I don't want to be a CNA anymore. - page 2

After this experience, I don't want to be a CNA anymore. I do not have any luck in this field, I have the worst luck. I recently spoke with the Nursing home who terminated me to get the real... Read More

  1. by   TazziRN
    Quote from icyounurse
    I wouldn't worry too much about the poster who says you need further training. She is a nursing student according to her profile, and probably one who has never worked as a CNA in LTC or she would understand that the conditions you work under are the likely the main cause of your issues rather than a lack of training.
    Wow, nice post.........

    She may be a nursing student but you have no way of knowing what her experience is. Just because she does not list herself as a CNA, doesn't mean that she isn't one. And even if she isn't a CNA, her opinion is no less valued than anyone else's here. She is not like some students who tell the experienced nurses here that we're doing it wrong.

    I have worked LTC, and I still opine that when an entire staff says similar things, there must be something there. And I too believe that the OP should take this as a learning experience: if she truly did nothing wrong, then learn that not every place is a nice place to work. If there is a chance that the LTC staff was right to any degree, then learn that there are things about herself that perhaps should be changed.
  2. by   icyounurse
    Quote from TazziRN
    Wow, nice post.........

    She may be a nursing student but you have no way of knowing what her experience is. Just because she does not list herself as a CNA, doesn't mean that she isn't one. And even if she isn't a CNA, her opinion is no less valued than anyone else's here. She is not like some students who tell the experienced nurses here that we're doing it wrong.

    I have worked LTC, and I still opine that when an entire staff says similar things, there must be something there. And I too believe that the OP should take this as a learning experience: if she truly did nothing wrong, then learn that not every place is a nice place to work. If there is a chance that the LTC staff was right to any degree, then learn that there are things about herself that perhaps should be changed.
    Ouch
    You are right, I do not know her experience, it was just that she said she could not imagine getting pt's up before 530 or 6..........then she probably hasnt worked as a CNA in LTC, because its my understanding that while 330 am is way too early, they often get residents up and to breakfast long before 6 am, correct?
    But yes, I should not make assumptions, you are right.
    And yes, I am not saying that I know the poster or her situation, or if she should even be in this field, was just trying to offer supportive words because I have come home from work upset and frustrated by bad situations and assignments, and I don't think that its always your fault if a group of people come at you with harsh criticism. Often there is something you did wrong, but not always and I am just giving the benefit of the doubt. Sorry if I have offended, it was not my intention.
    Last edit by icyounurse on Feb 9, '08
  3. by   icyounurse
    Oh and also, if she is indeed not a LTC CNA and is telling an experienced LTC CNA how to do her job, then its a bit like a student nurse telling an experienced nurse how to do his or hers. Just my 2 cents.
    Last edit by icyounurse on Feb 9, '08
  4. by   Scrubby
    I'm really don't wish to sound harsh here but forcing people out of bed and up at 3:30 is not fair on your patients. I understand that your being told to get them up by 5m but what your doing is IMHO wrong . I'd rather be told off for being too slow than forcing an elderly person up at this ridiculous hour. In fact as an RN i'd be advocating for their rights for this to be changed.
  5. by   LesMonsterRN
    In the LTC facility I work in, our CNAs are not allowed to start getting people up before 5am. And predressing is a no-no. The folks we take care of aren't just tasks to be checked off at the end of a shift. There are some folks who like to get up early, some who like to get up late, so plan getting up time accordingly. Dressing them at 3:30 am feels outrageous to me.
    It is butt-busting hard work but with the right support it can get done.
    Last edit by LesMonsterRN on Feb 9, '08 : Reason: Took out a sentence that didn't make sense
  6. by   november17
    Quote from LesMonsterSN
    In the LTC facility I work in, our CNAs are not allowed to start getting people up before 5am. And predressing is a no-no. The folks we take care of aren't just tasks to be checked off at the end of a shift. There are some folks who like to get up early, some who like to get up late, so plan getting up time accordingly. Dressing them at 3:30 am feels outrageous to me.
    It is butt-busting hard work but with the right support it can get done.
    It depends on how much clout the first shift CNAs have, really.

