Certified Nursing Assistants - The Nurses think we have it so easy.

  1. 3
    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

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  2. 69 Comments...

  3. 41
    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
  4. 3
    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 Nurse2b209 on Jul 14, '12
  5. 5
    I'm an RN and I worked as an aide prior to working as an RN. I worked at an assisted living that really was more like a nursing home and I was one to twenty. I had twenty people to assist with HS cares, to get into bed, get to and from meals, accu checks, showers, walks and whatever else needed to be done. I appreciate the CNA's I work with because I've been there, I know how badly it can suck but, I agree you can't compare the two professions they are different skill sets. Also, as far as physical work goes remember that it differs between facilities. I really am sorry that you have had experience with nurses who don't appreciate you but, that is the nature of the beast. No matter what profession you are a part of there will be someone who doesn't appreciate you or think you work as hard as they do. It always made me angry when a nurse would call me in to do something that they very easily could have done themselves and I vowed to never be like that.
  6. 15
    I'm sorry your unit culture is such that you feel the need to post something like this. I can assure you it isn't always that way. Good nurses appreciate good CNAs. The comparison game is an exercise in futility. They aren't the same job, and unless you've done both you really don't know.
  7. 8
    I have also worked as a cna before I was a nurse. You are comparing apples to oranges. I agree with previous posters, If you havent done both, you just dont know.
    KimberlyRN89, JZ_RN, pseudomonas, and 5 others like this.
  8. 14
    It sounds like there is some misunderstanding on both sides. RN's in LTC are one of the the most overworked, understaffed specialties in nursing. The short list of tasks that you provided is by no means representative of the large number of responsibilities that a LTC nurse must perform on a daily basis.

    I'm sorry that you feel under appreciated. I think that CNAs are invaluable to nursing homes and it's unfortunate that our feel the nurses at your facility don't respect that. However, it's clear that you are also not understanding the RN's numerous roles at your facility, or giving them the appreciation they deserve.
  9. 23
    I am a RN who also worked as a CNA at the nursing home before.
    Your post and all your statistics and percentages of the workload you made up just made me smile.
    You don't know what you don't know. Don't make up any statistics like that about 2 different jobs unless you have done them both and have a good grip of both of them. It looks so ignorant. Sorry.
    MedChica, psu_213, mstearns09, and 20 others like this.
  10. 38
    There are a ton of nurses who know first hand what it's like to be a CNA. There are zero CNAs who know first hand what it's like to be a nurse.
    MedChica, mama_d, turnforthenurseRN, and 35 others like this.
  11. 7
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    There are a ton of nurses who know first hand what it's like to be a CNA. There are zero CNAs who know first hand what it's like to be a nurse.
    My thoughts exactly! When the **** hits the fan, guess who ends up having to do both? I agree with the others, your comments, OP, are premature. Don't judge until you have earned an RN license!

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