Let me start off by saying that a Certified Nurses Aide (CNA) are the backbones of every Nursing home. Without our assistance, the Nurses job would be way more difficult than it is. Apparently CNA's have it so easy and our job is 100% stress free according to some Nurses that I work with. If our job is so easy then why are we in such high demand? Also if that were to be true, then why can't the Nurses (RN and LPN) handle their work plus ours in a 12 hour shift?
Responsibilities of a CNA;
1. Get residents dressed for the day.
2. Shower and or bathe residents.
3. Toilet residents.
4. Assist residents with eating if applicable.
5. Assist residents with Physical Therapy needs such as restorative walking or passive range of motion.
6. Provide emotional support to residents and residents family members.
7. Answer each and every call light as soon as it is noticed and accomodate resident with their requests.
Although the responsibilities of a CNA versus a Nurse differ vastly, and the nurses resposibilities listed look noticeably longer - a CNA encounters much more physical and mental stress in an eight hour work day than a nurse does in a twelve hour day.
Nurses want to *****, moan, and complain about how they have it so hard. To be quite honest, a nurse in a nursing home setting mostly does the following;
1. Pass medications when a QMA (Qualified Medications Aide) is not on staff for that shift. 5% physical work*
2. Residents treatments (ex: wound dressing changes) 10% physical work**
3. Check blood sugars (when a QMA is not on staff for the shift) 2% physical work*
4. Deliver insulins. 1% physical work
5. Resident charting. (medications, behaviors, vital signs, etc.) NO PHYSICAL WORK REQUIRED
6. Resident assesments. NO PHYSICAL WORK REQUIRED
For the most part, the above list is about all a Nurse has to do in a nursing home setting. The CNA has to lift heavy people in and out of bed, on and off the toilet, up and down out of a wheelchair...and get around 11 or more residents ready for bed each day. We only have eight hours to take care of 11+ people and have to provide accurate care following every step correctly according to nursing guidelines with no leway whatsoever at all.
I'm sorry but our job definitely involves way MORE physical and mentally stressful work than a nurses does, and whoever disagrees with me, so be it. I know first hand.
*Estimated percentage of physical work
**Estimated percentage with the assistance of a CNA or QMA
Jul 14, '12
by aboucherrn, RN
I am an RN. I was a CNA before I was an RN. I appreciate every single CNA I work with, because I know how hard you work. The two roles really cannot be compared, though. When the **** hits the fan, it's the RN who is ultimately responsible for notifying the doctor, family, etc... and that is incredibly stressful. When it looks like we are sitting around not helping witht he 'physical work' you describe, we are usually studying the charts to learn more about the patients just in case something should happen. It really is all about teamwork and communication and doing what is necessary to care for the patients. Some days I miss being able to say "I will tell your RN", like I could when I was a CNA. Until you have experienced the role of an RN, please do not try to compare who works harder.
Last edit by aboucherrn on Jul 14, '12
: Reason: addition
Yea, it's true you can't compare a CNAs job to an RN, they work hard in their own right. I've been a CNA since 2008 and started working in LTC. Some, but not all of the nurses thought that. They had this ”Oh you're just a CNA!” Attitude. There was a time where I watched a nurse walk right past a call light, go to the nurses station and page a CNA to that room. Come to find out the resident just wanted his table pushed toward him so he could pour his water!!! Some nurses act like it'll kill them to assist their CNAs but I have met some great nurses too. I now work as a CNA in a psych facility and our nurses are nice and helpful for the most part. Of course when they are counting meds or doing med pass they aren't to be bothered which is understandable. I'm starting the BSN program next month and when I do graduate and become a nurse I am going to respect my CNAs because I know what it's like to be one. I'm not going to be afraid to get my hands dirty. If people only knew the things that we go through. I love my job though and the experience I've gained because it'll only benefit me in nursing school and my future.
Last edit by Cali_Nurse_209 on Jul 14, '12