Friday, September 16, 2005

Give Me A Break! Please?

Now this is interesting. Apparently Coca-Cola had an entire advertising campaign that focused on nurses. The writing reinforces the "goodness" and "wholesomeness" of Coke! Back then a sugar jolt, an overdose of caffeine and artificial caramel coloring were good for you! Some things never change! (Looks like that nurse on the left is trying to blow a tune over the top of the bottle. A break, a bottle of Coke AND entertainment! What a gal!)

But what is wrong with this picture? These nurses are on what is called a "break". In fact, there are three nurses on a break at the same time, indicating they must have a census of zero on their unit. I realize that those of you who are nurses may not understand the term, "break". A "break" is when you can leave the floor, take 10 or 15 minutes to sit with a beverage, put your feet up and re-energize before returning to patient care. The purpose is to help "care for the caregiver" and allow you to "take care of yourself" so that you do not become exhausted by the intensity of your labors. Breaks are separate and distinct from your meal period by the fact that you do not have to "punch out" on the timeclock. You are actually paid for these rest periods. These are so important that here in California, workers have a legal right to these relaxation respites. What a novel concept!

If you work on a unit that works breaks into your shift, drop to your knees and thank your personal Higher Power. For 99.9% of the rest of us, we have a few options. We can:

  • Go tell your Charge Nurse that you will be taking your legally scheduled break, give a brief, succinct report on the status of your patients and retire to the breakroom. Be sure to take a full 15 minutes to allow the jaw of the Charge Nurse to be lifted off the floor.
  • Inbetween medications, blood draws, treatments, call bells and doctor's visits, run to the bathroom and lock yourself in a stall. Even if you don't have to go. Open the "People" magazine you hid under the trash can and read the latest story on Britney Spears. If you hear someone waiting for the bathroom, make noise so they know it is occupied. They will leave the area. It is possible to read one "People" magazine article before anyone will get suspicious and come looking for you. Avoid "Time" or "Newsweek" as these articles are more time intenstive.
  • Develop a "sudden" severe episode of hypoglycemia. You need not be a diabetic to use this tactic. Your colleagues will encourage you to imbibe some orange juice and thus will not begrudge the 10 minutes it takes for your blood sugar to equalize as you are "recovering" in the kitchenette.
  • Remember that you left your ID/stethoscope/favorite pen/lunch/People magazine in your car and you must go get it. When in the car, turn on a classic rock station. You can remain in your car for the length of time it takes to hear one Motown single before you need to return to avoid suspicion. Be sure to return with something in your hand.
This all reminds me of a quote from "Cherry Ames, Student Nurse" when an instructor tells Cherry that "nurses never stand when they can sit and never sit when they can lie down"!

Speaking of Coke, take a look at this cutie I found when googling the Coke ads. Where has she been all my life? I tried to see if Pepsi had a similar ad campaign using nurses but I found only a few ads using nurses' aides. This was quite disappointing considering that I would take Diet Pepsi IV if it was available in an intravenous form!

Did anyone notice the new "photo" in the profile section? This was from a "make yourself a Lego person" site. This looks so much like me it is almost insulting. I was able to add a cape which was totally cool. Lego-Me is holding a cup of coffee and a book. Coffee to keep me awake and a book to read up on infectious diseases. Yeah, right. It's actually the People magazine I hide under the trash can in the bathroom.....for other people to use, of course!

Now I'm off to find out how to get a doll like "Cokey, RN" here.....


At 9/16/2005 08:48:00 AM, Blogger I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

You're a new favorite of mine!

Great post...I'm picking up all kinds of helpful tips and wisdom...


At 9/16/2005 10:43:00 AM, Anonymous D Bunny said...

On a very happy day, I have time to drop $4.50 at Starbucks and come in with a coffee (second shifter here). Did you know the pumpkin spice lattes are out? YUM!

On most days, Diet Pepsi gets me through.

At 9/16/2005 03:07:00 PM, Blogger kenju said...

We part company on Pepsi; I think it tastes like perfume. My best friend drinks it - but I am a Coke gal (when I am not nursing a black coffee).

At 9/16/2005 07:39:00 PM, Anonymous Susan said...

"Break?" What is this "break" thing you speak of? Never heard of such a thing. ;>

At 9/19/2005 09:21:00 AM, Blogger McSwain said...

This is very funny! And didn't coke actually have cocaine in it at some point? Was it present when these nurses were embibing?? Hah! -Milliner's Dream sent me over, BTW.

At 9/19/2005 01:28:00 PM, Blogger Kim said...

Welcome! Milliner's blog is great!


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