lazy mean assistants - page 3

This morning while I was trying to calculate I/O's, admin meds, cover fingersticks, etc...the end of shift duties, I asked my assistant if she had emptied the NG and colostomy and f/c in room 6. She... Read More

  1. by   underpaidrn
    I have never had a problem with any of the CNAs that I have worked with. I am respectful of them and they of me. They know that I am their supervisor and that they need to do what I ask. I do not make demands, rather, I ask them to perform the task. If they give a negative answer, I ask what their objection is to the task and what would be a remedy to the problem. Most of the time they are willing to perform the task after speaking quietly and privately with them. Remember, as a nurse you are their supervisor. You write them up and you follow through with the recommended correction. If they continue, then it is passed over to the DON, Administrator, etc., straight up the chain of command. If nothing else is done by management, then you have the option to report the CNA to the Board of Nursing where they are certified. If you allow them to run over you, they will. It doesn't matter how long the CNA has been there, you, as a nurse, are their supervisor. Respect is earned on both sides. It doesn't come automatically.
  2. by   longjourneydream
    Quote from chenoaspirit
    this morning while i was trying to calculate i/o's, admin meds, cover fingersticks, etc...the end of shift duties, i asked my assistant if she had emptied the ng and colostomy and f/c in room 6. she said "nope". i asked her if she would do it. she said "nope, i wont." so i asked her why not. she said that the assistant-trainee needs to do it (this assistant is training her). now normally i do this stuff myself because it always turned into a confrontation when i asked them to do anything. well, this assistant-trainee doesnt know how to do it, she says she has never been shown how to. at this point, it was just easier to do it myself. but the rude assistant wouldnt leave it alone. she yelled at me in front of the entrie nurses station about how these new people need to do their job or find another one, that i need to go and show her how to do it! umm, excuse me? it isnt my job to train the assistants. im doing my job and its hard enough. then she follows me to the medcart to argue with me some more. she gets mad and walks off yelling at me. ya know, when she is swamped or busy, i always helped her do her blood draws, empty trash. i tried to work as a team. but apparently thats what is expected of me now. when i need help, there is no help to be found. another nurse is the one who has to help me clean a patient who is a complete when they have a bm in the bed. the assistants on our floor will not clean a patient, will not empty f/c's, will not do any i/o's, they want to skip out on the vitals by asking "which patients do you have to have vitals on." i never ask an assistant to help me, because i get yelled at! the answer is "i dont have time." one day i had a shot in one hand and a cup of pills in the other and was going to a patient's room when another patient called out needing to go to the bathroom. who do you think had to go...me. i had to put the meds back in the medcart and go assist this patient to the bsc because the assistant didnt have time (she was standing at the nurses station talking). ive gone to my nurse manager several times, as have many other nurses. it doesnt do any good. we are short staffed, which allows this behavior to continue. im ready to quit but if i dont figure out how to handle this now, it will happen again at my next job. i dont know how to be assertive. this assistant has worked on this floor for 17years, ive only worked there for 2 1/2 years. she literally thinks her role is more important than anyone elses. how would you handle an aggressive assistant like her?

    i myself have been a tech/cna for years,and a recent rn grad.

    i know how hard it can be, to function as an aide on the floor.

    i have been run ragged by many nurses having 14 patients and expected to answer every

    light; which consisted of bathroom calls, requests for meds (to relay request to nurse) walk the

    patients, clean the patients,feed the patients, and on top of that do i&o,and vitals q 4 hours! 12

    hours of non-stop work, and sometimes try to delay my lunch, when i was running and working

    the hardest physically.

    i remember one nurse who always refused to help me, when i was working on an oncology unit.

    she always told me "i cannot help you i am too busy", this was all the time. i would have to move

    200 pound folks; turning them etc for personal care, as a result, i developed a tendenitis that would not go away,and a carpal tunnel that need surgery due to all the abuse i put on my body...

    i did not know how to defend myself, because i knew lpn's and rn's were in charge.

    i brought this to the attention of the nurse manager, he stated,"i needed to take control of the situation." split care assignments between nurses, so the load would not be as bad.

    anyway, it improved as i learned to be more assertive, but i did it professionally as well as respectfully.

    if i could not do something, i would explain to my nurse the reason why i could not, not yell and scream.

    if i did not know how to do something, i would ask my nurse to show me how to do it; so that next time i would be able to perform the task.

    as nurses we are trained to be the teachers ;if our staff does not know how to do a procedure, that is our responsibility to teach them. if they still refuse report to nurse manager.

    everyone is working hard on the floor.
    sometimes an overwelmed nurse will have to work extra hard because, her aide maybe doing something else; however he/she may also be hiding (no proof).

