Frustrated Aide/New Grad

  1. I just recently completed nursing school and have been working at a hospital as an aide for over two years now. I know there are certain aides whom I work with that I would not trust completely with my own family members, but I don't generally work with them since they are on a different shift. Anywhoo, theres one aide who recently switched to my shift and is having trouble adjusting. She offered to help one of my patients to the bathroom today because she saw I was busy. The patient is on oxygen and only takes it off for a few minutes when she goes to the bathroom, then it goes right back on when she's done. Well, when this aide helped her out of the bathroom, she told the patient she didn't need the oxygen anymore and left it off! I never told her she could leave the oxygen off, and there were no orders from the nurse or the doctor to D/C this womans oxygen. Even worse, she was being discharged home ON OXYGEN and had the portable O2 tank in her room. One look at that tank and you pretty much know what its for, the woman constantly needs O2! When I confronted this aide, I asked her why she left the oxygen off the patient, and she simply stated "she looked fine and didn't look like she needed it." :angryfire I told her the patient was going home on O2 and had to be on it at all times, she should not have told this patient otherwise. The patient was off the O2 for about half an hour, as there was no reason for me to go into the room after the aide had helped her. It was only then that I discovered she had her oxygen off. Granted, I should have checked on her to make sure she was okay, but I trusted this aide and I was busy in other rooms. Sorry about the long vent, but lately the things that I see happen at my own facility, which is a well known hospital, frustrate me to no end.

    Another thing, when one person goes on break, we cover their patients, it's just what you do the same as when a nurse goes on break, someone covers her patients. Well as I was going into the lounge for my break and the other girl was coming out, I asked if she could help so and so (the room was directly across from the lounge, literally 3 steps). She said "nope, its not my patient." She was not doing anything else at the time, wasn't being called to another room, SAW the patient struggling to get onto the stretcher (which is what they needed help for) and just walked by!! I told her it doesn't matter if it's her patient, we help each other out. I've also heard tons of complaints about her from patients and nurses. I would never trust my family members in the hands of her.

    Now I know I'm far from perfect, but I think I'm pretty darn good at my job and the nurses and patients know I will go out of my way to help them, even if it's not my assigned patient. We have all made mistakes, myself included (we're all human!). Obviously I'm not gonig to go tell the head nurse about every little thing, but what can I do? I'm not going to put myself on a pedestal or say I'm better than them or anything along those lines, I just wish they would think more about the patients as people and not doing it just "because its their job." Sorry about the long vent, this has been on my mind all day. Thanks for listening/reading!
    Last edit by ChocoholicRN on Sep 27, '07
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   abooker
    Wow - reading your post was like looking in a mirror. Sounds like you're doing great; confronting as the situation occurrs and communicating expectations.

    I have a hard time when others don't see what appears to be screamingly obvious, like a portable O2 tank, or a patient struggling to get onto a stretcher, but smacking people upside the head with a wet flounder is against the rules at my facility.

    I hope you hang in there and keep addressing these "communication issues" as they occur. Hopefully, you'll see fewer "issues", at least from these aides, in the future. As a new grad and as a person with experience, you do have a greater ability - and responsibility - to help your patients. Best of luck to you.
  4. by   EmmaG
    Anywhoo, theres one aide who recently switched to my shift and is having trouble adjusting. She offered to help one of my patients to the bathroom today because she saw I was busy. The patient is on oxygen and only takes it off for a few minutes when she goes to the bathroom, then it goes right back on when she's done. Well, when this aide helped her out of the bathroom, she told the patient she didn't need the oxygen anymore and left it off! I never told her she could leave the oxygen off, and there were no orders from the nurse or the doctor to D/C this womans oxygen. Even worse, she was being discharged home ON OXYGEN and had the portable O2 tank in her room. One look at that tank and you pretty much know what its for, the woman constantly needs O2!
    I doubt the NA knew of the patient's home O2 orders, and simply having an O2 tank in the room doesn't necessarily mean the patient must be on O2 "constantly". I wonder why, if the patient does require continuous O2, did she not have extension tubing (comes in 25 foot length) so that she could walk to the BR without removing the O2?

    My take on this part of your post is that you as the nurse have a responsibility at the start of your shift to give the NAs a report on your patients as it pertains to the care they will be providing, and that includes informing them of which patients are on continuous O2.

    You say you "confronted" her about this; I am not quite sure what you mean by this, but I hope it was done with a 'thank you' for offering to assist you when she saw you were busy. This was a good learning experience for you both; I also hope that on your part, you approached it in such a manner so as not to discourage this obviously helpful NA from wanting to pitch in again when she sees that need.

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