    At the LTC I used to work at we would start getting people up at around 5am. We actually had a written schedule to it though. Certain residents always wanted to get up early and those would always go first. The rest of them had to take turns getting up based on what day of the week it was. They were all cool with that and it was pre-agreed upon with the DON. I'd walk in at 5 and wake them up and they'd say, "Ohhhhhhh it must be Thursday/Friday/whateverday." Just, routine.

    Getting a bunch of residents up can be difficult though. I don't think there was a day I left work without being half out of breath. It made the last 2 hours of my shift go pretty fast though. Mostly we found that if we worked together on all the patients (not just the heavy ones) it was far less backbreaking. We had pretty decent team dynamics though. Sometimes you just need to work on your communication skills! Say things like, "There's no way in heck I can get Mrs. X up by myself!" or "Let's do this together it will be easier!" Some days I would be unable to get all the patients up that I was supposed to (for various reasons), but if you're doing your job, 99% of the time it's easier to let that kind of stuff slide. Can't do everything...

    I actually found working out/weightlifting helped bring my endurance/strength up and was immensely helpful. I don't understand why more nurses/CNAs don't do this. I guess it's easier to just sit back and complain about how physically demanding their jobs are rather than make it easier on themselves.

    It's also about being as efficient as possible. Bedbath. Shirt. Pants. Pants to knees. Socks on. Right shoe. Left shoe. Stand up/Turn/Lift. Pants up. Sit down. Comb hair. Shave. Etc etc. Keep practicing that day in and day out 5 days a week and eventually you can have that kind stuff done very quickly, even on very heavy patients.

    Don't martyr yourself, take a deep breathe and say to yourself, "it's just a job."
    Last edit by november17 on Feb 9, '08
  7. by   Ms. Nurse Assistant
    Quote from Scrubby
    I'm really don't wish to sound harsh here but forcing people out of bed and up at 3:30 is not fair on your patients. I understand that your being told to get them up by 5m but what your doing is IMHO wrong . I'd rather be told off for being too slow than forcing an elderly person up at this ridiculous hour. In fact as an RN i'd be advocating for their rights for this to be changed.
    I would only get them dressed early. And then get them out of bed much later. It's really no different than the CNAs being instructed to go into their rooms at night every two hours to check and change their briefs. Which I felt was unfair. The residents get no proper sleep like that and those who could would complain.

    That's what I don't understand about this field, it's perfectly fine to wake residents up out of their sleep every two hrs to check a brief that might not even be wet, or to give them medication, check their blood pressure, pulse and respiration.. but you're violating them when you dress them early? they are already getting up extra early in the first place which is 5am.

    I hate to say it but a nursing home really is nothing like a real home IMO. And I think that's where the problem lies, these facilities are trying to act like something they are not. And the workers are paying the price because of the high demands.


    At this particular facility, either way I would have came out wrong. Dressing them early is wrong which equals being penalized. And if I would have dressed them later then I would have fell behind and been penalized for that. You can get written up if you are always working past your shift.

    I'm caught between a rock and a hard place.

    That's why I don't want to work in this field anymore. For this exact reasons. You can't please anybody, and you always come out doing something wrong. You don't know when the next shoe is gonna drop. Everyday you go to work and hope no one finds something wrong with what you did. for the first time in my life, i put a shoe on somebody and it gives them incredible pain and agony. who expects something like this to happen? it's totally out of your control


    I worked under much better conditions when I worked in retail. I got more respect and appreciation being a cashier at Target.
    Last edit by Ms. Nurse Assistant on Feb 9, '08
  8. by   november17
    Quote from Ms. Nurse Assistant
    That's what I don't understand about this field, it's perfectly fine to wake residents up out of their sleep every two hrs to check a brief that might not even be wet, or to give them medication, check their blood pressure, pulse and respiration.. but you're violating them when you dress them early? they are already getting up extra early in the first place which is 5am.

