Resigned From Long Term Care

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    I submitted my resignation today. I will never work in long-term care again. Twice in the last 3 months I've been written up for a resident fall -- again because of failure to have alarms on a wheelchair. In my most recent disaster, a resident (Ms.'B') had gone to physical therapy at some point during our morning routine and she was returned to the Special Care Unit (dementia) shortly thereafter. I was working with a newly oriented CNA who didn't tell me Ms. B was back in the Unit, as I was with another resident at the time of her return and didn't see her come back. Well, Ms. B decided she was going to take herself to the toilet alone so she disappeared behind one of the doors of another resident's room. For some bizarre reason, the PT staff didn't set any of her alarms and the chair sensor pad wasn't even on her seat.....as Ms. B tried to transfer herself she fell and no one heard a thing. We don't even know how long she was on the floor as this happened right before the lunch rush. It was like the resident was 'lost.'

    Of course I got really screamed at by one of the floor nurses, in front of my co-workers -- she implied that the State's going to shut the whole place down because of me. I was utterly humiliated. The truth is, to 'lose' a resident and not even be aware of their whereabouts is inexcusible. When someone leaves the Unit, the first thing you do when they come back is check that their alarms are in place, which my partner for the day did not do, nor did she tell me that Ms. B was back in the Unit. Because I was the one who was more experienced in the Unit, the responsibility fell on me -- in other words I should have went looking for her as we were gathering the residents around the lunch tables and noticed she wasn't anywhere in sight. Of course, I had to sign the written reprimand about this incident and now I look like a big fat jerk. I feel like one, too. I don't know if my partner got written up as well as the PT staff, but it seems like the responsibility for this should be shared by all three of us. This is supposed to be a team effort, and in this case no one had my back.

    Now I'm in search of another job, I have 1 month to find something else. I have an interview with a home health agency that pays better and they have great employer-paid benefits -- however there's no guarantee of full-time hours. I've also applied for a receptionist job at a pediatrician's office that pays better still. I'm hoping to get out of CNA work altogether, it just doesn't pay as much as other healthcare jobs -- especially in long-term care, a realm which tends to eat its young.

    I have great respect for anyone who can continue as a CNA in long-term care for any length of time-- kudos to you. As for me, I have to get out while I still have my self-respect.
    Joe V and UnbreakableOne like this.
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  3. 23 Comments so far...

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    Poor you I know the feeling. I started as an aide at 17 with no experience in LTC and dreaded going into work. It was like being thrown to the wolves. Home care is much better, but hours may not always be great, you may want to try a few different companies. Also, I bet you feel beaten down after being yelled at like that and treated like crap-please just know that what goes around comes around. Home health is a breath of fresh air, I'm happy for you
    interceptinglight likes this.
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    Thank you. The more I think about this incident, the more I realize that I have to admit to myself that because my heart hasn't really been in this job for some time, my head is not in it either -- in that case I am a risk to the residents I take care of as well as myself. I work with many other CNA's, and forgetting to put alarms on people happens every day -- yet most of the time no one falls on account of it. Fortunately neither of the falls caused any injury (other than to my pride).....I take it as a sign to get out of this kind of work, at least in the long-term care sense.
    UnbreakableOne and pca_85 like this.
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    Quote from interceptinglight
    Thank you. The more I think about this incident, the more I realize that I have to admit to myself that because my heart hasn't really been in this job for some time, my head is not in it either -- in that case I am a risk to the residents I take care of as well as myself. I work with many other CNA's, and forgetting to put alarms on people happens every day -- yet most of the time no one falls on account of it. Fortunately neither of the falls caused any injury (other than to my pride).....I take it as a sign to get out of this kind of work, at least in the long-term care sense.
    I was so surprised that a nurse would actually sceam at me yesterday. I let it go because being a nurse is so stressful that they have to let out their frustration. But as a new CNA leaving a different industry, it's disappointing to see nurses talk down to employees they deem as below them.

