Console me or Slap me back into reality!!!

  1. Hi Everyone, (please excuse spelling just for today)!

    I am a new CNA, no health care backgroud. I was thrilled to accept a postion at a local LTC facility. Today was my eleventh day on the floor by myself.

    My question is this, I think that I was treated poorly by the other staff, am I being a big baby or did they set me up for failure. (even though I did all my work, but I left in tears).

    I was called last week by my scheduling supervisor to ask me to work doubles on Saturday and Sunday. My regular shift is 3-11, I accepted the double shift, so now I was in for 3pm to 7 am. Sat to sun , and repeat 3pm to 7 am on sun to mon. I accepted, my facility needs me and I am there for them (even thought I only have 11 days I all ready feel part of the "family").

    Well I did my regular shift, during which I started running a fever, and was given tyelenol, and told to keep plugging along which I did. Joyfully and with a smile on my face. When the night crew came in I approached the charge nurse and stated that "Mrs. X who hired me told me I was to be on the same section for 90 days, I hope you were planning to keep me in the same section".

    She responded, " Well that is only when it's your regular shift, not if you are working a double". Later she told me that I would get my section. When the rest of the crew came in "her regulars", one girl pitched a fit, and they moved me from the section to another.

    I was put in what is known as the most difficult section of our wing. I have NEVER even met these patients (except at dinner), I have never worked this shift, I did not know their routiene, and I was pulling a double (two days in a row). I don't know who has what in their nursing orders, etc, who can stand, sit, what briefs, who has teeth, etc.

    Well as the night wore on the [EVIL]charge nurse [/EVIL]made it clear to me "That SHE is the boss at night, but if I can't find her that I could ask Mrs. X, another CNA and she would help me".

    Well it came time for my 15 minute break, (there are unscheduled), and I did not see Charge NURSE, so I asked CNA X if she would mind to cover the floor while I took my 15 minutes. She said sure.

    Well Charge NURSE came out to where I was taking my break and in front of two other employess reminded me that "I did not ask HER to take my break", and I told her I asked CNA X to cover the floor, and she repeated to me that "SHE is the ONLY AUTHORITY on the floor". So I jokingly bowed down to her, and she told me "DONT go down that road". I went inside.

    Well I did my job, the aboslute best that I could, I really tried hard. I gave my 120%, and at 7:00 when I went to Charge NURSE to tell her I was going home, she said "WELL this shift dosent end until 7:30" I looked at her and said. Listen, I was told until 7:00 and I am only staying until 7:00, if you want to fire me right now do it, because I can not stay one minute more, and I have to be back here at 3:00. I Left!!!

    As I was leaving two of the girls were by the back door and asked me what was wrong, and I told them CHARGE NUSE wanted me to stay until 7:30, they said that so and so leaves at 7:00 . And I told them that CHARGE NUSE has an Authority Complex, and that I will never work that shift again. And I told them they can tell her I said that!

    Well when I left I called the oncall nurse and told her that I had a problem with CHARGE NURSE and that I won't work with her on that shift. She says she will send me to a new wing tonight, but to still go in. I told her OK, but I will never accept this shift again, and if it cost me my job so be it.

    Am I just being a big baby???? I am crying over this nasty person, who seems to have no compassion, I know she has a hard job, and I am not a insubordante slacker, I only have 11 days on the floor.

    Are they expecting too much from me too soon? Or do I just need thicker skin.

    Please chime in on this one...... Thank you. (if something was unclear just let me know and I will try to clairfy).
    •  
  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   pepperann35
    Hello! Sounds like you are having a rough start! I am a night shift supervisor (LPN). CNA's are so badley needed that you may get shifted around to different assignments, especially when you are the "newbie." It can be scarey but if you have co-workers that will work with you and give you at least a verbal orientation when you are on a new section, it makes the job so much easier. You might try discussing your feelings with the DON and tell her excactly what you posted here. Maybe you can just stick to eve. shift for awhile until you feel more at ease in your new position and get to know the staff a little better. Nursing home CNA's (and nurses) tend to be a little clique-ish, but once you are seen as part of the team and make some friends, you will be part of "the clique" also. Also, is there a supportive management team in place or is it an environment that is hostile? If worse comes to worse, you can move on to another nursing home until you find the right working conditions for you. But, first try talking to the DON. Maybe there are other complaint about this nurse. Good luck!:spin:
  4. by   quisqueya
    I don't want to be a "pot stirrer", and I really need my job. I love the people I care for, and I don't want to let them down. When this nurse is on the night shift, the other nurses come to me before she gets in and "remind" me that CHARGE NURSE X will be in soon, make sure that there are no stray cups, or trays about, empty laundry bins, etc. before she gets in. No one seem to really like her much, but I went into this with an open mind. As far as management being supportive, no one has come over to me and told me that I am doing a good job, no one has saught me out to tell me do this or that a different way. Any feedback comes from mistakes, and I am told not to make them again. And I try not to.... But it would be nice to get a little pat on the back once in awhile, but this is not a perfect world and people are not in the buisness of giving positive reinforcement. Only negative reinforcement. So when I need a pat on my back I have to stretch my arm to give it to myself, and have "self-gratification" that I am doing my best, or job well done.

