is apparent on every single ward. It's hard to get meds administered on time for the nurses never mind the rest of the job!

Breaks are few and far between IME. If there is no cover for what ever reason, you don't get your break. END OF, regardless of the legal 'rights' you're supposed to have.

It's not ideal and maybe they should have been a little more discreet but FFS, it's not like they were necking G&Ts and eating delivered take-away food is it? grin

whataboutbob Mon 15-Jul-13 21:54:41

Both the wards I work on Have staff rooms. London teaching hospital. But taking a break can be difficult, delayed and hurried.

emmyt1 Mon 15-Jul-13 21:48:39

Well when I had jaw surgery I couldn't eat a thing. Everyone including nurses were eating around me - why shouldnt they? Even if there were three nurses they probably couldn't take breaks as a certain amount of nurses vs patients should be present at all times. I'm sure your friend was well aware of what she could and couldnt eat after her operation.

3littlefrogs Mon 15-Jul-13 21:42:30

I remember staff rooms when I was a student over 30 years ago.

I haven't seen one on a hospital ward for years.

They do have them in GP surgeries though. They also have kitchens with kettles and things in GP surgeries.

The last hospital I worked in I bought a kettle. It was checked by the electrician, got a green sticker put on it, but had to be locked in the filing cabinet most of the time. (if you didn't watch it while you were using it, it would probably get nicked). Mind you - everything in that place had to be bolted to the floor. sad

TarkaTheOtter Mon 15-Jul-13 20:39:53

meerkat but you have a staff room to eat in, others don't.

I don't think anyone is saying this is best practice, just that it might be an unavoidable situation if you want nurses to have adequate nutrition on a long shift.

At the end of the day, what does it actually matter? The OPs friend was NBM to recover from surgery. It was for her own benefit. The whole thing is a bit childish.

Meerkatwhiskers Mon 15-Jul-13 20:27:41

I'm a nurse and it is not allowed where I work. I personally feel its very bad practice and although we do have cakes etc in the staff rooms and office if a matron saw any staff member eating outside the staff room it would not go down well. It's just unprofessional.

TarkaTheOtter Mon 15-Jul-13 19:48:08

Maybe the nurses were quite able to go on a break but sat around gobbling crisps because they couldn't be arsed...

... Or, just possibly, they were occupied with thing that you or your friend have no idea about, and were eating the crisps on the ward because it was the only way they could manage their workload AND have something to eat.

Lots of people with significantly more experience than you have told you it is much more likely to be the latter but you seem insistent that it must be the former hmm

agedknees Mon 15-Jul-13 18:03:10

All nurses should have an IV infusion and a urinary catheter inserted at the start of their shift. Then they would not need a food/wee break!!!!!

gotthemoononastick Mon 15-Jul-13 17:54:37

After that storm in a china teacup, the consensus is that nurses eating on shift and in uniform is that they are unreasonable?

ZingWidge Mon 15-Jul-13 16:50:56


but it could be a row of lettuces! what with the amount of shit fertiliser spread all over it!grin

LayMizzRarb Mon 15-Jul-13 15:50:09

'Tend to my own thread' grin it's a thread on a forum , not a row of bloody lettuces!

ZingWidge Mon 15-Jul-13 11:50:33

grin @ Kettlegate!

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Mon 15-Jul-13 11:47:30


Agreed Midnite

MidniteScribbler Mon 15-Jul-13 11:46:40

Quite frankly, I think that twatfriend and OP are well suited to each other.

PatsyAndEddy Mon 15-Jul-13 11:40:52

Oh sorry am I not allowed to tend to my own thread now?

Please, do share the rules with me. I thought OP's disapearing after starting threads was bad form, perhaps I've got that wrong though?


aftermay Mon 15-Jul-13 11:30:31

It's ok for the nurses to attend to bodily functions of patients but not ok for patients (just ordinary people till they got into hospital) to see a nurse eating. Things should be organised by the book. If not, it's the poor nurses' fault for nit reporting. What world do some of you live in? Obviously one where you haven't actually understood how nursing is carried out nowadays. Lucky you.

Jins Mon 15-Jul-13 11:25:39

I've just come out of hospital.

I'm eternally grateful to the nurses that cared for me so well. They all went the extra mile. I did see them tucking into some donuts that a patient had brought one night and it didn't bother me one bit. I spent several days nbm and the meals still came round, the drinks trolley still visited and they still brought jugs of water onto the ward.

I think this is an overreaction based on being in pain from the OPs friend to be honest

saggyhairyarse Mon 15-Jul-13 11:17:44

I'm not a nurse but work in healthcare and I don't think nurses should be eating on the ward in an ideal situation.

If they are so understaffed they cannot get breaks then they need to be reporting it to someone who can organise some cover so perhaps wards in close proximity can provide break cover for each other. If that is not possible then there are usually offices off of each ward where they can eat and not be in public view, or at least there are in the hospital that I work in.

I don't think nurses should be eating in clinical areas and I think eating in front of patients that are nil by mouth or who have not been sufficiently fed following surgery is inconsiderate at best.

aftermay Mon 15-Jul-13 11:15:54

Give it a break. You've spun this Kettlegate enough.

PatsyAndEddy Mon 15-Jul-13 10:36:33

TimeofChange please, do elaborate.

TimeofChange Mon 15-Jul-13 07:31:56

Where have I demonstrated my failure to understand the points made?
With every reply that you have made.

'Married' read the replies written by nurses and became quite incensed on their behalf.
She was not afraid to change her view with the evidence presented.
Although earlier I said I had lost all repect for her, I now have great respect for her as she had the grace to admit her views were not balanced.

x2boys Mon 15-Jul-13 07:16:14

often I work 12 hr shifts and cant get a break I,m entitled to an hour on a long day but sometimes theres no cover how else could I eat if not on the ward?

PatsyAndEddy Mon 15-Jul-13 07:08:16

Where have I demonstrated my failure to understand the points made?

TimeofChange Mon 15-Jul-13 06:53:07

OP: Your failure to understand the points made is worrying.

Your self belief is quite astonishing.

You must be a nightmare to work with.

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