One day last week, I worked on the floor without a CNA or a secretary. I have an appreciation for every body who works in the hospital.
If one part is missing every one feels it.
I was so busy that day, I didn’t get to get a lunch break. Only 2 of the 4 nurses got a lunch break. The other nurse that didn’t get a lunch break told me that she wasn’t going to tell the manager that she didn’t get a lunch break. She said that she learned a long time ago that doing that too often would lead to trouble.
I thought back to my first hospital job. This was the first job that I got after coming out of RN school. This hospital didn’t have computer charting. Most everything was still on paper charting. I had 6 or 7 patients a day. Most of the time I didn’t start charting until after my shift was over. I was leaving work at 9 or 10 pm. Most of the time I would leave and there would still be another day shift nurse charting.
When I became charge nurse the job got even harder. I still had to take 6 or 7 patients and then do the charge nurse duties. Most of the time, I didn’t get a lunch break. When I clocked out I would say that I didn’t get my lunch break. After about 5 times of clocking out that I didn’t get a lunch break, I was called into the office. The manager told me that I needed to work on my time management skills because I should be able to take a lunch break. Since I didn’t want to be called back into the office, I just stopped clocking out and saying that I didn’t get a lunch break. I still didn’t take a lunch break but I didn’t let management know. I felt like I would get into more trouble if I kept telling them I didn’t get a lunch break.
Working in healthcare is already hard and stressful at times.
Making the healthcare workers feel like they have to work 30 minutes for free is not ok. In the past, I felt bullied to lie and say I got a lunch break when I didn’t because I didn’t want to get into trouble. I would eat while I was charting at the nurses station. Now I don’t lie. I want the management to know that if you don’t supply the floor with a CNA or a secretary or enough nurses then they are making my job harder. When the schedule was made, management knew that on some of the days there would be no CNA or secretary on the floor.
I understand that sometimes there are call outs. This day, there were no call outs, there were just not enough workers scheduled for the day.
Now when the management looks at that day, they can say that every nurse except one nurse got a lunch break. They managed great without enough workers.
That day I felt so busy. The nurses came together and helped each other out thankfully.
One small step that we as healthcare workers can take is to stop lying to management. Tell the management when you don’t get to take a lunch break. Let them know that they might need to hire more workers.
Letting management know is not only helping the workers but it is helping the patients.
I appreciate every body that works in healthcare. When one part is missing it makes every bodies job harder.