    So far I see staff being fairly unsupportive, but I would not know, since this is the first facility I have worked at. I have a background in education, and as a teacher I am into the "job well done" positive reinforcement. But I dont' think that happens out side of a classroom anywhere! Espically in LTC facitlites.
  5. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    I see a couple of things to point out. First, I admire your sense of "ownership." This is not just a job for you, and that's a good and important thing!

    Second, beware of what others will tell you about various staff there. They will not be around when you say or do something, based on what they told you, and it gets you in a bad way with that nurse or administrator. Treat people who "outrank" you with respect. Only argue if it is about a patient's safety. Everything else is not as important as keeping the job and keeping good working relationships.

    Perhaps when you were told to ask the other aide, it was intended to be questions about how to do patient care or some such thing. That's the only thing I can think of.

    Personally, I was amused by the "bow at the waist," but clearly the charge nurse wasn't. You now have a cue that suggests you be more direct in your humor, and perhaps save it for a time when you might feel she can appreciate it more.

    Lastlly, don't kill yourself over this job. Yes it is good to be available, and the overtime is nice, but your description suggests to me that by the end of that double you were pooped. And you had to come back at 3? No way, jose. Don't be afraid to set limits in a way that demonstrates your willingness and your value to the facility but still protects you. "I'd love to stay for the second shift today, but I'm concerned about how safe I will be for my next shift 7 hours later if I am over tired. May I trade one shift for the other, that might give you time to get someone to trade shifts with me so I can get enough rest."

    (Boy it's easier to coach this stuff than it is to do it in the real world, isn't it?!)

    Anyway, part consolation, part boost toward reality. You sound like a really good aide and a wonderful asset to your facility. Welcome to nursing!
  6. by   quisqueya
    Thank you that was great advice.

    Im off to my 3 to 7.
    Last edit by quisqueya on Apr 22, '07 : Reason: added, Im off to my 3 to 7
  7. by   llg
    Quote from chris_at_lucas_RN
    Anyway, part consolation, part boost toward reality. You sound like a really good aide and a wonderful asset to your facility. Welcome to nursing!
    I agree with Chris. My feedback is to give you a little consolation and a little slap back into reality. Yes, the Charge Nurse sounds very unpleasant to work with. Yes, you probably should have been allowed to stay in your same section if at all possible. (Maybe there were reasons you had to be switched you don't know about?) etc. However, it sounds as if you made a few errors in judgment, too.

    First of all (and perhaps most important), you set yourself up by agreeing to work 2 doubles over the weekend. No one can work that kind of schedule and still have the energy and freshness to cope with the hassles and frustrations of a new job, working with new people, etc.

    Second, once you are in a situation that is turning difficult, it's usually wisest to not aggravate matters by doing things like the "bowing down" and saying to your coworkers that you will never work that shift again, that the Charge Nurse has an authority complex, etc. Those types of actions will make it more difficult for you to "mend fences" with the people of the night shift and may you look like the one who is difficult to work with. Even if other people would like to support you (fairly likely) and/or the Charge Nurse would like to improve her relationship with you (less likely, but possible) your behavior has made it more difficult to do so. You have made yourself look like someone who shoots her mouth off and may have trouble getting along with others. As a new employee, you don't want to give people that first impression of you -- even if your complaints are legitimate.

    How you respond to a bad situation is important -- as are the first impressions you give to your new coworkers and employers.

    So ... I guess ... I want to give you a hug ... and a little kick in the pants.
  8. by   SuesquatchRN
    Chrge Nurse is a rhymes with rich. And you did good to stand up for yourself.

    Hang in there. We need aides like you.