    I'm sorry this happened to you and I would hate to be the CNA who you were orientating because I would hate to get the person who is teaching me in trouble. When I left work today, I realized if something bad was to happen they have to find someone to blame and most likely it will be a CNA. I'm praying that I can get up to speed on how to be more efficient and successful in LTC, so I dont start dreading work.

    I hope all goes well for you and you find in a position in home health. I would like to work in home health as well.
    pca_85 likes this.
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    I don't get how it was in any way your fault that PT brought this woman back without setting her alarms or notifying you. Did someone throw you under the bus? You should not have signed the write-up. I know that's easier said than done- I've signed write-ups before for things that were not my fault because I was nervous and just wanted to get out of the situation. But seriously, what BS. I hope PT got written up too. Where I work they're the almighty gods of the nursing home... they can do no wrong and they know it. They treat us like dirt.
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    Quote from fuzzywuzzy
    I don't get how it was in any way your fault that PT brought this woman back without setting her alarms or notifying you. Did someone throw you under the bus? You should not have signed the write-up. I know that's easier said than done- I've signed write-ups before for things that were not my fault because I was nervous and just wanted to get out of the situation. But seriously, what BS. I hope PT got written up too. Where I work they're the almighty gods of the nursing home... they can do no wrong and they know it. They treat us like dirt.
    I think you're right, fuzzy. I felt so terrible and belittled about the whole situation that I just went ahead and meekly signed the damned thing. What happens if you refuse to sign a write-up anyway ? It's not like the can fire me, I already told 'em where they can shove this job. (Incidentally the write-up will stay on my employment record there for a year, after which it is removed.)

    As far as blaming the CNA's -- yeah. I just gave report to the evening shift CNA for the Unit and she told me how the Assistant Dir. of Nursing just got through wiping the floor with her about things that happened during her day off. As if it's her fault how other CNA's conduct themselves when she's not on shift!! Makes me realize how tired I am of the way Administration plays favorites with some and gives the rest of us the horns -- I'm not messing with this bull anymore.
    fuzzywuzzy likes this.
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    I don't blame you, These facility's preach about hostile working environments and verbal abuse and so forth... But they never practice what they preach. Pick and choose favorites is common unfortunately everywhere you go. There's a saying my old workplace coworkers would say "it's not who you know, it's who you ****" I bleeped the last word but I'm sure you get the hint

    if I knew I was not guilty of such, I would have refused to sign the write-up, and ask them to provide proof I was the one who caused the actually harm.

    Since you resigned you were probably off anyway. Noone deserves that type of treatment. You can only be a doormat for so long.
    interceptinglight likes this.
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    I agree with fuzzywuzzy. Of the 3 people you claim should share the responsibility for the fall, I think you should be bar far the least "responsible" of the 3. You didn't even know she was back - how could you have possibly prevented this?! Both your partner and the PT folks could have easily prevented this and should be written up (if your facility will even write up someone on orientation...that's kind of counter-intuitive to the learning process, but maybe it happens?)

    As to the nurse yelling, that is totally inapropriate, and I'm sorry. What good will yelling after the fact possibly do? Someone needs to find a better means to vent their frustration.

    This is a really sad post. I'm sorry for you and I hope you find something soon in which you'll receive a better work/team environment.
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    I agree this was PTs fault and I don't think there was anything you could do about it, so I hope you are not beating yourself up over it. They know very well that the alarms are there and why. The ratios we have can be terrible sometimes and there's no way you can make sure everything is perfect. That's why it's a team effort.

    I hope you find a GREAT job and are very happy with it!! Screw that facility!

    Dondie
    pca_85, msmo, and interceptinglight like this.
  12. 2
    WOW. I'm sorry that happened to you. Doesn't it seem like there has to be a "fall guy" everywhere? You were railroaded and it's for the best you leave that facility. Someone else will now be the target.

    We all feel for you and know there will be a better opportunity out there for you.

    Best of luck finding a new employer who will appreciate your work ethic. :heartbeat
    pca_85 and interceptinglight like this.


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