    however, there are some employees (nurses and aides)that sit talk, socialize constantly while call lights go off...

    there are also employees (nurses and aides) that verbally abuse those around them and seem to get away with it.

    if one likes where they work, something must be done about it.
    if not, sometimes the only solution is to leave.

    i was always taught the chain of command.

    nurse manager, director of dept, director of nursing, ceo.
    never go above anyones head, and document actions/situations of complaint.
    Last edit by longjourneydream on Sep 26, '07
  3. by   nursemike
    Quote from Jessiek
    The nicer you are to people, the more willing they will be to help you out.
    I mean this in the gentlest, most constructive possible way, but as a future RN, I'm afraid you will come to agree with me that, yes, it's a bit naive. The sad truth is, the nicer you are to some people, the more they'll feel invited to take advantage of you. Many people will, indeed, reciprocate the respect and consideration you show them, but some won't.

    I'm lucky--I work with some wonderful aides and wonderful nurses. Had a night, once, before I went to nursing school, when I was clocking in with three of our best aides and one of my favorite fellow ordelies, and opne of the aides asked, "Who are our nurses, tonight?" To which another aide replied, "Does it matter?"
    That's a great situation to be in, working with a team that knows it can handle whatever comes. The aide wasn't disrespecting the nurses, but rightly observing that with such strong support, any nurse was going to look better.
    Now I'm on the other side, often working with staff who make me look better, and Lord knows I'm grateful. However, that isn't always the case.

    I've often regretted, and not just as a nurse, that I seem to tend to think of the right thing to say or do in hindsight. One such instance was dealing with an aide who was lazy, indifferent, insubordinate, and marginally competent at best. A couple of days after a particularly bad night, it occurred to me that the next time I was assigned this aide, I was going to tell the CN that I would not accept him, that I would do primary nursing on my six patients and he wasn't to do anything for them, not even answer a call light. Mind you, there's no way I'm able to give adequate, total care to six pts, but they weren't getting that, anyway, and if I was going to be responsible, either way, then I was only going to be responsible for myself.

    As it turns out, this aide was gone before the issue arose again, so I never got to (or had to) test this approach, but I'm keeping it in my arsenal in case the need ever arises. I have, since then, had to take 2-3 pts in stepdown with no aide, and it sucks a lot, but it can be done.

    Of course, while it's true being nice won't motivate everyone, it's also true that being nasty will alienate everyone.
  4. by   Sisukas
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I do stand behind my assertion that if you write someone up, you should be told that corrective action has been taken. I should have phrased it better. Thanks.
    I agree. I will tell the person who brought the situation up to me that corrective action has been taken, but if they ask for specifics on the discipline, I tell him/her that that isn't something I can share.
  5. by   DLOAH
    Im so sorry you have to go through that. Im a nursing assistant and there is no way I would be allowed to get away with that at my job. You are the boss and she needs to understand that. I have to agree with what the others where saying she needs to be written up everytime she gets out of hand and also that is a form of abusive she wouldnt be doing that if surveyors were around. Not all places are like that.
  6. by   AprilRNhere
    Yuck, I worked in a similar place...as a nurses aid while in RN school. It drove me crazy..and because I felt like the aids SHOULD be doing the work...I ended up carrying most of the load. There were a handful of aids who ran the place...few of the nurses would stand up to them..and the DON kept saying go to your charge nurse. We were ALWAYS short staffed...so noone wanted to start any conflict. When I got my RN...I didn't even consider taking a position there..even though they were in desperate need for nurses..on all three shifts.
  7. by   Jo Dirt
    I'm sure they have inservices at your place of work. I'd take that opportunity to get up in front of everyone and just say that there needs to be some clarification about who's job it is to do what and under what circumstances the assistants can say no when ordered to do their job.

    I doubt that assistant will stand up and say it isn't her job to clean patients or empty caths. If she did and administration shrugged their shoulders I would be gone that very day.

