Does anyone remember when aides didn't have to be certified?

  1. Another discussion brought to mind the days when I was a nurses aide. Not a CNA. Does anyone remember those days?
    I have always had high regard for nurses aides, certified and otherwise, but I remember when I worked on weekends and after school. We were just kids who thought maybe we might like to be a nurse, let's see what it 's like to work with "patients". Kids can't do that anymore without spending a few weeks in a program and spend, what, $1200?
    I think the quality of care has deteriorated since the certification has been required. This is a general comment and by no means is a shot at every CNA, I work with several CNAs who are naturals. Just know how to treat people, who work hard,will do what is asked of them without an arguement. Then there those who obviously hate the job, complain and argue about everything. I don't know any other reason for them to have chosen the career except that there is nothing that they are qualified to do, except work in a nursing home. They treat the old folks like they aren't there, no kindness or respect. sad, but true!
    Don't know if any of you can make the same comparison, but was just wondering.
    Course we old folks always think everything was better " way back when"
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    I was a nursing assistant (not certified) 1977-1978 and was paid $2.05/hour. With that, I lived on my own and had a car payment too.
  4. by   gettingupthere
    I worked in 1966-68 and started at .75 an hour!
  5. by   zenman
    I trained as an aide so far back I was called an "orderly." Training was OJT.
  6. by   allantiques4me
    OMG!Yeah!I do remember being a 16 y/o taking care of 10 elderly and disabled people.We had all of them bathed,(full bed bath),2 tub baths,Pts up in GERI,or Wheelchairs,beds stripped,new linens put on ,passed trays,brought linnens up from laundry,fed the Pts.not to mention changing incontinent Pts.,bringing ambulatory Pts. to the b/r,crafts,ect.W/O a complaint to the 21 y/o team leader who was an LPN.If she told you to get a temp by 9, ya better d""n wll have it done.I wouldnt dream of telling my LPN team leader that I wont do this or that .The whole floor ran like a well oiled machine and most of us were like 16 or 17 y/o.The ones that were certified were horrible know it alls!!I do agree theres been some degradation in todays way of taking care of people.And Please,I dont mean to offend any nurses aids.I know it is grueling at times,and many of you do genuinely care about people.God bless you! you know who you are.
  7. by   cardiac.cure03
    I was a certified nurses aid when I was 16/17 yo and didnt have to pay a thing for it. The nursing home offered the CNA classes there and they paid ME while taking them.

    I also knew of another nursing home that had (not certified) nurses aides. One of my friends used to work there. And this was just in the early 2000's!

    But then again, I grew up in a small town
  8. by   clee1
    To my knowledge, many states don't' "require" certification. Also, many facilities will do the cert training; not only free but actually pay you (on the clock) while training.
  9. by   msdobson
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I was a nursing assistant (not certified) 1977-1978 and was paid $2.05/hour. With that, I lived on my own and had a car payment too.
    Yep. Early 80's. $3.05 an hour. Worked "the hall" (20 pts) with one other aide. Ahh, those were the days. Working LTC was a bloody eye-opener for a young kid, let me tell you!
    Last edit by msdobson on May 13, '07
  10. by   ccyrrus
    Quote from gettingupthere
    Another discussion brought to mind the days when I was a nurses aide. Not a CNA. Does anyone remember those days?
    I have always had high regard for nurses aides, certified and otherwise, but I remember when I worked on weekends and after school. We were just kids who thought maybe we might like to be a nurse, let's see what it 's like to work with "patients". Kids can't do that anymore without spending a few weeks in a program and spend, what, $1200?
    I think the quality of care has deteriorated since the certification has been required. This is a general comment and by no means is a shot at every CNA, I work with several CNAs who are naturals. Just know how to treat people, who work hard,will do what is asked of them without an arguement. Then there those who obviously hate the job, complain and argue about everything. I don't know any other reason for them to have chosen the career except that there is nothing that they are qualified to do, except work in a nursing home. They treat the old folks like they aren't there, no kindness or respect. sad, but true!
    Don't know if any of you can make the same comparison, but was just wondering.
    Course we old folks always think everything was better " way back when"
    I have been a CNA for four years and I work in a nursing home. I have a close relative who is a retired RN. She has been one of my biggest supporters (emotionally) over the years, and has discussed "the good old days" with me a few times, about when nurse's aides weren't certified. Her recollection of those times are different than the OP's. She said that it was scary at times, how people could come in off the street, with no training, and start working with the older folks. Repeated falls and other mishaps were a common every day thing. She is glad that nursing assistants have to be trained and certified now, and has stated, that they always should have been.

