What do nurses really think of CNAs? - page 6

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   Cmariehart
    I work in a LTC facility. And my CNA's kick some serious butt!!!!!! I would do just about anything for them. They're so good to the residents and to the families. I couldn't do my job without them. I can't say enough good things about them!!! They always go the extra mile and then some more. They make coming to work more enjoyable. We have a lively crew where I work. And they are truely the best!!!!!!!!!! MY CNA's ROCK!!!!!!
  2. by   Brad_RN_Student_PA
    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.



    Could i be called CNA #8? I am a nursing student, and i am gonna reply to what you have written with great expertise...I do not leave patients wet for very long, I answer call bells, unless you are standing right in front of the room, and I accept delegation within reason. And I don't come to work drunk, usually. haha JK. NEVER.

    First of all, as a CNA, we get paid next to nothing, usually. So how can you expect what you expect? I have worked with RN's who expect so much that it is impossible to get done what is expected...ya know, the type who have "meds to pass" but they run around the halls looking for those beneath them to wipe a butt...or fill a water pitcher...it's like, didn't they teach you time management in nursing school? Or common sense? You could have had that butt wiped or that pitcher filled TWICE in the time it took you to find me.
    And then i've worked with RN's who say, "hey, when you get time, could you HELP me clean up Mr. Blah Blah? I know you are very busy, but I need to get these meds passed...When you are free, we can clean him up together." These usually are the RN's who have been CNA's in the past.

    So my point is this: CNA's put up with a lot of crap, usually the majority of things that have a tendency to piss ppl off. For example, answering repetitive call bells of a client that is confused or demanding. "Sorry, meds need passed" is not an excuse. In conclusion, I do not feel that patient abuse (such as leaving a patient wet, leaving a call bell ring, etc.) is acceptable, but I DO feel that every RN should be a CNA first. Point made.
    Delegation is often abused, and especially in a long term care environment.
  3. by   MagicAvalon
    Sorry but I left Med Surg to do ICU/CCU primary care due to CNA's with bad attitudes. They would berate you if you did not speak spanish or understand their accent the first time they spoke. I was told I should speak Spanish because I live in California....what?:chuckle
  4. by   nursemike
    Quote from Brad_RN_Student_PA
    Could i be called CNA #8? I am a nursing student, and i am gonna reply to what you have written with great expertise...I do not leave patients wet for very long, I answer call bells, unless you are standing right in front of the room, and I accept delegation within reason. And I don't come to work drunk, usually. haha JK. NEVER.

    First of all, as a CNA, we get paid next to nothing, usually. So how can you expect what you expect? I have worked with RN's who expect so much that it is impossible to get done what is expected...ya know, the type who have "meds to pass" but they run around the halls looking for those beneath them to wipe a butt...or fill a water pitcher...it's like, didn't they teach you time management in nursing school? Or common sense? You could have had that butt wiped or that pitcher filled TWICE in the time it took you to find me.
    And then i've worked with RN's who say, "hey, when you get time, could you HELP me clean up Mr. Blah Blah? I know you are very busy, but I need to get these meds passed...When you are free, we can clean him up together." These usually are the RN's who have been CNA's in the past.

    So my point is this: CNA's put up with a lot of crap, usually the majority of things that have a tendency to piss ppl off. For example, answering repetitive call bells of a client that is confused or demanding. "Sorry, meds need passed" is not an excuse. In conclusion, I do not feel that patient abuse (such as leaving a patient wet, leaving a call bell ring, etc.) is acceptable, but I DO feel that every RN should be a CNA first. Point made.
    Delegation is often abused, and especially in a long term care environment.
    I work with aides (usually not certified, which is why I'm not using "CNA") who are underpaid, and also with some who shouldn't be paid at all. I have a great deal of respect for those who respect themselves and their duties, but not much for those who don't. I do believe that when you accept a position, you are told at the time what the pay will be, and if you accept the pay, you ought to do the job.

    I agree that passing meds is no excuse. I don't NEED an excuse! Passing meds is a time-sensitive task that only a nurse can do, and if it looks easy, just wait until it's your turn. Every night, from 2130 to 2230, I have a boatload of meds to pass, and often water pitchers to fill so people can take their meds, and sometimes an extra blanket or pillow to fetch, or a patient not doing well, or a scheduled dressing change.

