RN's forced to do CNA work - page 3

by rnckr 13,442 Views | 84 Comments

I am a new nurse and was wondering if this is a standard practice. When my floor needs to use a CNA to sit with a patient, they often have an RN take on the CNA's job for that shift. The RN no longer does any RN work for that... Read More


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    Quote from rnckr
    I am a new nurse and was wondering if this is a standard practice. When my floor needs to use a CNA to sit with a patient, they often have an RN take on the CNA's job for that shift. The RN no longer does any RN work for that shift, they only do what the CNA would do. Their pay stays the same but their duties change for that shift.

    I have great respect for CNA's. They have an essential and very hard job, but I don't want to be one. That's not what I went to school for. Is this a normal practice?
    Not usually but in times of emergency, it does happen. I've worked as the LVN, the tech, and the sitter: it depends on what the needs of the unit are and what the priority is. Patient safety always come first.

    It's also better to keep the RN free and tie the CNA to sitting...because should there be a crisis, the RN who is "CNA for a day" can act as a RN if needed; though the CNA is capable of doing a lot, they are unable to assume all RN duties. Also, a sitter is a 1:1 job, so should there be a code/incident on the floor, in most facilities the sitter will be unable to leave their post to help.
    Rose_Queen, markkuss, valgraves, and 1 other like this.
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    I always welcome the night that we are short a CNA and nurses have to be one. That happened to me the first time a few weeks ago and I loved being able to get my stuff done, do charting on my vitals, and then just help out where needed. We do paper charting still so it was nice to not write pages of nurse's notes on all my pts for a change. Now I wouldn't want to do it all of the time, but I'm ok wit every once in a while!
    toekneejo and Fiona59 like this.
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    Quote from RNsRWe
    Ok, let me try again.

    You and I are not on different sides of an issue here; actually we are in total and complete agreement. However, in saying you were harsh toward the OP I was pointing out that you seem to have judged her wrongly. Your post said you were repulsed by the attitude that being an RN made someone "too good" for CNA work, and I was simply stating that nowhere in the OP's post OR attitude, in my opinion, gave this message. The OP was merely inquiring if an arrangement like the one she described would be normal (as she's new): and frankly, it's a silly use of staffing. It's been pointed out by others that having one MORE nurse on the floor and one LESS aide would actually work out better for everyone--the nurses do their own cares, etc.

    I'm giving the OP more credit than you are probably because I don't see her post as 'not wanting to do CNA work' because it is beneath her, but simply because she'd rather take a NURSING assignment. Heck, what's the problem with that? Her nursing assignment would obviously include cna/tech work if there wasn't any aide on the floor....but it struck me that she might prefer that. Why assume she just didn't want to do it at all? And, to be fair, you've used the same broad brush to define ME as well.... incorrectly, I might add.

    My facility has zero CNAs. Can't say it wouldn't be nice, though; it's endoscopy and I assure you we see puh-lenty of "poop"
    \

    Ok, let me try again...I believe that I apologized for any misunderstandings from my earlier post. Either way, the OP probably doesn't need you to defend her/him. I never cease to be amazed with the touchy people on this site. I apologized to you to for that matter, so if that is not good enough for you or there are some other reasons that you feel like continuing to argue with me.....too bad..I am done. To all of the others that may have understood what I meant, CHEERS!
    MichiganRN13 and valgraves like this.
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    I think we're just not "getting" each other online....which is too bad, because I suspect it has more to do with the medium than the topic. I'm not arguing, I'm explaining....and apparently it's not working out as intended. I certainly meant no offense, which it looks like you've taken....so, MY apologies in that case. Not sure why it bothers you that I was defending the OP, but....again, I seem to be annoying you and that wasn't my intent.

    And now I'm wondering what the OP has to say, having created the row in the first place...?
    enchantmentdis, toekneejo, and Tina, RN like this.
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    There is no such thing as "CNA work" It's all nursing. The part within the CNA scope of practice gets delegated to the CNA but that doesn't mean that the nurse is no longer responsible for those tasks. It just means that she has more time to focus on the tasks that the CNA isn't trained to do.
    Rose_Queen, Elladora, flyingchange, and 10 others like this.
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    With an RN being a floor floater, there is someone who can answer a call bell and intervene no matter if the patient needs to go to the bathroom or needs a new IV put in, needs pain med or turn and repositioned. It is often why a charge nurse doesn't take an assignment, to be an extra set of hands. It does make a larger assignment for the other nurses, but if you can have the assistance of another RN to help with a wider variety of patient care tasks, then it could make for lighter work all the way around. Much like a team nursing concept. Some shifts it may seem like all one is doing is tasks that could be defined as CNA duties, but patient safety and care is everyone's job.

    In my facility, we are total care nurses, and don't have IV teams, CNA's on most shifts, respitory therapy, etc. If we do have a CNA it is only one of them, and they can't be everywhere to everyone. So we are ultimately responsible for every aspect of patient care, regardless if the CNA is available to help or not. It is not unheard of to have 2 nurses giving a patient a shower or doing peri care.
    toekneejo, joanna73, and loriangel14 like this.
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    My last 8 years of practice as a RN, we didn't even have CNAs, lol. We did it all. That is neither here nor there. The bottom line is, you get paid to do what your supervisor asks you to do. You are qualified, it is a "safe assignment." Your complaint is invalid.
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    When I first read this I was like, Uhhh, you can do everything the CNA does, don't demean CNAs, I was one before I was an RN. Then I read what she was saying and it does seem foolish. Have the nurse sit (what a dream shift) or float someone from another unit.


    I have absolutely no problem doing what some people consider "CNA work". I'm not gonna let my RN duties suffer (I have to check IVs, do wound care, pass meds, etc. etc., before I can be answering every call light or changing or bathing patients) But if there's no CNA to do things like peri-care, changes, baths, etc., it still has to be done, I'll finish my work and help everyone, we're all a team and the patient needs care, no matter what the issue is.
    toekneejo and valgraves like this.
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    It depends where you work. I work in LTC. About 8 months before I started my position, they had an RN and 2 Aides at night. Really, three is required on nights in order to properly care for the residents. But there is one RN and one Aide after 23:30. So aside from completing my RN work, I answer call lights, toilet people, make beds, reposition and wash people. Those are the expectations, and I don't mind, since I can assess and interact with the resident. Same when I was on the 80 bed med surg unit. We had 3 aides, so the nurses were responsible for providing all the care. More and more, this is the case.
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    Sitting isn't all fun and rainbows. I work as a sitter and a CNA and I think in some ways, being a sitter is much more difficult because you cannot leave the patient.That said, from a financial standpoint, what the OP is describing does seem ridiculous.
    Meriwhen likes this.


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