Hey everyone. Thanks for reading... I REALLY need help/advice. Please read!
I'm a nursing student, BSN Junior. I got my CNA (STNA in Ohio) recently and found a job pretty soon after. The pay isn't bad since I don't have much experience ($10.50/hour) which is MUCH better than the minimum wage I was used to..
I have been at the job for about 3 weeks now....
But okay, hear me out. The place that I work at is crazy. They are so short staffed that I usually have an entire hall or close to it all by myself. (Which is about 10-15 residents.) I am a BRAND NEW CNA and am still trying to master time management etc, and well I'm always behind because I'm still trying to master my skills and everything (because real life and classes are totally different, as we all know..)but it's even worse when there's no one to help me. I struggle to get everything done. I've already had a resident fall on me because I was assigned to answer call lights one shift, and a woman asked me to take her to the bathroom and told me she could stand up.... she did, but she fell because she was a 2 person assist and NO ONE told me that.
Another woman also got hurt last night because she was a hoyer, but the girl that gave me orientation told me that everyone lifts her themselves because she's very light and so I did that, and my arms couldn't hold her up and she slipped. No real injuries but a scraped leg, but it was HORRIFYING. Before this happened, I literally walked around the nursing home for about 15 mins trying to find another aide to help me lift her.
It was awful.
The nurses are very uncompassionate. They do hardly any patient care, and as a nursing student I find this quite disturbing. They do med pass, some wound changes and then literally sit at the nurses station and eat/chart. The other day, a resident with c.diff that I was taking to the bathroom was screaming for the nurse, and so I went and got her. When i did, the nurse came in, asked what was wrong, and when she realized what it was, just gave me a look of disgust and then left. I was horrified! How could she not care? Did she think this work was beyond her? I couldn't give her medications, I couldn't help her in any way as I am not yet a nurse! What was I supposed to do? Let her yell and suffer so I don't bother the nurse?!
Another night, as I was getting ready to finish my charting, a resident started shouting HELP! HELP!
I looked over at the nurses station and there was about 4 nurses (LPNs and maybe 1 RN) that literally just ignored her. This shocked me too. Was it not their job to help them? I don't know.
I find myself running around the entire shift, usually without taking my breaks, trying to get everything done, and putting the residents in danger because there aren't enough staff. I do the work of 2-3 people usually, and I know that many CNA's do this but I am new at it as it is and so it's even more overwhelming for me.
I'm always behind. I hardly even get things done that I should, because I'm literally running around the entire shift answering call lights, changing people, tending to their needs, giving showers, giving them snacks, getting them up for dinner etc, and then doing the same for another person's worth of residents.
I'm frustrated, depressed, confused and shocked that this is what this place is like. What is crazy is that this nursing home is considered one of the "best" in Cincinnati, so I can only imagine what other ones are like?
I can't lie, I really really want to keep this job, as I need the money and the health care experience desperately. But I'm scared that I'm going to end up really hurting someone and getting sued because I don't have anyone to help me. WHAT should I do? Please please help me. I'm so confused. I feel helpless.
I can honestly say in all sincerity that I try my BEST to do a good job and to show the residents care and compassion while taking care of them, but I seem like one of the only ones. It's just depressing to me, and most of all I really need to know if this is NORMAL. Because if it is, I don't know if it's for me. I don't like being scared that I'll hurt someone and seeing the nurses act like they literally do not care about anyone and are just there for the paycheck. I hate feeling like I can't take care of my residents because I'm too busy trying to pick up the work of another person who is floating to 2 other halls.
What should I do? What would YOU do? Do you have any advice/insight as to what it was like for you as a new CNA? Were you slower than everyone else, making mistakes? I'd like to think that I'm a hard worker and I try my best.... but I'm truly at my wits end
Edit: For those that work in LTC, especially the nurses, please do not tell me that I am being disrespectful or calling them lazy! I was explaining my observations, and I realize that not all nurses act like this, but rather I was referring specifically to the ones in this particular facility. I am, after all in nursing school