    I have interrupted my med passes to change a soiled patient because the aide was too busy totalling Is&Os. When I can, I try to arrange it so the ABTs and other "serious" meds get done timely, and if I have to let colace and pepsid slide a little late, that's okay, sort of. I've had several lols tell me they were uncomfortable, at first, having a male put them on and off a bedpan, but it was a lot better than waiting half-an-hour for the aide. I have had nights I didn't even know who my aide was, since I never saw him/her.

    And I've had aides who have made a bad night bearable, or a good night fun. I've been really proud when an aide I like to work with said she was glad I was her nurse. I've asked aides (who used to do our blood draws, but are no longer allowed to, per admin) to help me find a vein when I had a difficult stick. I've seen aides I've badgered to get their butts into nursing school because they're too talented to work for $8/hr, and I've seen aides (including a couple of nursing students) who had no business anywhere near healthcare, because they just didn't give a crap.

    As Rach observed, you just can't generalize.
  5. by   banditrn
    Quote from Brad_RN_Student_PA
    Could i be called CNA #8? I am a nursing student, and i am gonna reply to what you have written with great expertise...I do not leave patients wet for very long, I answer call bells, unless you are standing right in front of the room, and I accept delegation within reason. And I don't come to work drunk, usually. haha JK. NEVER.

    First of all, as a CNA, we get paid next to nothing, usually. So how can you expect what you expect? I have worked with RN's who expect so much that it is impossible to get done what is expected...ya know, the type who have "meds to pass" but they run around the halls looking for those beneath them to wipe a butt...or fill a water pitcher...it's like, didn't they teach you time management in nursing school? Or common sense? You could have had that butt wiped or that pitcher filled TWICE in the time it took you to find me.
    And then i've worked with RN's who say, "hey, when you get time, could you HELP me clean up Mr. Blah Blah? I know you are very busy, but I need to get these meds passed...When you are free, we can clean him up together." These usually are the RN's who have been CNA's in the past.

    So my point is this: CNA's put up with a lot of crap, usually the majority of things that have a tendency to piss ppl off. For example, answering repetitive call bells of a client that is confused or demanding. "Sorry, meds need passed" is not an excuse. In conclusion, I do not feel that patient abuse (such as leaving a patient wet, leaving a call bell ring, etc.) is acceptable, but I DO feel that every RN should be a CNA first. Point made.
    Delegation is often abused, and especially in a long term care environment.
    Sorry, Brad, but 'meds need passed' IS a valid reason. At the LTCF that I just left (yippee) I got 1 CNA at nite - the two I worked with most of the time were saints, but there was one guy that was a dud. I had major issues with him from the beginning, so the answer, instead of getting rid of him, was to schedule him so that I never had to work with him.

    He would whine that the nurses never helped him - well, when I worked with him, he had no idea how much I did - when he was on rounds, I answered all the other lites, and on my med pass when I first started, it was taking me FOREVER because I would stop and take people to the BR, get them this and that. But you can be sure that he got HIS breaks. Then I was told to STOP doing so much of this, and get the meds done.

    Medications are timed, and need to be passed within a certain time frame. Another thing I see is that 'nurses don't do anything, just sit on their butts' all nite. Nope - we have unbelievable charting to do. Sometimes it seems never-ending. There have been a few times lately that I've wanted to throw it all on the floor, get up, and be a CNA for awhile.

    And while CNA's do a lot of physical things, nurses have to be involved in a lot of mental things that you may not know about.

    I can't believe you've gone very far into your training or done much clinical time or you would have known all these things.

    The two CNA's that I worked with that were great, I treated as contemporaries, because they understood HOW it went, and we worked as a team. And I knew if they came to get me during a med pass, it was important!!
  6. by   twotrees2
    Quote from ccyrrus
    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 all the CNAs with a variety of different questions on it, to get our opinions on various job-related topics. We were encouraged to do this anonymously, so that Administration could get our true thoughts on these subject matters. After we all completed the survey and turned it in, the results were discussed with us in a meeting. If we chose to participate in a discussion, we could. If we chose to remain silent during the meeting, that was fine too. It was strictly voluntary.

