What do nurses really think of CNAs?

  1. 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.
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  2. 92 Comments

  3. by   1st edition
    I work w/ many GREAT CNA's! I could not do my job w/out you guys. My only complaints are not getting VS on time (w/in 3 hrs after shift starts) and aides not writing down I&O's. I make rounds to make sure ankles are floated, everyone clean and dry, f/c's emptied w/ bags on about an hr before shift ends and I rarely have to remind them to clean someone up. But I do have some complaints. I do not like aides that worry about all the other aides jobs. They need to worry about their own job, not the aide on the next unit unless there is abuse going on. It is depressing to have someone complain about their coworkers nonstop. I have noticed that aides tend to over-react to N/V/D etc. Just stay calm when you report something and lets us do our assessment before you panic. I love my aides. I could not do my job well if they didn't do theirs well. They are my eyes and ears.
  4. by   LenoreP
    I love most of the aides I work with. I started out as a aide, got my LPN, then my RN and am now working on my MSN. I personally find that nurses who have never worked "through the ranks" to become a nurse are less understanding of how hard a job it is to be anything other than a nurse.

    CNAs are a very important part of the medical team. Don't let some nurses get you down!
  5. by   NurseCard
    I've really had a strong appreciation for most CNA's that I've ever worked with. The ones that keep all incontinent patients clean/check on them every two hours, the ones that do a good job and keep up with all vital signs and I+O's efficiently, and the ones that don't fuss when i ask them to do something (and I'm one especially who tends to either not ask for much or not ask for ENOUGH)...

    those are the ones I most appreciate. And the majority of CNA's I've worked with have been really great, but then there are some who don't do their jobs efficiently and in a way that they KNOW they are supposed to, and there are some who fuss and get smart every time you ask them to do anything.
  6. by   RNsRWe
    Probably like most people, I really appreciate the CNAs who do their jobs, do them well, and without having to be asked to do every little thing. I really DON'T appreciate CNAs who act like I owe them the world when they haven't done squat, or they do the very barest minimum as late as they can get away with it, and with prodding.

    I love CNAs who ask "do you need anything from me before I go on break?". I despise CNAs who simply disappear (oftentimes NOT on break, just scarce!). I love CNAs who let me know if they see something is out of kilter (with anything)....and really REALLY don't appreciate having to find out about a problem two hours after it's occured because the aide didn't bother to tell me.

    I love the aides who believe in a team concept. Respect goes BOTH ways; it takes all of us to get the job done. I dislike the aides who believe they are doing me a favor merely by showing up, and don't offer a molecule of assistance beyond what they absolutely have to (if that).

    I have the good fortune of having worked with some FABULOUS aides. And, the misfortune of getting stuck with those who aren't. C'est la vie!
  7. by   buildingmyfaith57
    i feel that some nurses can and are prejudice at times. why do i say that because there are those that favortism, my rank is better than your rank.
  8. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from ccyrrus

    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.
    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.
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Nov 14, '06
  9. by   BSNtobe2009
    Thank you for posting this..I'm not a nurse yet, but this is something very important to remember, even when things are busy.

    <hand over my heart> "I pledge to never, ever refer to a CNA as "just" a CNA"

    <wink>
  10. by   jessica27
    i have been an stna for almost 9 years. all of the nurses i work with seem to praise me on how good of a job i do. i only have one rough spot in my area. the 2nd shift supervisor seems to like to give me the cold shoulder. i have never done anything to her and it just seems like i do nothing right in her eyes. i am only hopeing when i do become an lpn she will treat me with the same respect as I always treat her. any suggestions?
  11. by   lauralassie
    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.



    that's terrible. i'm not sure what your work situation is like but, as a nurse of nearly 30 years, i love cna's . there are some that i dislike because of work issues, but there are also dr's and nurses i dislike. (i'm sure there are some that dislike me too!) i think if there are nurses who have a problem with cna's they ought to try to be a cna for a while. back in the 80's , at riverside meth. hospital in columbus , ohio, we traded positions for a day. we were able to vote for a dr. to be a nurse for a day and a nurse to be a cna for a day. of course it was usually the dr or nurse that gave the other worker the most difficult time that got voted in. cna's are so deticated, i always say that being a cna in a ecf is one of the most difficut jobs there is. between constant lifting, state regulations, grumpy patient etc...i don't know how you do it. i often say if i had to do that for a living i would probably be a woose and go flip hamburgers for about the same pay. so , not sure what is going on at your facility, but, i would say , love ya! :1luvu:
  12. by   jessica27
    awwwwww thank you!! you brought a huge smile to my face. any advice on my hesi exam which i am bout to take?
  13. by   TammyJo
    I started out as a NA, moved on to be a CNA, then LPN, then RN. I could not have made it this far without the CNA's. I have nothing but respect for the job they do. I could not get my job done without their help. I work with 4 of the best CNA's in the world. They truly make my job ALOT easier. They are all dependable and take wonderful care of the residents. I have worked with CNAs in the past that worry more about what I am doing or what they THINK I should be doing instead of doing their own work, they just are not as dedicated as others. God bless anyone who chooses to be a CNA. They definately have a pair of wings and a halo waiting for them someday!!!!
  14. by   liltempr
    Ive been a CNA for 15 yrs and I feel that if everyone on that unit is on top of caring for pts and working with each other...than you are gonna have a great unit.I personallly love my job more and more every day ....but it does take its toll when half of your coworkers bust their butts and the other half doesnt do anything.I think I have an idea what my nurses think of me....im on time i do everything they ask and go out of my way to make sure our pt is completely comfy...but I also think they feel I take to heart too much about our coworkers who dont pull thier own weight.ANd I think at times I try and pull what they do....but.....lol...in an hour im guilty as hell and end up doing what I wasnt going to do.ITs very hard at times to ignore those lazy coworkers...cause with an CNA like me.I feel that if they cant do the job I do with my pts they should leave.We might have a better working relationship with our RNS if we did our job,worked together and make our pts time in the hsopital less painful.CAuse oth other side of this question is can a bad RN cause us CNAS to be more lazy than we really are????ANd can a bad CNA cause A good RN to turn the other way when we need help?:spin:

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