What do nurses really think of CNAs? - page 3

I have been working as a CNA in a LTC facility for the past four years. I am posting on this forum, because I would like some feedback from nurses. Recently at work, a survey was handed out to... Read More

  1. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from JenNJFLCA
    Most of the CNA's on my floor are great. I know there are some nurses that treat them like dirt, so I try to be friendly and will do my own vitals, etc if we are short. I try to help out whenever I can, but unfortunately they will take advantage of me and not care for my pts if they know I will help them all the time. I am trying to find a happy medium. They fight over a hallway that has a particular nurse because they know their job will be easier that day if they work with her pts. That's just sad. I just got off orientation so we'll see how it ends up with me. One of the CNA's has a horrible attitude. Whenever I ask her to do something for me she says (with an attitude), "well, I have to do this, this, and this so it can wait." I just want to say, "well, I have to give meds, chart, call the doctor, change the dressings, and now pick up your slack too." Sorry, this lady makes me angry sometimes. I was a tech in nursing school and was never that rude to people.
    A lot of the aides where I work are like that, too, just always too busy to get a carton of milk for someone or this or that. But the nurses can be just as lazy.
  2. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    You sound like a great, caring CNA. In order to answer your question, I would like to tell you about a few of the CNAs that I had to supervise:

    1. This CNA felt that because she worked overtime a lot, she had the right to pull a geri-chair into a semi-private, occupied patient's room and go to sleep for a couple of hours.

    2. CNA #2 would put sunglasses on and "take a break" in the lounge, blanket and all.

    3. CNA #3: in order to keep from having to change a big mess, diapered a patient with TWO diapers. The patient had a Foley cath. The diapers were on tightly enough to restrict the flow of the cath.

    4. CNA #4: was in nursing school, therefore she thought she knew better than me and was constantly challenging my decisions and "reporting" me when I did not do what she thought I should. Because she spent her time at the desk gabbing or on her break smoking, I cannot count how many times I came in to find her patients soaking wet.

    5. CNA #5: started out with a bang--she was awesome as a CNA. Her people were clean, her rooms were shining, she was kind and reported problems appropriately. But she burned out quickly working with CNAs 1, 2, and 3, and became very unreliable in attendance and hypercritical of everyone else.

    6. CNA #6: was busy fooling around with another coworker, both of whom were married to different people. The spouses got together one night and there was a rumble--police included--in the parking lot of the facility. Administration fired both employees--and then hired them back 4 weeks later.

    7. CNA #7: Came to work smelling of cologne and left work smelling of beer--pink slip in hand. Enough said.

    Five of these CNAs worked in the same facility.

    Shall I go on?

    A better question is, if you were the supervisor of any of these CNAs, and it was your license on the line, and your duty to delegate tasks responsibly, how would you feel about having to work with them?

    I've worked with some extremely wonderful CNAs, and I've also worked with the bottom of the heap. I've worked with CNAs who were happy to be a CNA and others who were too busy trying to second-guess and sabotage the nurses to be of much value to the patients they were supposed to serve.

    Overall, I respect and like CNAs. I enjoy working with them and when I have a few minutes, I love teaching them new things. I try very hard to teach why nurses have to do things a certain way, and I encourage them to take their breaks and get enough rest. I have written some nice letters of recommendation for CNAs who were doing a good job; a couple of them got bonus checks because of what I wrote.
    So it's not ok to drink there but it is ok to have a fight in the parking lot. I'll bet the latter individuals hired attorneys to bully the owners.
  3. by   ann945n
    I was a CNA for two years before i went back to school for my RN and understand first hand how hard they work and how skilled they are. I agree with other posters that if a RN is hostle towards you that nurse has either not gone throught the ranks or just having a really bad day, neither of those are excuses mind you. I love CNA's and being one and would have most likely stayed one if i could have made an affordable living off of it.
  4. by   Antikigirl
    I am well known on here and everywhere I have worked to be the biggest supporter of CNA's and LPN's! I advocate for them as much as I advocate for pts and other RN's!

    CNA's are the backbone and the eyes/ears of the facility! They are the hand that holds another, they are the shoulder that supports pts and staff, they do what most people wouldn't even dare to do like cleaning pts, lifting them, serving their every need! They do this because of their hearts, and many a day I wonder why in the world they do this daily because it is just so much to do, and little or no thanks for it (yeah and us RN's say only MD's get the glory...try being a CNA!).

    I appreciate and care for CNA's and all staff...how about the dietary teams that get nothing but complaints about food or service, the housekeeping that is running around with little than a shuffled thank you maybe...the volunteers that do so much behind the scenes they are forgotten. The pharmacy techs and lab techs behind the scenes that only seem to get notice when something is wrong...all of us in healthcare!

    I respect and adore each person because without one, none suceeds!

    I actually had the CNA's at my last facility make up a similar questionaire...me...because the administration really could give a rats toosh! It seemed like there were a few RN's that showed respect, no respect from management, pts or Admin...no one to turn to for help, no clear communication but all the responsiblity for it..and the list went on. I submitted it to admin....NOTHING!

    So I got in trouble (by admin but I told them to fire me or stick it!), but made christmas ornaments for all 100 of them and gave them a note saying how special CNA's are!!!!!! That was 3 years ago and I still see them and they comment on how they loved that kindness and present it proudly on their trees! !!!!!!! I also wrote a two paged letter and put it in the lunch room for them..which I have put on here two years running..and it has gotten tears and praise each year! It also got catchy, and others are doing it too...hey this seems like a great trend to set! (and it goes for anyone!).

