While I still believe nursing is the greatest profession, I also think we are doomed. Not our profession, necessarily, but we nurses as individuals.
Do you remember the article that discussed the negative health effects of not getting enough sleep? Well, it seems another article has found yet another sign of our ill-fated futures: Lunch Breaks: Do They Do a Body Good?
Apparently, taking a lunch break is good for you?! Who would have thought? (Can you sense the hint of sarcasm?)
The article touched on the ideas that our society is too busy and that we might be all a little too “connected” via our social media outlets. One of my favorite parts of the article talked about the psychological lunch break denial. We are trained to think taking a lunch is not only nonproductive, but quite possibly is counterproductive. That there is just too much work to be done, so if you actually take a REAL lunch break, it may be frowned upon by your coworkers or maybe even your supervisor.
Does any of this sound familiar?
(So far, I think the only thing we have going for us is our coffee fixation: Coffee Drinkers May Live Longer.)
I’m guilty of all the above and then some. In my short career as a nurse, there was only one job I held that actually made you take a full lunch. The traditional “get off the unit and walk off the floor” type of lunch. A meal where you are not looking at monitors, answering phones, answering call bells, charting or passing meds. (Yes people, I’m here to tell you meal breaks DO exist out there.)
I am just like all my fellow coworkers (and current readers). I feel if I take a lunch break and actually walk away from the unit, I’m abandoning my coworkers, I’m leaving someone high and dry, or I’m going to be so far behind when I get back that it’s just not worth it.
I guess the real question we have to start asking ourselves is: What’s worth more to us, the duties of that day or our overall health?
I, for one, think taking even a 10-minute break away from all the noise is worth its weight in gold. I guess I really need to start striving for that piece of gold if I want to keep doing this job.