    I hate to say it but a nursing home really is nothing like a real home IMO. And I think that's where the problem lies, these facilities are trying to act like something they are not. And the workers are paying the price because of the high demands.
    It's called institutionalization. The nurses try to make it as comfortable and homelike as possible though. It's better than being in a cinderblock room, right?

    There's a routine to it. The residents get used to it. Eventually they start ringing if you don't show up on rounds to check them. You start messing with the routine and I guarantee they will start complaining about you.

    Routine is king in the LTC facility. You were going against that routine.

    I agree that getting written up about the shoe thing was harsh, but you can thank a vocal family member for that. They're the ones paying for the service. A vocal family member is just like the person that goes complaining to the McDonald's manager in exchange for a free hamburger. It's not about you, it's about them. No one was mad at you, they just feel this inadequacy and desperation over their loved one's situation. They have a tiny bit of control they are grasping at and they exercise it.

    You say you work retail, but working in nursing is no different than any other customer service job. Seriously. No one stops and thanks a Target cashier for ringing up their goods. Just like no one is going to thank a CNA for wiping their butt. Different tasks, same outcome.

    You need to explore other workplace options. Maybe you'd be happier in a hospital with a lighter patient load? Dunno..
    Last edit by november17 on Feb 9, '08
  9. by   TAB_RN
    Quote from Ms. Nurse Assistant
    Yeah it's very hard.

    I had no problem with the other sets because those residents were fairly easy to dress. I could start later with them. Depending on the condition of the resident, they require more patience and care so it takes longer.
    I also worked in a nursing home... for only 8 weeks. I worked with a brand new LPN that was vicious. She did not like me and made my life completely miserable. I really believe, because I was a student in a Registered Nursing Program, she just couldn't be kind to me. I left and then got a job as a PCA (CNA) in a hospital. It was much different and I just loved the job. I now have passed my boards and am a Registered Nurse. I would NEVER work in a Long Term Facility again, because of the experience I had. I also didn't like the way things were done. I felt like it wasn't structured properly. I wrote a letter to the director upon my leaving, but of course it didn't matter. Good luck to you and maybe it would be better to check out your local hospitals. You may like the way they run there.
  10. by   Ms. Nurse Assistant



    Routine is king in the LTC facility. You were going against that routine.
    Yes, I was going against the routine. But I'm not a magician, and I can't just make things happen on my own. We needed more female staff to help out. I was working with what I was given, which was not enough help.


    I agree that getting written up about the shoe thing was harsh, but you can thank a vocal family member for that. They're the ones paying for the service. A vocal family member is just like the person that goes complaining to the McDonald's manager in exchange for a free hamburger. It's not about you, it's about them. No one was mad at you, they just feel this inadequacy and desperation over their loved one's situation. They have a tiny bit of control they are grasping at and they exercise it.

    You say you work retail, but working in nursing is no different than any other customer service job. Seriously. No one stops and thanks a Target cashier for ringing up their goods. Just like no one is going to thank a CNA for wiping their butt. Different tasks, same outcome.

    You need to explore other workplace options. Maybe you'd be happier in a hospital with a lighter patient load? Dunno..
    It would be nice if the nursing homes were much more supportive of their CNAs and the high demands they face when dealing with the family members as well. The families are abusive to the CNAS with their unrealistic demands which often cost us our jobs.

    You know I worked at another nursing home where the residents complained to the families who told administration about how we were "opening and closing the doors too loud" and "we turned on the lights when they were trying to sleep"..just how are you supposed to change a wet diaper or clean up bowel movement in the dark?

