Paying it Forward in Healthcare - A CNA's Point of View

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    To the readers of AllNurses:

    As a CNA of four years, who has worked in hospitals, SNFs (skilled nursing facilities), and home health, I have seen employees who have exhibited terrible behaviors towards each other and myself. It's been CNA v. CNA, Nurse v. CNA, CNA v. Nurse, and so on including every job positition you could think of in any facility.

    People spreading rumors, picking people apart instead of teaching them better, and just generally being evil towards one another. I'm not going to give examples or badmouth anyone in particular. I've seen people make comments and posts on this site that have given the general vibe that this is how they most likely behave in their workplace.

    I respect my nurses and my fellow CNAs. I will do anything to help them, within reason and without neglecting my patients. For doing this, people then view me as a "push-over" and then I have to be professional, but firm and set boundaries.

    After experiencing this, I went into home health at the beginning of the year after the stress from people I work with and not the job itself became too much for me to handle on a daily basis. Once in a while, I still come across it, but not to the degree it was when I worked in facilities.

    My point is this:

    Please make an effort to be nice to people. If you already are, then great and big thanks.
    After seeing a couple of posts about negative attitudes, I felt this must be said. Thank you to all who have contributed positive thoughts and good advice. I will continue to do the same.
    havehope likes this.
  2. 5 Comments so far...

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    "Can we all just get along?" - Rodney King (4/2/65 - 6/17/12)

    Just a quote that I think fits in here.
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    @i_love_patient_care i totally agree with you here. I experience this with quite a few of my coworkers as well. It drives me insane. As a matter of fact its so bad between one other CNA and I that we dont even speak to each other when we work the same shift or even if we see each other in passing. Other CNA's and nurses i work with are the same way. Everybody talks about everybody here. It's really sad.
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    It seems to me that people who are devisive in healthcare, particularly CNAs and nurses, fall into that pattern because they are either lazy and know it, burnt out, not right for the job, or have a false sense of power. And speaking as someone who's worked the trenches in another industry, it isn't just in healthcare.

    I am one of those CNAs who goes above and beyond the call of duty. If I can't lift someone without help, I am going to hunt someone down to help. If you have enough time to sit at the nurses' station and talk, you have time to help me and I don't care if you trash talk me to your best buddy later. If you've been in this career field for years and you dread going to work, take a sabbatical and give the rest of us and the residents/patients a break from your crummy attitude.

    If you don't like having to deal with bodily fluids, people with varying degrees of need, and upset families, find something that is meaningful for you. Don't take it out on the rest of us.

    And the false sense of power: Healthcare is a prime example of a symbiotic community. No one can do his or her job without the other. Doctors can't do their job without nurses, and in most settings, nurses can't do their job without CNAs or PCTs. I have seen nurses say otherwise on here but really, how can they accurately and to the very best of their ability give care to patients/residents and accurately chart and complete their paperwork? I just finished working at a very small LTC in a rural community. They have a max capacity of 57 residents and most of the time on 1st shift, there is one nurse, maybe 2 med aides, and if we're lucky, 5 CNAs on the floor. We all had to work together and depend on one another to get things done.

    Basically, what I am getting at is that I completely agree with you. We have set aside our preconceived notions about how things are and how they are supposed to be and work together. It makes for a better work environment, makes work easier and makes things much more at ease for the ones receiving care and their families.

    To quote one of my favorite TV shows ("Lost"), "We have to live together or we will die alone."
    cardiacfreak and bluesky94 like this.
  6. 0
    Quote from mstearns09
    To quote one of my favorite TV shows ("Lost"), "We have to live together or we will die alone."
    So true.
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    It'd be nice if this was the case, but most facilities actually promote this dogmatic behavior.

    Generally in SNF they typically require top quality care and bleed the life force and power out of the most passionate people by requiring the most cruel and detestable working conditions such as, but not limited to: skeleton crews, shortage on supplies and poor management.

    But guess who gets all the blame? CNA's and that my friends, is why the turnover rate for CNA's are so high. The nursing forms just love to talk about how nurses, as in RN's and LVN's have "job-burnout" and everyone will sympathize with them with thousand of posts about how they are angels, poor pitiful them, etc. They have "so much to deal with" and it's "so tough to be the only one" boo hoo.

    CNA's are treated like dogs, on the regular. I dare say that some places will make you feel like an absolute slave and you feel like it when you deal with personal care, patient overload and a facility that just seems to cut corners and cost at every chance they get. CNA's don't have a set patient to nurse ratio so granted there will be half your shift when the DSD just "forgets" to schedule another CNA. Even though the schedules are made a whole month in advance.

    Often times the LVN and RN won't take the wrap for you when something happens because you were answering another person's light, team work is just completely out the window and its every man and woman for themselves.

    And this is the problem, I've worked long as a CNA to put myself through school and have been at three separate facilities in different cities, but I never found a nurse who came in just to make hell for everyone just for the sake of giggles. It's because the working conditions are deplorable and at the end of the day, for all the hell you put up with and do for others because you take pride in being a nurse, the pay isn't really worth it.


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