Background Information: I work in a LTC facility with 74 residents, most of whom require extensive assistance. In addition, about 10 of them require being lifted with a hoyer. On the 11-7 shift, we only have 3 CNAs, as long as no one calls off. The nursing home is divided into three pods, with one CNA per pod. We are required to do typical CNA tasks throughout the night, such as rounds at 12, 2, and 4, as well as showers and general housekeeping procedures. However, everything becomes very difficult at about 5am, when we have to start getting people up.
Last night was my first night off of orientation, and I am seriously contemplating quitting. I have worked 7 shifts and have come home in tears about four of them. For the first 6 days, I was on orientation. Rather than adding me to the three aides so that I can observe and become familiar with the job, they eliminated one of the three aides so that they would not have to pay four CNAs. As a result, the CNA that I was following and I were required to handle 1/2 of the 74 patients in the facility. When it was time to do our "get-ups", we only had to do one of the pods, which happened to be the intensive care pod. Even with me and then other aide splitting up and getting people up on our own, we ended up staying after 35 minutes. So basically, both of us moved as fast as we possibly could, did absolutely no standing around and did not even take time to use the bathroom, and it still took an extra 35 minutes to finish the job typically required of one CNA. I was required to stay over 4 days of my orientation because we were not able to get up all of the people required in 2 hours.
Yesterday was my first night alone. I was assigned 15 residents to get up in 2 hours, 3 of which were hoyers. I layed out the residents clothes, briefs, and towels during my last round so that I could have a head start on my get-ups. Once five o'clock came, I moved as quickly as I could from room to room waking people up and getting them dressed and cleaned up. When the 6 o'clock aide came in, I asked her if she could help me get my three hoyers and she replied "The 11-7 aides need to help each other out...I don't have time to help you and get my people done, too." (She was assigned 5 people to get up, one of which was hospice and requested to stay in bed). Then, when it came time for me to leave, I had four people that I was not able to get to. I stayed over ten minutes to try and finish up, and then the 6 o'clock aide came in and said "This shouldn't take you this long...It only takes me an hour and a half tops". This really bothers me. First of all, I highly doubt she could get all of those people up that quickly. Secondly, most of the aides that do get to all of their residents up (typically around 15-20 in two hours, and these people require a lot of assistance) force them up, throw on some clothes and put them in their chair, neglecting to wash them up, put in their hearing aids, dentures and whatnot. They just literally change their clothes and put them in their wheelchairs. Then, the nurse that was on my pod told me, 15 minutes after I was supposed to leave, that I needed to weigh two people. So while I was getting the scale, the DON came and told me I need to leave immediately because my shift had ended and that I needed to tell the nurse and the day aides that I was unable to complete my job. THen, she yelled at the nurse, who then ripped some papers out of my hand that I was supposed to give her and then walked away. Another one of the new aides had a similar experience but had to stay over until 9am because she was on the intensive care floor and was required to get up 17 residents, 5 of whom are hoyers, in two hours.
Is this typical? I feel pretty awful for quitting after just 2 1/2 weeks of work, but I don't get the impression that all nursing homes are like this.
Jun 2, '09
That sounds pretty bad. You can expect to be slow at first, and to be treated like crap because of it. But getting yelled at and having stuff ripped out of your hands is unacceptable. 25 residents per CNA sounds normal to me for night shift, but showers? I haven't heard of any facilities making residents take showers in the middle of the night, no matter how confused they are. I would stick it out for now, but look for another job at the same time.
Jun 3, '09
Hi There, I am currently a student at UMB, majoring on Management. Almost done with my degree only 7 classes left. I wish I didn't made my mind to be at UMB. I am regrating to be a student at UMass. One of my class is getting on my way of education. I tried to get help from the Dean and Chancellors Assistant. They are refusing to help me, I feel like I'm not treating right. I just hate being at UMB, every one is so useless. School is repping me of by making me pay for a class 3 times? If no one can solve a students problem, I wonder why they are been hired for? If they cannot do their jobs right than i believe they shouldn't be at the higher possition. I am really stressed about my concerns, no one is helping me to solve my problem. After all this is about the "MONEY". School doesn't care what students are going through all they want is the money from
us and repping students like me. Who never went through all this. Thinking to dropped out from UMB, and start with a new Major somewher else but feeling stupid to do that at the last minute. Specially, when I am almost done.
Jun 3, '09
Hello, I am new to this site but i definitely feel for you! I worked in a Rehab "hospital" and it was just like a nursing home except for our pts were only with us for 2-3 weeks tops. Some were in hoyers, some we could transfer by ourselves, and some needed 2+ people to help. We (aides) had to shower them, get them to the dining room, get them back to their room, change them, toilet them, and assist however much they needed. I thought it was bad on second shift it was 1 aide/ 12 pts. BUT the nurses where I worked with were very lazy and demanded us to get the job done and it was physically impossible to do so. They would get back if the pt's weren't toileted every two hours and so on and it's like I can't do all of this with 0 help.
I don't know if all nursing homes are like that - I think it's crazy and personally can't work at a place like that. It makes me sad to think we are just shoving clothes on these people and not taking time to really clean them up and care for them. I HOPE other nursing homes are better.