    I initially became a CNA, because I wanted to get into the healthcare field but didn't know which direction I wanted to go in. I thought that, as a CNA, I could observe different job positions and some of what they entailed. Perhaps that might help me decide on a career. However, I found out that I truly loved being a CNA and the residents that I help care for every day. Although, this isn't a job that I will do for the rest of my life, I am happy right now, doing what I am doing. It's not because I am not qualified to do anything else! (As the OP stated) I have worked other places doing other jobs, and this is the only place that I have felt a sense of satisfaction for a job well done, at the end of the day. The work is hard and we work short-staffed a lot! But the good does out weigh the bad.

    I have helped to take care of many elderly residents in the LTC facility that I work in. Several of those people used to work as RN's. They all tell me that they wished that they had a caring, hardworking CNA, like me, when they were working, as it would have made their job a lot easier. The appreciation that I get from them, means more to me than any praise that I get from my supervisors.
  11. by   CseMgr1
    Oh, yeah. I was 18 years old back in 1970, when I began training to be a nurses' aide in a large teaching hospital. My salary was $1.60/hr., and I got a 5 cents an hour raise after six months. I was still making $1.65/hr. when I quit a year later, to enroll in Practical Nursing at a local technical school.
  12. by   Tweety
    I disagree. You don't have to be certified here in Florida. They pick people off the street to be techs and train them on the job. Our latest is a "party planner and hostest" in her other job. How that qualifies her to be a Patient Care Tech is beyond me, but she's cute walking around smiling real big, but not getting the job done. The one hired before her wants to be a doctor, and is just hanging around "observing see what it's like to be in a hospital setting".

    I think education and certification is an excellent idea and while I don't have any documentation to back my presumption up, I doubt care would deteriorate.
  13. by   UM Review RN
    I started in a LTC facility as a nurse's aide for $2.70/hr. in 1971.

    NA's could do anything the nurses taught them to except for a couple of things. I recall being told to "change the sheets during rounds, but don't wash the patient up unless you smell ammonia."
    The level of care has dramatically improved with regulation of nursing homes. Doesn't anyone recall the nursing home fires back in the '70s that got the ball rolling on that? People were living in firetraps. I remember learning how to form a line to evacuate elders by putting them on the floor on their bedclothes and dragging them down the line to the next person.
    Thank God we never had a fire.
    I also remember people forgetting to unclamp Foley caths and once I found that a newbie had replaced an ostomy wafer on a colostomy patient without first cutting the hole for the stoma. I remember MOM for wound care and the nasty, sickening smell of gangrene.

    We always had NAs who hid in rooms and shirked and slacked and smoked at the desk all shift; now at least they can't smoke the place out and come in drunk to work.
  14. by   CT Pixie
    Yup! I was a Certified Nurses Aid BUT that "certified" part was a certificate from the LTC that trained me..they paid ME to train me! A few yrs after CT then decided they wanted CNA's on the newly formed State Registry, and thats when all the high priced "schools" popped up. I was "grandfathered" in since I already held my "cert" and had a few yrs under my belt at the time.

    I was a bright eyed 16 yr old High School Sophmore who worked weekends, holidays and school vacations in the LTC while all my friends had the "cool" jobs like waiting tables in the local bar and grill etc. Well, THEY thought their jobs were cooler. I knew my choice would help me in my long journey to becoming a nurse.

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