Getting "burnt out"

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    I am a CNA but I work as a unit clerk in a psych facility. I don't have to do patient care, but I do vitals, health assessments, accuchecks, filing, assigning rooms to new residents and assist with prosthetics (normally the nurses don't know how). I have to help the doctor with his appointments and a ton of other miscellaneous things. It's a very busy job, but the time goes by quickly and I love what I do. The problem is, I think I may be taken advantage of by the nurses whom I work directly with. We all get along fine, but I have noticed a growing trend that is making it hard to do my job. I don't want this to negatively affect my review.

    I am responsible for filing. Like I said, the place is really busy, and often the nurses just throw the lab slips, doctor's orders and treatment care plans in the filing bin (I totally disagree with this practice). When the patient is discharged and need aftercares, often it isn't complete because no one puts their own papers away. Often people are denied extra time because of the incomplete charts. The facility is large and it is a block long. The nurses will call me from another building to come and do 1 vital sign (mind you it takes me 5 minutes). When I get there, they are playing on their cell phones and joking. I don't understand why they call me from a block away to do something they could do. The patient often just sits and waits while they are playing and joking and I am trying to get MY work done AND help the nurses. The filing is now 3 weeks behind because I am constantly responding to the nurse's demands. I feel really bad when someone leaves and is denied service somewhere else because their chart is incomplete. Some nurses won't even collect their own urine specimens!!! I have to do it and prepare it for the doctor and I am getting burnt out. We had a meeting about it. The DON says everything is EVERYONE's responsibility, yet after a few weeks, I am running around like a chicken with it's head cut off and they are sitting on their butts goofing off again. Anyone else have this dilemma? I thought it was just in a nursing home, but it's like this everywhere I see. What can I do or say to try to remedy the situation?
    classykaren likes this.
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  4. 5 Comments so far...

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    If the filing thing is causing people from getting the follow-up treatment they need - it needs to be addressed. And in a more significant way than a group meeting with the DON. There needs to be policy changes and/or someone else hired to do the filing. That's the only way it's going to get done...if it's technically your responsibility/job people will gladly keep dumping it on you, regardless of how often they're told to help. Definitely keep bringing it up to management, and keep track of how many people are being potentially harmed by this. It is not responsible patient care, and management needs to seriously address it.

    As for the vitals/UAs/etc....that you'll probably have to deal with. Kind of a pain, but I've never had a CNA job where I haven't had to run up and down the building sometimes frantically all day doing mindless, easy tasks like vitals and UAs when other people could have easily done them and saved me a trip and let me rest a minute. Meh, that's the job...
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    Some RN's do that. It's ridiculous, really.

    Bring it up with the powers that be, but don't forget to address the problem directly-- namely, the lazy RNs. Next time you trek halfway across the Pacific Ocean to do a set of vitals while the RNs are goofing off, let them know. You could say something like...

    "Hey, I don't have a problem doing this guy's vitals, but I've got quite a work load to handle. Next time, if you could just take the vitals yourself, that would be much appreciated."

    Eh, sounds a little accusatory, which wasn't what I was trying to go for, but you could address the RN in such a way that doesn't sound... you know... mean.
    asun21ta likes this.
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    I had a talk with my DON yesterday. Apparently two more people were unable to transfer to a higher level of care because of Doctor's orders and various other things not being put into the charts ASAP. The filing is not my sole responsibility. The DON instructed the Nurses to file their own documents such as Nurses Notes & Doctors Orders Immediately. Not many places will allow you to throw your work in a bin. I come from an LTC. This would never be allowed. All documents had to be filed that same day at my old LTC. I am noticing some rules are different but the same lazy people exist everywhere.

    My DON agrees that something needs to be done. She also says there is no reason for me to trek a million miles from another building for vital signs when there are at least 3 nurses standing right there at the nurses station that can do it. Apparently, unbeknownst to any of us, she was there in her office when they were having a field day with me a few days ago. She didn't like it one bit. She says she can see how I can't get important work done. She is "revising" and "enforcing" the policy starting tomorrow!

    Thanks for listening you guys!
    classykaren likes this.
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    Try to explain to those nurses your problem with having to do paperwork and having to do those little things for them and if they say " If you can't do your job then leave" say " Then report me" then and you might be able to explain your situation"DO NOT GIVE NAMES" If no change or they make it worse you should think about another facility, If you can find a smaller hospital you might find it more team work
    Last edit by christy k. on Mar 11, '10
    asun21ta likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from christy k.
    Try to explain to those nurses your problem with having to do paperwork and having to do those little things for them and if they say " If you can't do your job then leave" say " Then report me" then and you might be able to explain your situation"DO NOT GIVE NAMES" If no change or they make it worse you should think about another facility, If you can find a smaller hospital you might find it more team work

    Yeah it's the little things that add on to the delays. Many of our patients are very needy. Every few minutes or so a patient "needs" you do something for them. No one can really get anything done uninterrupted. This is the kind of place that really needs teamwork in order for things to work efficiently. There is so much to do and so little of us to do it, these nurses really need help out more sometimes. I have seen them take papers out of a chart to review them and instead of putting the paper back in the chart that is sitting on their desk, they put them in the filing bin. I don't mind helping at all, but sometimes I feel like I am being picked on when they make me do things they should do. Especially when I come from another building to do a set of vitals. When I return they are playing on cell phones, laughing, joking, and talking about people, so naturally I wonder if they are picking fun at me.


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