I now work at a Children's Hospital, LOVE IT and respect the fact that the pt/aide ratio is so much better.
Jun 3, '09
This is typical in several LTC facilities in my area. There is no way they should expect 1 CNA to do that much within a short period of time. It seems to me that the CNA who came on duty would have had the decency to help out. I have worked in LTC for 20 years and have seen it all. It really annoys me when they just get the pts up and throw on their clothes without taking the time to wash them up.
The nurse had no right to ask you to do the weights given you were already running into OT. There are some nurses and CNAs who do not have sense enough to pour pee out of a boot with the direction on the heel:smackingf
I,personally, would not put up with it and would begin my search for a job else where. I'm sorry, but I would have told that CNA to get bent. If a co-worker ever asks me for help because they are running behind, I'm more than happy to help out or even take it over from there so she can go home and get some rest.
A lot of the time the AM shift has the misconception that the night shift has nothing to do. Yeah, you could have everyone up and dressed if you started at 3AM! GEEZE! :angryfire
You deserve better.
Jun 4, '09
I'm pretty sure I'd be looking for another job. You mentioned other new aides, seems like there might be a high turnover? I remember how bad my first few months sucked! I went home crying in frustration just about every day for weeks! The other aides hated me and it was really not a nice atmosphere for a long time. But it does get better. When the others see you getting more skilled and able to do things, they will ease up on you. NO reason for that nurse to act the way she did though!
A suggestion to make your get ups faster... on your second round, dress all your get ups (except for shoes/slippers) and leave them in bed. It makes the end process go much more quickly and easily to just change brief, pull up pants and get to their chair for the rest. Learning that tidbit was a total life saver for me when I started!!
Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
Jun 4, '09
Sadly, this is the norm for so many new aides. Until you have your routine down you'll never be able to handle that many residents at those assists levels. My LTC also only has one nurse aide a hall on nights, but they don't get anyone up, that's dayshifts job. You need to politley talk to the DON about your concerns. And as for the rude girls- I can almost guarentee that 2 weeks into the job it didn't take her "an hour and a half to do it". I've worked LTC for 6 years and I doubt I could properly get all those people up. Hang in there!
Jun 4, '09
I'm still a student, but more and more it seems so much of what I read about experiences of new CNAs is contrary to what I'm being taught by my instructor. We are taught so much about respect and privacy, the bill of rights, providing for the needs of the resident in a safe manner, doing a task correctly and following the care plan... and then I read so many things about CNAs that are new and are being run through the wringer, bogged down by more to do than they have time for, and having to treat their residents like they're going through the fast food window at a burger joint... hurry, hurry, hurry, no time to give the skilled care the resident has the right to receive.
I do read about happy, positive experiences with new graduates. And I know several CNAs who really love their work and bond with their residents and vice-versa. My grandmother is in a facility (she has Alzheimer's) and the CNAs love her so much. She even likes to help them on their rounds (they give her little trivial things to do, but Mema likes to contribute to caretaking in any setting). But I've even seen those CNAs get oveworked and out of time. When I'm visiting, I try to let them know how long I'm going to be there so they can get some things done for other residents. But I wonder if it's very hard to find a "good fit" when looking for a job as a CNA? Even at my grandmother's place, they have a high turnover. I recognize that with so much to do and so little staff available, it's just hard, and I'm mentally preparing myself to be confused, make mistakes, and be generally run ragged, but I don't know if I can really handle, having to rush the residents through ADLs, and being told I'm not doing my job well enough.
Jun 4, '09
I am learning the hard way the realities of being a cna. Its a lot of blood sweat and tears. I just recently got written up because on one of my 7-3 shifts one of my patients wasnt toileted at EXACTLY 9am, considering that I was busy weighing and finishing up breakfast feedings on my assignments which even after busting my but I still managed to change the residents breif at 9:30am but I guess the nurse wanted to be a nitpicker that day...That was one of my worst days yet I worked through lunch and didnt take a break because their was just so much going on. The funny thing about it is at one point I needed help with a hoyer lift and I asked the DON who was standing right outside the pts room for help and I guess she felt bad about the nurses ridiculous write up that she agreed to help me, halfway into the lift she was just amazed at the operation of the hoyer and said to me that she had no clue how one of those worked. She then shook her head and said " you girls work really hard" I just smiled. I am currently on the look out for other employment while gaining my experience from this facility, I hope to find a facility that is a good fit. Good luck to you, heres hoping thay all cnat be like this.
Jun 4, '09
oh my. that is crazy!!! Most def find a new job!!! Where im from getting 5 ppl up is enough for night shift. You're gonna get burnt out real quick working like that. That is horrible and good luck with your new job search and heck no dont feel bad for quiting!
Jun 5, '09
I would find a different job...
I got only three days of orientation even tough it is my first job as a CNA (it is my first week). Now, I am by myself on the floor but nobody yells at me, other fellows, LPNs, RNs and management ask me how am I doing. Sure, I make mistakes, but they just say it and don't yell at me. Believe me, you can find a better facility to work in...