How to make or break your nursing career over lunch

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You’d think it would be easy. At lunchtime you get hungry, so you grab some food from the hospital cafeteriaand go on with your shift. However, lunch at the hospital is rarely that simple. What you eat, where you eat and whom you eat with are all things your coworkers are paying attention to.

This doesn’t mean every lunch has to be a pressure-packed situation, but remember that one misstep can mean the difference between enjoying a beneficial bonding experience and becoming the hospital outcast. Pay attention to these potential problem areas and learn how to handle lunch like a pro.

Who to Eat With?

Some people feel lost without someone else to eat lunch with, and some people would rather make lunch a solo affair. Both people have a place in today’s workplace, but it’s best not to be inflexible. Getting upset at a regular lunch partner for making other plans will make you look immature or clingy. On the other hand, turning down every invitation from fellow nurses to go out for a quick bite could possibly lead to a reputation as unfriendly or stuck up.

Group situations can be even trickier. You may accidentally leave someone out of your lunch group, or feel rejected when others plan an outing without you.

So what’s the key to handling these social dilemmas? Take the emotion out of it. After all, it’s just a meal that you’ll repeat again the next day, and every other one after that.

Where to Eat?

Again, tread lightly. If it’s a special event and everyone already agreed to go to a certain place for lunch, it’s best to grin and bear it. Don’t ditch everyone just because you couldn’t face the day without your favorite soup from the corner deli.

Most of the time, however, you should be able to eat wherever you want. If you have a lunch pal who never wants to compromise on where to go (or worse, wants to go to the same place day after day), you should politely let them know that you’d like to change things up. If they don’t agree, maybe it’s time to choose a new lunch buddy!

If you can, make an effort to grab a bite outside the hospital cafeteria. A change of scenery does wonders!

Mind your manners! –>

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5 Responses to How to make or break your nursing career over lunch

  1. lisa

    Where is this mythical place that co-workers “go out” for a bite to eat? We’re lucky to have 5 minutes to cram a sandwich and even luckier if you arent deciding whether you want to pee or eat the worst cause you cant have both. ):

  2. Laurie Szabo RN-BC

    This is the most ridiculous story i have ever read as relating to an adult career…that is the best you could write about relating to the career of nursing???

  3. Jen

    I find it very difficult for one to ruin their nursing career over one’s “meal habits”. I prefer to eat alone because when I am working with my patients I am constantly moving. My break time is for me. Also, I agree with the above comment by Lisa, it is hard to even fit in a suitable lunch break at times let alone deciding on with who or where ur gonna eat at.

  4. Rachel McCarthy

    Out for lunch?? As someone else already wrote it is often a choice of going to the bathroom or 5 minutes to grab a sandwich. If I get a sandwich I usually have to eat it while doing some paper/computer work.

  5. Sarah

    Hahaha is this article a joke?
    Going out to eat during your shift?
    The author of this article is most definitely not a nurse. A positive thinking idealist for sure. But not a nurse.
    I stand up eating my food while entering stat orders into the computer or getting report from the E.D. on new admits… and I only bring food to work that I can eat with one hand.
    Not because I like it that way.