    Any kind of complaint no matter how trite can get you written up. That's why I wish more nursing homes had a union. There is really no support to help defend us at all. I feel like everybody has someone to run to but us (the CNAs).
  11. by   VenaKavaRN
    I, too, worked in a LTC where I got no respect and was written up for trite things (truly trite, like only putting one Efferdent tab in a denture cup instead of two). It made me doubt myself as well as consider getting out of the field completely. I felt like I was bad at my job and never left work believing that I had done everything that needed to be done, and I was running from the time I hit the door till the time I walked out of it. It's very spirit-crushing.

    Then, a move required me to change my job, and I decided to try a hospital in my area. The change is like night and day. Here, the nurses thank me for my work, give me truly constructive criticism in a kind a respectful way, and there's a strong teamwork ethic. Yes, I still work very hard, but now I can get everything done and give the care I am capable of giving and go home feeling satisfied instead of regretful. My faith in myself and in my chosen profession is even stronger now than it was when I first chose it.

    I'm not saying every hospital is like that (because I have floated to units where this was certainly not the case), but what I AM saying is that there are supportive units out there with wonderful coworkers that would truly appreciate you. The trick is to find them. It's worth the effort to find one, believe me! There's no reason for you to stay somewhere that makes you feel like you are feeling. Even another LTC facility may be the ticket. You deserve a good working environment, and it sounds like you would really be an asset on the right team.

    Stop selling yourself short, and best of luck to you!


    Pepper
  12. by   Scrubby
    [I would only get them dressed early.]

    You are still waking them up at 3:30 though and to get them dressed requires them to get out of bed doesn't it? I mean for crying out loud these are elderly, frail patients who deserve to be treated humanly.

    [It's really no different than the CNAs being instructed to go into their rooms at night every two hours to check and change their briefs.]

    I'm going to be honest here. To even post something like this to justify the above comment shows that you need a lot more nursing experience and education than you have. Changing someones briefs/pads is important because of preventing skin breakdowns and excoriations, urinary tract infections and so on. This is a legitimate reason for waking someone up. You are waking them up just to dress them. See the difference?

    I do sympathize that you were given an unrealistic schedule to get people up. However, it seemed that instead of being a patient advocate and questioning the time frame, asking for assistance, addressing your concerns with management you took it upon yourself to wake these poor patients up to make life easier for you. Bad idea and i hope that you find a job in a more supportive environment.
  13. by   Ms. Nurse Assistant
    Quote from Scrubby
    [I would only get them dressed early.]

    You are still waking them up at 3:30 though and to get them dressed requires them to get out of bed doesn't it? I mean for crying out loud these are elderly, frail patients who deserve to be treated humanly.
    No. I would dress them and leave them in bed. They did not have to get up until 5am.

    There are other residents on the schedule who are "dress and leave" meaning you just dress them in bed and don't get them up.


    [It's really no different than the CNAs being instructed to go into their rooms at night every two hours to check and change their briefs.]

    I'm going to be honest here. To even post something like this to justify the above comment shows that you need a lot more nursing experience and education than you have. Changing someones briefs/pads is important because of preventing skin breakdowns and excoriations, urinary tract infections and so on. This is a legitimate reason for waking someone up. You are waking them up just to dress them. See the difference?

    I do sympathize that you were given an unrealistic schedule to get people up. However, it seemed that instead of being a patient advocate and questioning the time frame, asking for assistance, addressing your concerns with management you took it upon yourself to wake these poor patients up to make life easier for you. Bad idea and i hope that you find a job in a more supportive environment.
    You are saying this without realizing management didn't respect us enough to do anything about it. The CNAs complain all the time and management doesn't care. They do not always listen. This job is tough! That's why they hire and fire people all the time. When I first got there I was told how many CNAs they run through.

    I was simply trying to work with what I was given. This facility had hired a lot of male CNAs but they were not of any help to us (the women) because many of the male and female residents didn't want a male assisting them. So, this really sucked. The women were stuck with all of the hard work. We had all this extra help, but couldn't use them.

    The men have it by far much easier. They have less work, and less hassle.

close