This is called hitting the jackpot…when you rent a textbook and all the key points are highlighted and underlined. Makes reading through 400 pages on a Sunday afternoon a bit easier.
Shout out to Nina, Amber and all of the nurses that have taken care of our fellow comrades on the front lines. We are prayerful for a quick and complete recovery. This nation of nurses proudly stands with with you.
Another ugly truth about nursing. We don’t get our breaks.
I mean, we do, if all the planets align, meaning our patient load is well-balanced and no one decides to get really sick on our shift and we don’t get too many requests from docs and we don’t have to help out therapies, then we’ll get our breaks.
I had a couple brutal shifts last week. As a busy acute care nurse, I had three discharges, one admit, and I was running non-stop. When I got home I said to my wife, “I didn’t get my breaks today.” She asked me what I meant, that I didn’t get my breaks, and I told her that it was exactly as I said. I was working all day, and she said she was blown away that this can happen.
It’s not just that it can happen, it does happen. Those two brutal days that left me exhausted had moments where I sat down. I did manage to shove food in my mouth on both days, although one of those days I was charting. The food didn’t happen until I was absolutely starving. And when I was able to eat, it wasn’t because my work flow was appropriate and do-able. It’s because I could not go on and needed to sit for fifteen minutes while eating. Did my mind stray from my patients? Was I able to stop the immense pressure of the 20 tasks I still had outstanding? Was I able to take a break and not feel like taking some time then would not result in me being late getting off shift?
No. Not at all. Does any of that sound like a break?
Rested, alert, unstressed nurses are essential for patient safety. Who do you want at your bedside? Someone who had the luxury of spending thirty minutes eating lunch, checking email, chatting with her coworkers about the latest Ebola news (ha, and you thought I wouldn’t bring it up again) or do you want someone who at 1500 managed to choked down whatever the cafeteria was offering while staring into space, feet hurting, dreading the fact that she has to get up way before she wants to. Who is going to do the absolute best job? Who is going to keep you the safest?
There’s a reason breaks are important and that nurses around the country are working towards legislation that ensure that we get what is our right. There’s a reason why the administrations of our hospitals don’t make us getting adequate breaks a priority. In the end, it costs money to provide break nurses and making sure nurses get adequate breaks means we’re not working for that entire 12 hour shift, and it’s to the benefit of the bottom line to work us to the bone.
Breaks are important. It might seem silly if you have a desk job where you have the freedom to be able to stand up and take your break at any point. Nurses aren’t free to do that so we need to create systems and provide staff that make sure our breaks happen.Re blog and tell me if you get your breaks.
Before you make any decision with your life, ask yourself one question..
"Would I want to have to explain this to an ER nurse?"
That getting in is the easy part.
There’s your daily dose of perspective.
Some weeks in nursing school are like days on the unit in the hospital…everything is calm and you can breathe but you just know that there’s a sh*t storm on it’s way.
This about sums up nursing school.