CNA rant....why did I become a CNA

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    CNA stands for Certified Nursing Assistant. When you hear the title you immediately think assist nurses and work besides nurses. You search career info on the web you will find a happy person in scrubs with a chart in there hand and stethoscope around there neck. It's truly misleading. It sucks people in. It sucked me in. I knew I wanted to be an LPN, but everyone told me that it's hard I wouldn't be able to handle the dirty work. Be a CNA first they said. And I regret every minute of not going straight to nursing school. CNA has put me a year behind and at a job I hate. The other day I was working with a 67 year old CNA. That tore it for me that was it. I enrolled in nursing school. I start May 24th. All CNAs do is take care of people that's it. And that means change diapers, dress nasty mean people, (some not all) every day every day it's the same thing. No respect no thank yous, you do this on 30 plus patients daily treated like crap, at my facility we are not even allowed to step foot behind the nurses station, I swear to you the Wardclerks and Dietary get 100 percent more respect than we do and they have no certifications. I am finally to the point wear I absolutely hate it. But I do think I will like being an LTC Nurse. And defininnlyy a nurse who understands frustration of my aides. But unless you think you can handle changing dirty diapers, bathing, feeding, 40 plus people a day do not become a CNA. Go straight for Nurse. Yes it's true that in some cases with the absence of CNAs nurses will have to do this. And I don't mind doing this, it's just I mind this being the only thing I do day after day for 40 plus years. All for about 900 dollars a month. Be aware Certified Nurses Assistant does not equal assisting nurses with there tasks, it equals personal care worker who does nothing but provide personal care to people. Be warned. Work is necessary but no one in there right mind wants to do it for more than 5-10 years. And it's only gonna get worse as facilities cut and fit and cut.
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  3. 22 Comments so far...

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    Personally, I never minded the "dirty" aspect of CNA work -- I actually enjoy the feeding and bathing, and while changing dirty diapers isn't the most pleasant task, it is a very important one. I try to view it from the perspective of the patient, how humiliated and embarrassed they must feel. Our work helps increase the patient's dignity and comfort and prevents bedsores, skin breakdown, infection etc.

    What I did mind, however, was the heavy workload, ridiculous staff-patient ratios, hostile and unhelpful co-workers, and overall stressful and hectic work environment. Working as a CNA in LTC really is a very hard job. However, I've since found a job I like a lot better, taking care of three residents with Alzheimer's in a group home. I hope this one works out because I really enjoy CNA work, just not the ridiculous workload and stress that comes with the typical nursing home.

    Also, most (though not all) residents were sweet and appreciative. Even the more difficult ones I still had empathy for because I think, if I was in their situation, unable to do anything for myself and dependent on another for my most basic needs, I might be a little bitter too. It was really the hateful and mean co-workers that got to me more than any of the residents. At least the residents had an excuse.
    1feistymama likes this.
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    I had a bad day at work I'm just sick of the no pay overworked no respect deal. My facility actually has a position open for transport bus driver I'm thinking about getting my chauffeurs license and taking it. Monday-Friday 7-3 pays a whole lot more.
    1feistymama likes this.
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    I do think you have a good point about the lack of respect CNAs receive, though. Given the amount of work they do, the way they're treated in return is pretty appalling. When I first started as a CNA, I was routinely badmouthed, talked down to, given dirty looks, even screamed at, cussed out and accused. It's sad that I received more respect serving people greasy fatty food at my fast food job than caring for our elderly population.

    I wish that CNAs received more recognition for the hard work they do day in and day out. When you think about it, it is really a wonderful and invaluable service we are performing for society. We are taking care of people's loved ones, people that are helpless and can't take care of themselves. People that worked hard and contributed to society their whole lives only to wind up sick and infirm. If it weren't for us, these poor souls would deteriorate and die.
    1feistymama likes this.
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    Your exactly right. But In LTC they expect us to get 17 people up from 6am-7am and they expect us to do it well. That leaves us 3.5 minutes a resident. So guess what, teeth are not getting brushed, faces are not getting washed, we find the best clothes that are easy to put on and sling them in there chair. That's all we can do. It's sad but it continues to get worse and worse. It's not that we don't have hearts are we are abussive, we simply so the best we can with what we got.
    TurtleCat likes this.
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    Quote from downsouthlaff
    . Be aware Certified Nurses Assistant does not equal assisting nurses with there tasks, it equals personal care worker who does nothing but provide personal care to people. Be warned. Work is necessary but no one in there right mind wants to do it for more than 5-10 years. And it's only gonna get worse as facilities cut and fit and cut.
    Um when you took your classes what part of nursing did you think you were going to help out in? Hang an IV or Give out Meds? No you are doing all the things that you were trained to do. In your training you were showed how to feed a patient, drain bags, brush teeth and dentures, dressing. So why does it seem like you are so surprised of what our job is and it seems like you think that as if CNA classes are misguiding you into what your job would intale. And I do not think you should act so high and mighty and put down those that do want to do this job for 20 years. maybe they have a heart of Gold and know that these people need help with the simplest things you and I take for granted everyday, and know that someday that might be them, and they would like to be treated with respect and dignity.
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    I don't feel miss lead by the part of nursing, but in my training they didn't tell me I would have to work on a hall with 40 plus residents 30 of them being total care, I truly respect the ones who do it for 30 plus years at the salaries this job offers. But I have yet to meet one person who has done this for 20-30 years because they wanted to.

    A. They either could not afford nursing school so ther never went.
    B. they never got there high school diploma and they truly regret it.

    CNAs are Angels. They truly are. It takes a special person to wipe people's buts, get hit by them, put there clothes on for them, get best up get cursed out day after day year after year. For 8 dollars an hour. And seeing what people become in old age and how poor that quality of life is. To have to give up everything you own a pay alot of money for very poor quality of life.
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    40 residents to one CNA is too much. :/ No wonder you are feeling so stressed. I empathize with you because when I first started working as a CNA in LTC, many days I thought "What was I THINKING?!"

    Have you thought about trying to find a CNA job in a different work environment, like home health, for example? I find the work to be a lot more enjoyable and less stressful when you don't have such an unreasonable workload as in LTC. It bothered me too how often I felt like I couldn't even give the care these residents deserved because I was so overworked. A lot of times it'd be like, I'd go in their rooms, wipe their butt, and that was it. That was sad to me, because these are the last years of their lives: they deserve better than that. That's why I like my new job a lot more. I can actually spend time with the residents, paint their nails, watch TV with them, talk with them etc... In my opinion, that's the way it should be. Not the assembly line-feel of a nursing home.
    1feistymama and downsouthlaff like this.
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    Ok I did not see at first that you said you had a hard day. am sorry about that I do give you a ((((Big Hug))))
    You are right that the classes do not prepare us for how hard you will be working. But you also have to remember you will be working your butt off as a nurse too. Just a different kind of stress. I hear from nurses in LTC that one of the big things is that they have to have med passes done by a certain time. As a CNA you might be needing to get 40 patients to breakfast in an hour, but the nurses have to passes meds to 40 patients in an hour or two. Same kind of stress really, and as a nurse you are going to be hit spat on extra just like you are having now.
    1feistymama and downsouthlaff like this.
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    I guess your right, and what discourages me even more is that I have nurse tell me that they don't have time to be the nurses they should be either because of the workload in LTC, they tell me they don't have time to connect with the residents they see them as a pill to give and got to get a move on. Just too much to deal with. I guess that's why LTC Nurse burnout rates are so high. Maybe I should reevaluate my decisions


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