RN's forced to do CNA work - page 4

by rnckr

12,793 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


  1. 1
    Where I work, the nurses jump at the opportunity to work as an aide! After running charge tomorrow, I will fill in as an STNA for 4 hours on another floor. I am a newer nurse, about 6 months on the job, and before that I was a STNA for over 2 years, and a damn good one. At times, I miss being an aide! It is alot more physical, less desirable work for less pay, but it carries a certain amount of satisfaction and minimal responsibility. It doesn't require alot of critical thinking either. I've always said, if I could make a nurses wages for doing nurse aide work, I'd never become a nurse. So needless to say, if they're going to pay me nurse wages to work as an STNA I'll do it everytime. Plus it's third shift, so there's really nothing to do. If you're concerned about merely sitting with ONE patient, as if it's below you, then you really need to take a time out, a long hard look in the mirror, and reconsider your career path... It really concerns me when nurses act like that, and makes me question their education, motivation, and dedication! I think one of the best things that nursing programs have done in recent years is making students become aides first. Unfortunately, alot of the little brats going to college on their parents dime, never actually work as an aide, just get the certification and cruise their way through nursing school. They think nursing is a real easy job with great pay. Well, let me tell ya, I could go to a factory, where I'm not responsible for the lives of numerous patients, and make as much if not more than what I do as a nurse. I love it when people, esp paramedics, emts and the like talk about how we're just in it for the money. PLEASE! I made more money in sales and management than I do as a nurse, but I feel a hell of alot better about what I do as a nurse, and that's what it is about!
    toekneejo likes this.
  2. 5
    I think it is very thoughtful of your employers to try to fill the CNA spot if the CNA gets pulled to a sitter case.
    Most places would just leave you an aide short and expect you to just deal with it.
  3. 2
    I get excited when I get to work as an aide!
    I used to dream I could do CNA work for RN pay, and now I do.
    I have always loved being a CNA and could care less about how "financially smart" it is for the facility...
    I just relish the one time their mismanagement works in my favor!
    realmaninuniform and toekneejo like this.
  4. 0
    Not unheard of, and in my previous job, we would take modified assignments and do total care for fewer patients if a CNA called off or they were short on CNA's, so similar situation, but not the same obviously.

    This isn't an everyday thing, is it? If it is, they're going to burn out their RN's; seems like they already have a hard time retaining CNA's at your place of work, and RN's will burn out and leave for the reasons you mention if it's a common practice; you want to be a nurse since that's what you are.

    Best of luck to you! Hang in there, and whatever you do, don't gossip about it at work or talk about how annoying it is. Just do your work. You don't want anything to get back to your manager, especially with you being new. You want to be perceived as awesome and positive and all of those things everybody loves lol.
  5. 0
    I swear wish i can like your status @loriangel14 a hundred times because it seems like some nurses when they get RN behind they name they act like they to good and i would have to bring them back to the norm in a nice nasty way
  6. 0
    I ended up floating to the ER once and ended up as a sitter with a 5150 for 12 hours. I thought it was ridiculous that they'd rather pay me 3x a rate then trying to find a CNA available in the hospital. I learned later we were very very short on CNAs that night and had 4 patients that required a sitter. So I wasn't the only one with that job. My personal belief is that they would rather be safe and regardless of staffing, they would probably much rather have you working as a nurse, but ultimately don't have a choice. Easiest but most boring 12 hours of my life.
  7. 1
    Well, you should have the more critical eye in comparison to the CNA. The only thing that sets you apart from a CNA is your Nurse Practice Acts gives you more leverage in patient care. So, there is no such thing as "CNA work". You are simply following the CNA's flow sheet.
    I'm sorry, but to hear new grads say "CNA work" or older nurses, it urks me.!
    realmaninuniform likes this.
  8. 0
    Some nurses don't want anything to do with hands on care such as taking a resident to the toilet or giving a bed bath. I enjoy helping with these things as it gives me more time with the patients. Not only can I use this time to assess them, but to get to know them better as a person. I work in LTC, and I will say that I no longer could take an entire assignment as a CNA, especially on the busier halls. I physically just can't do it anymore. Good CNAs are worth their weight in gold, and I never let them forget that!
  9. 1
    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.
    Thank you for explaining the rationals behind the duty switches!
    This explains the OP's question really well and provides insight beyond the "it's ok, that happens sometimes" line.
    toekneejo likes this.
  10. 0
    When I was a supervisor for a union facility there was no mandatory cancel when census dropped....So.....to adapt to census we would cancel the CNA's , unit secretaries and the RN's performed those duties. If the RN wanted to be canceled she could stay home if they all refused we started canceling UAP's and the RN worked/

    So, Yes it happens. It's not the best use of resources but if it is necessary for the needs of the a patient and unit....absolutely.

    As a preemptive, reminder....we can all agree to disagree without being disagreeable.


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