Friday, March 30, 2007

A quick poll:

Hypothetical situation:

If an employee at your hospital, not a nurse, but a patient care aide or a lab tech or a radiology tech, fell asleep on the night shift and slept through most of that shift, would he still have a job 24 hours later?


Anonymous said...

on a scheduled shift such as 2300-0730, no.
on an on-site on-call shift like the weekend awful fri 2300-0600 then sat 1400-0730 then sun 1400-0730, yes [one slept with the beeper and next to a phone].
on a special, e.g. called in off hours to do an hla typing for a transplant, we expected the tech would cat nap (and provided a cot) then respond to alarms to perform the next required steps.
our computer operations staff rotated through every third weekend a fri 2200 to sat 1000 then sat 2200 to sun 1000 then sun 2200 to mon 0600 rotation and frequently signed out to on-call snooze.
the keys to whether one would be out pounding the street are the expectations and duties v. the ability of someone in need to find the person responsible and their ability to respond. a call for type / cross blood at 0200 met competently by the on-call tech v. losing track of someone who is supposed to be covering a shift and is covering a sheet instead. djs

Anonymous said...

yeah, because he/she would have been awakened instead of being left in peace to rest :)


Anonymous said...

I don't know about a tech, but I've seen a nurse get away with it repeatedly in my ED. Pissed me off.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a nurse, nor do I play one on TV, but...we had an office worker fall asleep at her desk. The Vice President of Finance walked by, shook her and very excitedly said, "Wake up! Wake up! You have to go home RIGHT NOW!"

Sleeping Beauty, shocked out of her socks, yelled back, "WHY????"

VP said, "Because you're fired!"

Not nice to laugh at the unemployed, but it really was funnier than hell.

-Friend Pens

woolywoman said...

Unfortunately, yes they would. I don't know why.

Working Girl said...

unfortunately, yes

Judy said...

I work night shift. I have one co-worker who doesn't get nearly enough sleep and tends to nod off if she sits down. I deal with it by making coffee when her eyelids start getting heavy and making sure she doesn't get much chance to sit.

Bottom line, if you nod off in a patient care area, let alone sleeping through most of the shift, and the supervisor comes through, you will probably find yourself summarily dismissed. OTOH, one of our nursing supervisors told me she's far less likely to do that for anyone who's not habitual since she woke up in an employee lounge one night.

My opinion: If it happens once and no patient was compromised AND it wasn't intentional, the person might still have a job. If it happens twice - toast. They need a day shift job.

Unknown said...

Someone I work with in a residential home got caught sleeping on the job, and they were suspended - as it stands I have no idea whether they have gone back to work as I am on Maternity leave, but I doubt it!

Anonymous said...

I guess none of you have seen the recent research that indicates improved performance among MDs and RNs who take a nap mid-shift when working nights.
If I have a co-worker who needs to shut her eyes for twenty minutes, I dont mind watching her patients for her. Half the time we don't even get a 15 minute break on my unit (a Neuro ICU), so if she has the time and chooses to spend it sleeping, I dont see a problem there. Maybe it's just me, but Nurses arent super-human and working shifts can f up your sleep-wake cycle pretty well. Id rather work with a rested nurse than a martyr any day.

Jo said...

Anon, if somebody needs twenty minutes, for whatever reason, I'll happily watch patients for them. But sleeping ten hours out of a twelve hour shift? That's some major napping.