    If you don't feel you are getting the respect or help you need, you need to switch facilities. I know I know the patients...but you don't do them any good if you are hindered by stupidity and disrespect, and if your pts truly respect and care for you...they want you to suceed in your life! I found that out when I left and felt guilty and horrible...everyone loved me enough to know it was my time to move on...
  5. by   OhioMTCRN07
    I disagree with Lenore P on page 1. You don't have to "work up the ranks" to appreciate how hard it is to be an CNA. During 2 years of nursing school, we have total care of the patient (meaning both RN and CNA duties). After the first week, I realized who did the bulk of the heavy care and those CNAs are worth their weight in gold. Likewise, the RNs have a lot to do as well. It takes a team to care properly for a patient. Do I have "less of an understanding" just because I didn't work as an CNA? Certainly not. I have an appreciation for all team members helping care for patients. Have been and always will be willing to help out others regardless of their job title. RN in 2007 for me and I will value every member of my team!
  6. by   banditrn
    Triage - I just thought of something as I read your post about dietary and housekeepers and such!

    A few years ago my mentally disabled cousin was a patient in our hospital - one of the housekeepers was SO kind to her, and got in the habit of bringing her in a little trinket or such every day. Nothing much, but it excited my cousin so much and she really looked forward to her coming in. Her sister told me all about it, so I called the head of Housekeeping to tell her how great and thoughtful we all thought this was - the supervisor was SO pleased to have someone call and give positive comments about her staff!
  7. by   camrave
    I think it also depends on if a nurse worked as a CNA before becoming a nurse. I did and it was the hardest job I ever had. CNA's do the "dirty" work and don't get paid enough for what they do. It takes a special person. Don't get me wrong, there are some CNA's who are lazy but then again so are some nurses....
  8. by   jo272wv
    I would like to comment on this one. First a history, I work in a hospital night shift 7p to 7a, the matrix has been horible for about 7 mo. After much complaining that 4 nurses for 28 pts is to much, management redid the matrix and last night we were able to have a cna at 22 pts. but we had 27 so a 5th nurse was alowed also. Let me tell you, the cna did all the q4 vitals, glucs, answered call lights, walked the gastric bypass pts, got the paperwork ready for new admits, and put in the new orders. I sat there this morning and was in aw at how nice the floor flowed all night, my pts finally got all my attention which was excellent. I have great respect for the cna's and the work they do to help us nurses out. Remember to always thank them often for their help.
  9. by   nuangel1
    i was a cna before becoming a nurse .i was also a unit secretary .these people help us as nurses to do our jobs on a daily basis .the cna 's i have worked with as a whole have been hard working ,worked as a team with the nurse,and were good to the pt's .there is always 1 bad apple nurs aid or secretary.lot of the cna's i have had the pleasure to work with are/were nursing students.as the nurse we can show them alot ,be supportive of the cna role and not act with the "i am better then them attitude".
  10. by   nursebearfeet
    let me say this, every one has a job to do and in doing their job they make the job for the next line much easier. for example if the housekeeper doesnt clean the room who does? if the cna does not do vitals who does? if the line breaks down every one's job is more difficult. i appreciate every one who does their part. no matter how you feel others view your job, it's your job and you should do it with pride. i was a cna once too and i know how you feel. guess what i'm a nurse now and some times i still feel berated and underappriciated. but i always do my job to the best of my ability and try my best to be kind to everyone.
    yes, i appreciate you and everyone else who does thier job well.
  11. by   nursebearfeet
    Quote from camrave
    i think it also depends on if a nurse worked as a cna before becoming a nurse. i did and it was the hardest job i ever had. cna's do the "dirty" work and don't get paid enough for what they do. it takes a special person. don't get me wrong, there are some cna's who are lazy but then again so are some nurses....
    i totally agree, it's manually much harder than being a nurse, usually. and they dont make enough money!
  12. by   mccmaeve
    I work with many very competent CNAs. Eager to provide good care to the patients. Twice I have sent my boss email about jobs well done by 2 CNAs. They are my eyes and ears sometimes, and I could not do my job without them. Like all other jobs-they are done by people, and people are all different. I also work with a few who I don't believe a word they tell me, and I might as well just do everything myself.There are nurses like that too.This isa smalller number-thankfully for the patients sake. I was an NA while I was in nursing school, I know how hard and unpleasant their work can be at times. For the most part-I appreciate my NAs
  13. by   SillyLilly
    I have worked with many great CNAs and some not so good ones. But the same has been with nurses.

    I worked as a nurses aid for over a year and did notice some disrespect toward some of the CNAs. But again, I saw disrespect from the CNAs to the nurses and alottt of disrespect from CNAs to other CNAs. (i really did not see nurses interact as much)

    Now that I am a nurse, the CNAs on our floor are mostly great. Some demand respect, and most truly earn it. 2 of them straight up told me in my first few days, do not disrespect them. Ex: They are called Patient Care Techs on our unit, and a new unit secretary paged on the inter com 'A PCT is need in room 123" Ohhhh man. She learned to never do that again. Since there is only 2 or 3 of them on the unit at a time, they would like their names to be used. Thats just they way it is on our unit.

    So, the ones I work with now are great. We all eat lunch together, we work as a team, and some of the nurses and CNAs are going on a cruise together. I really like that.

    The CNAs on our unit set a standard of respect that they feel they deserve. Which I agree with. They are very helpful for me as I have not done pt care in a while and some of them do EXCELLENT job of taking care of pts. Some do not want to do more work than is assigned to them-which is frustrating sometimes, but that happens with alot of people in the hospital, not just specific to CNAs.

    To sum it up for me, if you do a job well done and act professional (most of the time) and friendly, I will give you every respect you deserve, wheter you are Dr, CNA, maintenence, etc. I love CNAs over all, but I am the type of person to love ANYONE till they prove me wrong.
    Last edit by SillyLilly on Nov 16, '06

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