RN's forced to do CNA work - page 7

by rnckr 13,421 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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    This happens at my job somewhat frequently. None of the RNs really mind unless it is two day in a row. If a CNA calls in, they will try to fill the opening with whoever is willing to come in. Also open cna shifts will be posted, and if no CNAs sign up, RNs can work the shift. We do get paid time & a half for short notice & open shifts. So nurses are usually pretty enthusiastic about doing cna work for time & a half
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    What a rare opportunity you had, to sit and observe the patient for a whole shift. I worked as a patient sitter for a year. Often when I needed a break it was the RN who filled in and they were glad for it.
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    Quote from DogWmn
    What a rare opportunity you had, to sit and observe the patient for a whole shift. I worked as a patient sitter for a year. Often when I needed a break it was the RN who filled in and they were glad for it.
    Having done both the sitter/1:1 and the CNA/tech role...I'd rather be the CNA/tech. 1:1s are a nice change, but most of the time it's too boring for me to do for more than a couple of hours. I'd rather be kept busy because it helps time pass faster.
    joanna73 and PNWRN like this.
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    We are told when we are hired that we will be expected to work every level of care UP TO our highest level of training. Translated, an RN can do the work of a DCP, CNA, CMA and LPN and is expected to if the workload calls for it.

    Just be glad you are getting the RN level of pay.
    Last edit by Elladora on Oct 7, '12
    Meriwhen likes this.
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    On my former med/surg unit we rarely had CNAs and when we did they refused to wipe "poo" or do any "housekeeping" type of work. I got tired of asking for help as they disappeared with the Dinamap and took proper care of the patients myself. However, it definitely takes a toll on a nurse with a heavy patient load and responsibility to do it alone. I was a CNA back in the day when we worked to provide the best care for our patients and I was at my nurse's side helping our patients together as a team. Those were the best days of my nursing career learning true patient care as a CNA. Today it is not the same and is considered a "dirty" job. Nonsense!
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    We are often down techs for one reason or another -- and when that happens, each nurse just steps it up and "techs" on their own patients.

    Not sure why the unit would see it as a better use of resources to be down a nurse and up a tech, rather than to have each nurse simply do all the CNA duties on their assigned patients?
    loriangel14 likes this.
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    [/QUOTE]I can pretty much guarantee after you've grown a few greys and are a little crispier around the edges, you'll welcome any aide work for RN pay you can get![/QUOTE]

    I love helping the CNAs, but working in LTC I just can't do as much of the transferring, turning, etc. as I used to. I do fine helping, and answering lights, but absolutely couldn't do a few 12 hour shifts of it, especially in a row. My poor old body isn't what it used to be.
    PNWRN likes this.
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    I agree with the OP. I didn't go to nursing school so that I could do CNA work when my boss had scheduling problems with the aides, which happens a lot where I work. Not only is CNA work backbreaking and dirty, to me it's also pretty boring. I work in LTC, almost every one of the 28 patients I am responsible for is incontinent. I don't mind helping out in emergency situations, but the reason we have aides in the first place is so that nurses can focus on the duties they were educated for. I do not want to do patient care, not even at a RN wages. I don't like the work, and I don't think it is "part of nursing" - an occasional necessity, yes, but not a huge part of the job. If it was, I probably would not have become a nurse.
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    Quote from Geslina
    I agree with the OP. I didn't go to nursing school so that I could do CNA work when my boss had scheduling problems with the aides, which happens a lot where I work. Not only is CNA work backbreaking and dirty, to me it's also pretty boring. I work in LTC, almost every one of the 28 patients I am responsible for is incontinent. I don't mind helping out in emergency situations, but the reason we have aides in the first place is so that nurses can focus on the duties they were educated for. I do not want to do patient care, not even at a RN wages. I don't like the work, and I don't think it is "part of nursing" - an occasional necessity, yes, but not a huge part of the job. If it was, I probably would not have become a nurse.
    All I'm going to say is wow. CNA work IS nursing work, it just happens to be tasks that can be delegated. I'm sure no one jumps for joy when cleaning up poop, but it is part of a nurse's responsibilities. Whose license and/or job do you think is going to be jeopardized when patients suffer from skin breakdown/infection/whatever because the nurse was "above" so-called CNA work?
    loriangel14, Esme12, GrnTea, and 2 others like this.
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    I agree with the OP. I didn't go to nursing school so that I could do CNA work when my boss had scheduling problems with the aides, which happens a lot where I work. Not only is CNA work backbreaking and dirty, to me it's also pretty boring. I work in LTC, almost every one of the 28 patients I am responsible for is incontinent. I don't mind helping out in emergency situations, but the reason we have aides in the first place is so that nurses can focus on the duties they were educated for. I do not want to do patient care, not even at a RN wages. I don't like the work, and I don't think it is "part of nursing" - an occasional necessity, yes, but not a huge part of the job. If it was, I probably would not have become a nurse.


    You couldn't be more wrong. The reason you have CNA's is so that they can help you do your job. It is all " Nursing work" there is no such thing as "CNA" work. IMHO you should absolutely not have become a nurse if that is your mentality. You don't want to do patient care? Perhaps you should work in health insurance or some other office nursing job.
    loriangel14 and GrnTea like this.


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