I am shocked with the quality of instruction during my CNA clinicals. One incident is particularly poignant of the lack of heart that residents/patients have to deal with from health care administrators. I am new to nursing and would like to work as an RN for a few years before receiving my NP but am absolutely horrified at the attitude I've encountered from the teachers and even my student partner. Is this how it REALLY is?
My partner and I were instructed to give a shower to Diane (name changed). Diane has alzheimers and is very unhappy. She is obviously severely depressed and apathetic and completely exhausted all of the time. I have never seen her smile. Since it is clinicals the instructor accompanied us to the shower. My partner has been a resident assistant for a couple months so I am doing most of the work (no problem there since I want to because the more experience the better). Our patient, Diane, is very difficult to work with as she is so unhappy that everything makes her even more unhappy and she HATES showers. So we tried to make it as fast possible for her.
After I washed her hair I got a towelette to scrub her body and was handed a bottle of conditioner by my partner. I said "this is conditioner" and my partner said it doesn't matter, we just want to get this done with. I look over at the teacher and she said the same thing, to just "hurry up". Diane was in no danger to herself or us at the time, she was moaning and complaining. I asked if there was soap and they prodded me on to just do the job, and I told them to give me the shampoo since it was still nearby.
I cannot believe that the student and teacher who were working with me in the shower would use conditioner to wash Diane's body. Am I missing something? Perhaps conditioner is useful for cleaning? I'm not being sarcastic. Maybe they thought it's a soap anyways. But my partner is extremely intelligent (the "get the right answer" type of intelligence) so I don't think she thought it could be used as soap as well. I really think they were trying to cut corners to the point where the conditioner was just an excuse to get the "act" of washing done so that we could get the shower skill done. Might as well be slapping on butter to clean skin...
It made me feel uncomfortable, as if we were putting a dirty depend on Diane. I told them that I didnt' want to use conditioner because it would take longer to wash off instead of being upfront and saying, "I'm not going to play along with pretending to shower Diane".
Then today me and my partner were pushing her in her weelchair and asking Diane to raise her feet (no footpads... not the best nursing home I know). I kept having to press behind her knees to get her to elevate them since her feet kept dragging on the ground and getting pushed behind. Diane kept saying her feet were too heavy, which is porbably true, Diane has Alzheimers and her muscles are atrophying. Anyways, I told my partner that "poor Diane doesn't get it" to which my partner replied, "she's just being lazy". I seriously don't think Diane was being lazy, I don't see why she wouldn't raise her legs up to make things easier for herself but that she just doesn't "get it" and that it actually does require strength to raise them. My partner insisted that she was just being lazy.
What concerns me more is the conditioner incident. The wheelchair thing I mentioned because I needed to vent. But the conditioner thing????? What is up with that? Am I possible missing something (please please let it be that).