I need some advice. Here is my story to date...
I accepted a CNA position at a LTC facility. I had applied for a position in the related hospital because I know that I prefer acute care, but it is commonly known in this area that it is nearly impossible to get an entry level position as a CNA in that hospital.
I began orientation this past week. I enjoy the staff on my shift and especially the CNA that is training me. She is a career CNA and a wealth of information. Unfortunately, I am quickly realizing that I am definitely not calloused enough for LTC, just as I had suspected. It takes a person who enjoys geriatric care and all that it entails to flourish at a nursing home job. I knew going into this that I prefer the hospital, but I am a open-minded, fast-paced learner and care-giver, and I thought that I would do fine.
To clarify, I "get" the job. The tasks come easy to me, and I am quick to learn faces, names, schedules, and all that. I enjoy caring for people so much, and I take pride in my work. The issue I am having happens to be that I am fretting over my mental inability to be "forceful" (for absolute lack of a better word) in getting the residents up for the day against their will. (I am working the midnight shift). I am not talking just about people who don't want to wake up yet. I am referring to the residents who are cognitively impaired and are contractured and fight with all their might to remain in bed or struggle in general. It is seriously bothering me to have to do that. I know it has to be done. I also know that some people are cut out to do it (like my trainer). Unfortunately, I am not cut out for that aspect of the job (and only that), and I readily admit this.
I dread the thought of going back for my next shift. I took this part-time job to make some extra money during my last semester of LPN school (I have 8 weeks left) and to get some more care experience under my belt as I went straight into nursing school without working as a CNA.
I guess I would just like some input. I am thinking about quitting and I would like some opinions and /or moral support from my peers.
Thanks for listening!
May 21, '07
Stick it out. How to approach and interact with a resident is very much so learned. Watch how your trainer interacts with the residents and what works. Ask her what approaches are best. How a resident reacts to you is all in the approach you use. Some react well to bubbly, friendly, killing them with kindness aides and some need a stern voice.
With confused residents, try to strike a deal if possible let them lay back down after cares until breakfast.
An hour or so before you have to get them out of bed open the blinds and crack the window so the sunlight and sounds of birds fill the room. Waking up to a bright cheery morning is much better recieved than waking up to a dark and dreary room. Then of course shut the blinds before you help them get dressed for privacy reasons. It drives me mad when I see aides giving cares in front of an open window.
Realize that you may have personality clashes with some residents. If possible strike a deal with another aide. Trade problem residents.
And when a resident absolutely won't get up, get up Mrs. A instead who is of equal or greater work or get up two of the easier residents, then tell day shift Mrs. B wouldn't get up, but I got up ______ and ______ instead.
May 21, '07
it really seems to soon to think about quitting, the fact is, if it were easy to get a job at a hospital with no experience, you would have been already working their. you will need experience, and the problems you're having will most likely be at all the other ltc in the area. So you might as well give it a chance and stick it out for 6 months or a year,then apply at the hospital. Also, I hope you're not being to hard on yourself, you've learned a lot in a short amount of time, and it seems so far you're doing a great job. be proud of yourself! You're lucky you have a great trainer, many cna's don't have that experience.
May 21, '07
I truly appreciate the opinions that have been shared so far. I am thinking it through. I spoke with two of my nursing instructor's today and got both of their opinions (separately) as well.
I will give it a few more days to mull it over. Any more insight would be welcome.
May 22, '07
I hated getting the patients up in the morning like that as well. The threat of being written up, arguing with the dayshift aides and nurses as well as the supervisors used to be really draining to me. What I would do is to wash and dress them in their underclothes and get them up just before it was time for me to leave. I hope that made it better for them... I was never sure.
May 22, '07
Thank you. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who hates that part of the job!
May 24, '07
i always hated that part of the job.
the truth is that you do learn people and how they react. Actually funny story. i had a resident when i first came onto my hall that was extremely right, hard to get up and never spoke a word. But by looking in her eyes you can tell she gets everything you say. One day i walked into her room and she just started talking to me and got up without any trouble. I guess she just finally got used to be and decided she liked me. All residents are different. you just have to watch what works and what doesn't.
May 28, '07
Just out of curiosity, why do they HAVE to get out of bed at that time? My residents pay $4500+ per month to receive care in my facility, not to have a 23 year old whippersnapper wrestle them out of bed when they don't want to get up yet. If the next shift has a problem with that, they can shove it.
May 29, '07
it's my understanding that the list of people who gets up before the end of the midnight shift is some standing agreement between the midnoc and day shift crew at my facility. does that mean if the first night im off orientation that i dont complete the list ill get reprimanded? probably not...but i still dont like it.
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