    One of the interesting things that I learned was an answer to one of the questions: "Do you think nurses appreciate CNAs?" The answer was an overwhelming "No".

    But on the flip-side, the question was posed: "Do CNAs appreciate the nurses?" And the majority answered, "Yes".

    I would like to get some nurses' opinions, on how they really feel about nursing assistants. I know that, at times, I have been belittled, spoken down to, been made to feel stupid, and referred to as: "Just a CNA", by some nurses. On the other hand, I have worked with some great nurses. They praised me on a good job done, and even helped me out, a time or two, when things were hectic.

    Your TRUE opinion of nursing assistants, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    could not do my job without them!! i get along with most of my cna's ( there are a few who dont do thier job and hence i have to get on them and they dont like that) i help them when i can and they help me a lot. they are my eyes and ears for people who may be getting sick - i do feel that they are underutilized in some aspects - they love to help and put the ointments on and help me out but management says they are not good enough - i train them on how to put them on and they do fine!! i do see a lot of nurses who dont appreciate them - dont even say thank you at the end of the shift and that is unfortuanate. any nurse who belittles the cna's should just have to work an hour without one- theyd see things sin a whole differnet light. thanks for being a cna - in my opinion you are the most important part of teh facility when it comes to caring fo rthe residents.
  7. by   cailva
    I will be starting in 2 days as a CNA and I am looking very much forward to it. I have waited a long time to do this and love the thought of helping out other people who need assistance. I was afraid of how nurses would view me and am glad to hear if i do good I will probably be accepted by them thank you.
  8. by   pagandeva2000
    I worked as a CNA for some time before I became an LPN. It was hard, backbreaking work. Now, that I am an LPN, I have to say that I do agree with some of the other posters...I hate when they do not understand when I really can't help them. We have paralell functions, then, we have different functions. I have a head nurse that will scream at me if I don't pass my medications in a timely fashion. I can't stop to help them wash a patient and then move them because that may take as long as 1/2 hour or more. I have told my old peers that I'll help them move the client once they are cleaned up, and some of them got pissed off. I do have to prioritize my day, and it gets to me when some don't understand that.

    I, too, appreciate the ones that come to me and say that the vitals are done, the patient is clean, take urine samples and tell me that there is something wrong with a patient so that I can respond in a timely fashion. I think that now that I am a nurse, I have learned to appreciate a good CNA even more than ever.
  9. by   pagandeva2000
    Actually, what I think they should do is have CNA Appreciation Day or Week, the same as they do for nurses. Praise them for the good things, post some of the best things they have done, and show them how they contribute to patient care and nursing.
  10. by   banditrn
    Quote from pagandeva2000
    Actually, what I think they should do is have CNA Appreciation Day or Week, the same as they do for nurses. Praise them for the good things, post some of the best things they have done, and show them how they contribute to patient care and nursing.
    YES!! Also, give them a raise!
  11. by   Simplepleasures
    CNA's are the backbone of the LTC facility. If we gave them the respect they deserved, I bet nurses would have less complaints about their CNA's.CNA work is hard backbreaking , grueling work.The pay is an insult to the value of their work.I have heard from families in LTC facilites that they wish the CNA's were paid more, they do so much for their loved one and are so under appreciated by some nurses and management. I heard from the lips of CNA's over and over again over the years, "I am not their child!" when reffering to how disrespectully they have been talked to by some nurses and management.No one who works in any field is perfect,but also no one wants to be disciplined in a demeaning , disrespectful manner,which is pervasive in LTC.
  12. by   grace90
    The CNA I worked with last night 7p-11p on Tele was awesome!!!!! I had a septic, unresponsive LOL who needed turning q2h. I'm used to having to initiate turnings myself, but this gal was on top of it and already had her on a schedule. She gave her a bath, and even put lotion on her and brushed her hair because the daughter had said that her mom would hate to be in that state. We didn't know if the lady would come out of it or not, but by 7 am the pt was calling out to the hallway and asking for water. I've never been so happy to hear a LOL calling out and complaining in my whole career!
  13. by   SuesquatchRN
    A good CNA who cares about her patients and lets me know when something is "off" is worth her weight in gold.

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