I finally got into nursing school
(YAY!!!!!) and I'm starting to get job offers to work with hospitals as a CNA. However, my experience working as a CNA in LTC was so bad that it drove me to waiting tables and I've sworn never to work LTC ever again. I'm very apprehensive about becoming a CNA again. Don't get me wrong, I loved the residents, and I don't mind "dirty work," it's other things I'm scared of.
-Due to high turnover and extremely low pay, the only people left were people with extremely bad attitudes and often played leperosy treatment with you, smirking in your face when you asked them to help you transfer the 400-lb resident. I was also singled out for my race, being the tattle target (the same people who wouldn't wipe down residents and talked on their cell phones all day were the first ones to report me, often directly to the ADON). When I resigned, I got a lot of people coming up to me saying, "Sorry for all the stuff you had to go through. White girls never last here."
-Toxic work environment. The ADON actually encouraged drama and tole me that she didn't blame them for refusing to help me, as I obviously didn't do my work. God, that ADON was a lady Hitler. I remember witnessing a "meeting (Jerry Springer-esque)" in which a sweet old Nigerian CNA (one of the best I've ever met) was trying to bring up the fact that nobody would help her either. The other CNAs ganged up on her and were shouting insults, with the ADON just laughing and telling her that she'd have to earn their trust. I hope that she ends up in a nursing home run like the one she's running.
-People who are violent as a result of dementia or just act demented once you call the charge nurse reporting violence. I was bitten, kicked, slapped, scratched, and worst of all, had the crap beaten out of me by a severely paranoid schizophrenic woman whose family wanted to "mainstream" her, never mind the fact that she should have been in a setting with trained professionals. Nothing was ever done about any of the violent episodes. As the baby boomers get older, elders are making up a large percentage of the population. I don't hate elders by any means, but I absolutely dread the difficult dementia patients who think that you're raping them and go for your jugular.
-High patient-to-staff ratios. In the nursing home, 95% of the people were fully dependent and many were overweight and required 2 people, so this was a problem, as people only helped you if you groveled.
Please tell me that most places are better than where I worked.