What do you do when CNAs dont work and just take breaks and watch TV?

  1. I am a recent grad..I am responsible for about 20 patients at a long term care facility..A CNA did not answer the call bells twice and I called him in the intercom about twice..I went out looking for him and saw him watching TV and the volume was turned up high so he could not hear anything from the intercom..I was upset because of what he did..Was wondering, what should I do next time..Since I am a new employee and he has been there for 4 years, I cannot write him up or speak to him badly..

    I even asked for any avalable CNA to go to certain rooms..Guess who showed up to the rooms? No one, I had to take care of it..My work load is high..I dont get to take breaks or go home on time...
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    You will not survive as a nurse if you continue to say that you cannot write up a CNA b/c he has been there for 4 yrs and you are new. No wonder nobody else took the call light. These employees have already pegged you as a pushover. Take charge now before you get fired. If there is a company form for disciplinary write-ups, get a copy and make several blank copies. The next time anyone refuses to take direction from you tell them outright that this is their last verbal warning, next will be in writing and then follow thru. Don't you have a mgr or house supvr? Enlist her/his help in learning how to supervise.
  4. by   adrienurse
    write him up.
  5. by   Kymmi
    That was going to be my first question....why do you think you can't write him up?
  6. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from Bala Shark
    I am a recent grad..I am responsible for about 20 patients at a long term care facility..A CNA did not answer the call bells twice and I called him in the intercom about twice..I went out looking for him and saw him watching TV and the volume was turned up high so he could not hear anything from the intercom..I was upset because of what he did..Was wondering, what should I do next time..Since I am a new employee and he has been there for 4 years, I cannot write him up or speak to him badly..

    I even asked for any avalable CNA to go to certain rooms..Guess who showed up to the rooms? No one, I had to take care of it..My work load is high..I dont get to take breaks or go home on time...

    Before you write him up, make sure he understands that he is not to go on break without telling you first. Give him a verbal.

    Because I'll bet that's what his excuse will be.

    Now if this fella is a real slacker, the other CNAs may well have gotten sick and tired of picking up on his slack and are basically refusing to answer his call lights.

    However, because you couldn't find anyone else, I'd have to assume that the other CNAs were already taking care of their assignments.

    Since you are new, it wouldn't hurt to have a general announcement of your expectations to ALL of the CNAs before you give Report and assignments to them at the start of the shift.

    Best wishes, Bala. We're rooting for you.
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Feb 12, '07
  7. by   BBFRN
    I would give him a verbal first, and let your manager know that you did so and why. If that doesn't work, then write him up. Let him know that it's nothing personal, but that you have to work as a team, and that he needs to let you know when he is on break.
  8. by   SouthernLPN2RN
    I had the same problem in LTC. ALL my CNA's were on a smoke break for over an hour. I paged them overhead to the floor multiple times before anyone ever showed up. Management wouldn't back me up and I later ended up quitting in tears due to an accumulation of things. Lack of backup and lazy CNA's were the main cause. Talk with your NM/DON about this. Don't let it bother you to the point that I did.
  9. by   traumaRUs
    Need to document. I agree with giving him a warning first - however, I would ensure that he knew you were keeping tabs on things.
  10. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    Quote from Bala Shark
    I cannot write him up or speak to him badly..
    Yes you can!! Your responsibility is to the patient. Be assertive, Bala. The first poster gave you good advice- follow it.
  11. by   ginger58
    Fire them!
  12. by   Suninmyheart
    I have only been an LPN for three months. I chose to write up a cna twice for subordination and neglect. She was promptly fired. It is unfortunate for her but very fortunate for the clients. Keep in mind how important it is to vigilantly advocate for our patients and how good it feels to do so in a professional manner when we know we are genuinely looking out for our patients.

    Supervising cna's can be exhausting. I am gradually learning that fine line between what to respectfully address and possibly write up and what to let go of and choose my battles wisely. This is an important topic because getting a nursing license doesn't mean we're automatically effective supervisors. I sometimes let my frustration get me down but I am gradually learning.
  13. by   jill48
    Not only would I write him up, but I would be watching him constantly and getting on him to work every time I saw a problem. There is no excuse for slackers. But I do know what the original poster means by suggesting she may not be able to write him up. I once worked in a LTC where I was not only the floor nurse, but the supervising nurse on the weekends. One weekend I had to switch two CNA's to different units to try to make adequate staffing in the entire facility. They both told me if I did that that they would walk out. I told them to get to walking and don't come back because I will make sure you are fired. The next day I got a call from the regular supervisor; not only did they get their jobs back, but I was the one who was fired.
  14. by   allantiques4me
    I think you should take him aside,in a nice but firm, way,give him a verbal warning.Also tell him what is expected of him while on duty.There should be break times written at the allotted times.Watching TV ,Im sure is not in his job description while on duty.Possibly even explain the dangers involved with his behavoir,Maybe He doesnt realize how serious this really is.

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