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Old October 10, 2018, 00:04   #34
medicmike's Avatar
FALaholic #: 3183
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Florence, OR
Posts: 6,173
Originally Posted by gunplumber View Post
Edited: 30 minute break on a 12 hour shift is bullshit. Your mental acuity takes a nose-dive after 10 hours. You have a shit contract. I wouldn't want a nurse reading my chart after pulling a double either! OTR truckers have a limit on how many hours they can drive for a reason!
A bit OT but in the real world.

Wife has been in nursing for almost 30 years. Pretty standard is two 15 minute breaks and a 30 minute lunch break in a 12 hour shift, I don't know of anyone at the bedside that gets better than that. Usually one, sometimes two, or rarely, all three breaks aren't taken (or allowed) as they are short staffed with no staff to cover breaks. Happens all the time in the ER...happened all the time when she was working in the ICU. It isn't right but it is reality. Contracts say skipped breaks get compensated but usually the hospital refuses to pay ("sue us").

In EMS it was not uncommon to run 16 or 18 calls in a 12 hour shift. This leaves no time for a break and shifts routinely got extended to 16 hours or more. I recall working a "recalled" for another 24 as I was punching out, told the supervisor that I had been up for 24 with no downtime "don't care". No real downtime, at the tail end of the 48 I was returning to the station....fell asleep at a stoplight....woke with my partner shaking me and asking "how long have you been asleep??". Told him "I dunno...light was red when I's red now...10 seconds...10 ******* clue" glad my foot stayed on the brake. I reported it to management, CEO's response was "Don't tell me this shit, I don't want to know, I didn't hear a goddamn thing and I will swear to that in court" He then threatened to discipline me for reporting to work unprepared...I got a similar response from my union rep (we were Teamsters).

Emergency services folks are getting worked to death (sometimes literally, I know a few that the job killed). Yes there are guaranteed breaks in contracts (we didn't have any on the ambulance and medical people are generally exempt from state labor laws concerning breaks and downtime)....where the rubber hits the road..contracts don't mean crap.

On the flip side...when people need help...they need help and it doesn't matter how beat you just do the best you can when you are needed.

This shit got much worse after the Unaffordable Care Act was passed.

Just something to think about next time one has to pick up the phone and dial 911 or report to the ER.....or spend some time in a hospital bed on the floor.

It ain't health, and it ain't care...
"Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here." Captain John Parker at Lexington Green

“The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.”
― G.K. Chesterton, The Ballad of the White Horse
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