    I like to bring things on out in the open. Maybe it's because I was born in the year of the tiger but I'm not afraid to face the music head on and I'll be damned if I cower to subs. One thing that sends me into a rage is to be walked all over and I won't be mincing about it.
    Bring it on.
  8. by   longjourneydream
    Quote from Aprilhere
    Yuck, I worked in a similar place...as a nurses aid while in RN school. It drove me crazy..and because I felt like the aids SHOULD be doing the work...I ended up carrying most of the load. There were a handful of aids who ran the place...few of the nurses would stand up to them..and the DON kept saying go to your charge nurse. We were ALWAYS short staffed...so noone wanted to start any conflict. When I got my RN...I didn't even consider taking a position there..even though they were in desperate need for nurses..on all three shifts.
    And as I will say sacastically;no wonder they were always short so staffed...
  9. by   azor
    I believe if you tell your manager and she refused to do something,go to the person higher than the manager.If the person dont want to do anything,then may be you quit.For my floor,what i encounter is rude assistants,when you ask them for anything,they will talk to me as though i ate their yam but that is because i guess i am still new to the floor.All i tell myself is that i neeed to be firm when i am telling them something.I tell you,managing the assistants is an additional task on its own.
  10. by   Kayartea
    Write up the incident where she followed you to yell at you. Then write her up every time she does anything wrong. Give copies to your NM and copies to HR, making sure you NM is aware that copies are going to HR. In the write up state (and use this phrase specifically) that this person is creating a hostile work environment. Get others to sign as witnesses , if possible. That action of creating a hostile work environment is not related only to sexual harassment and if the hospital does not take care of the problem inform them that you are forwarding copies to the appropriate agency in your state for further action. And stick to your guns. It's important, not just for you, but for everyone else who has to work under those conditions. And you will be really proud of yourself for taking action and sticking to it.
  11. by   banditrn
    Quote from Jessiek
    As a nursing student who worked as an aide over the summer, I had the opportunity to kind of see this from both angles. While I really sympathize with nurses who are frustrated by poor work ethics on the part of aides, I just wanted to add that, as an aide, I have never worked quite so hard for so little respect in my entire life. The lack of respect did not come from patients, families, or anyone but from the nurses themselves. Of course I'm not making any general statement about nurses but in my short experience I found the nurses on my unit to be unwilling to communicate with me and woulddismiss me if I brought certain things to their attention. I felt pretty value- less ( is that a word?) to the nurses although I rarely got a break, did back-breaking physical labor, cleaned up c**p all day, and in general ran around like crazy to make my patients more comfortable and the nurses' jobs less taxing. My own morale was pretty low and my respect for women who had been aids for twenty or more years was never higher. My point is that these aids work very very hard for little money and little respect and I think it is easy for many people to dismiss them because they "have no education" or because their job description involves physical labor rather than critical thinking skills. But until nurses begin to treat their very hardworking aids as valued and respected, they can not expect aids to have the same level of dedication to them.. just my opinion and it may seem naive but I really think sometimes nurses' attitudes need adjustment. Please don't take any of this the wrong way- I'm 8 months away from becoming an RN myself- I hope- and I am in no way putting down all nurses or saying all aids are great. Just some observations I noted while working as an aid after being a student nurse for a year. The nicer you are to people, the more willing they will be to help you out.
    Jessie - it does not sound like you are one of the kind of aids the OP was talking about. Believe me, the other kind DO exist.

    Thruout your career, you're going to run into both kinds, just like you will the kind of nurses you talk about. Not all of us are like that - make sure you aren't either!
  12. by   november17
    There are some "lazy" aides on our floor, but nothing that bad!! I've heard them sarcastically say no a few times, and putting your foot down can be hard, but most of the time if you stand your ground and outwill them it works out. Anyone who has kids can sympathize...I have a willful 6 year old at home, and nothing/no one can be any worse than that! I just don't take no for an answer. I hope I never end up in a situation like the OP.

    Recently I was sitting at the desk waiting for a return phone call from a doctor, I had a patient ring to go to the bathroom. The aide walked by and I said, "Hey room blablabla needs help to the bathroom." The aide saw that I was just sitting there, and said, "I'm soooo busy... you do it." I was already kind of irritated because of getting the run around from this doctor, so I stood up and said, "Okay fine, you sit down, take the phone call from the doctor, tell him all about the patient, write out the order, then go get whatever med he orders and give it, okay?" On cue, the phone started ringing, and I said, "go ahead, have a seat." The aide said, "I was just kidding, I can't do that." But there is a grain of truth to every joke, and I know that's what they were really thinking. I was an aide for years, myself, and I know how my CNAs feel when I ask them to do things when they're really busy. Hey, I'm busy too.
    Last edit by november17 on Sep 26, '07
  13. by   Kayartea
    I think part of the problem between aides and nurses is simply that nurses can do everything the aides can do, so aides have no imperative to get things done, and they see nurses sitting down to wait for a call from and MD or to chart and think we aren't doing anything. And we do make so much more than aides I can see where some come to resent it. I've worked with some of he best aides in the world who still are unable to understand that so much of nursing is cerebral. That in a good place RN's are paid for knowledge, not completion of tasks. (Of course, I've worked with some RN's who have the same misunderstanding...and, yes, being good at tasks is important, but it's not the reason for the existence of nurses. Not in this century.)

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