  9. by   chadash
    It is up to you to take care of yourself, and control your own schedule. I am all for going the second mile to help out, but you really have to know your personal limitations, no apologies. Definitely, two 18 hour shifts in a row would make me very hard to be around, especially if the overtime was night shift. Just shoot me! It is up to you to say no. Then, the charge nurse might not push your buttons so easily. Its just basically being human.
  10. by   quisqueya
    i just wanted to add that I made it through my second double and got home this morning. I was in a new area and new wing, but the night staff was sooooo nice to me. I did the best I could, and I was pleased with my work. LPN in chage of the floor told me what he expected of me and I did what he asked. I even got to assist with some procedures that don't happen on my floor, which was nice. I want to be an RN someday and it was cool to get a glimpse of the future.

    Just a note, I did try to apoligise to the "CHARGE NURSE" who was nasty to me, and she would not even look at me. I was in the biohazard room dumping linnens, (door has a code) and she opened the door to dump something, and saw me and turned around.

    I am not going to hold any grudge, and I DID pick my self up and brush myself off, and keep going. Thanks for all of your kind advice.
  11. by   chadash
    Good for you!
    Your charge nurse sounds like a real doozie.
  12. by   jill48
    Ughhhh. Don't you hate walking in on those cliques? For now on when you are asked to work a double, you ask what you want. You say, "As long as I'm on the same assignment that I usually work"; "As long as it is understood by the next shift that I have to leave at 7am"; and, most importantly, "AS LONG AS IT'S NOT WITH THAT CHARGE NURSE". If you are doing extra for them, they can switch people around to make it more comfortable for you. And don't try to apologize to that witch again, she should be apologizing to you. You have nothing to be sorry for. Don't worry honey, by reading your post we can see that you have the heart and soul for this job. Don't overwork yourself. Everything will be okay. :kiss
  13. by   bethin
    Quote from quisqueya
    Just a note, I did try to apoligise to the "CHARGE NURSE" who was nasty to me, and she would not even look at me. I was in the biohazard room dumping linnens, (door has a code) and she opened the door to dump something, and saw me and turned around.

    I am not going to hold any grudge, and I DID pick my self up and brush myself off, and keep going. Thanks for all of your kind advice.
    I admire your tenacity. I would have bowed down to her also. When I get mad I do crazy stuff like that. Usually it's a bow, or curtsey, sometimes a salute with a "yes sir master sargent sir!"

    You offered an apology which was very smart on your part. If she chooses to not accept it, that's her problem.

    I would still discuss this with the DON. You don't want any surprises on your evaluation. And I'm sure the DON is aware of this particular charge nurse.

    When you worked your first double and they changed your section, were you working by yourself? If so, that's another thing I would bring up. I know when I did nights in LTC I was the only aide for 30 patients in a locked down unit for those with schizophrenia, bipolar, etc. NEVER allow yourself to be put in that position.
  14. by   quisqueya
    Quote from bethin
    I admire your tenacity. I would have bowed down to her also. When I get mad I do crazy stuff like that. Usually it's a bow, or curtsey, sometimes a salute with a "yes sir master sargent sir!"

    You offered an apology which was very smart on your part. If she chooses to not accept it, that's her problem.

    I would still discuss this with the DON. You don't want any surprises on your evaluation. And I'm sure the DON is aware of this particular charge nurse.

    When you worked your first double and they changed your section, were you working by yourself? If so, that's another thing I would bring up. I know when I did nights in LTC I was the only aide for 30 patients in a locked down unit for those with schizophrenia, bipolar, etc. NEVER allow yourself to be put in that position.
    Most of my residents have come out of the lockdown unit because they are not so mobile anymore. But I had some biters, wanders, g tubes, imobile, I think a mix of everything, but I have never worked with them before. I have learned from this expirence that "I" need to take care of "me".

    Other employees have told me that I am working in the "worst" facility in the area. One nurse told me that other facilities are not like this one and that our facility is really like a "menta hospital". And I don't want to belive that, and if it is true, then I wish everyone would just go a little beyond the call of duty to make our facility better. I am a real "company" girl, but I am new and have not yet taken off my rose colored glasses. I am so greatful to management for having trusted in me their residents.

    My only regret with this situation, is that I allowed [EVIL]CHARGE NURSE [/EVIL]to get under my skin. I am an emotional person that wears my heart on my sleeve, and that is going to have to change. I should have just said NOTHING, but that is a hard one for me, I am very verbal and expressive.

    I have not yeat worked in lockdown, but I know that we always have two in lockdown.

close