Cna Gone Wild

  1. Last week I had to give my first SS enema to a male patient. My instructor gave a couple of the students patients with lots of issues and lots of meds so she didn't have time to show me how to administer this enema. This is a CNA responsibility at the hospital that were at. So my instructor told me to ask the CNA to help because the CNA has been at this hospital for 20+ yrs and my instructors said she wouldn't mind helping me. So I go to the CNA and ask her if she could show me how to do it. She said "Don't you students help each other?" I said none of us know how to do this. She said "Oh well you gone have to wait because I'm goin on my break and I gots to have my break." I said that's no problem, I can do it when you come back. She said " Where's your instructor, why isn't she helping you?" I said she can't because she's helping other students and by the time she gets to me it would take too long. She said "Well that's not my problem because I don't get paid to instruct nobody that's what she gets paid to do." I said isn't this your job? She said "Yes but it's all of our job on this floor". (The patient that I was giving the enema to was her patient so technically if I didn't have to do this she would have). I said I don't need you to touch the patient, I just need you to show me what to do. She said "well you're gonna have to wait." So I went to my instructor and told her what happened. She said she's usually a nice CNA so we'll just chalk this one up to her having a bad day.
    The next day we come in the Nursing Coordinator pulls my instructor into the office and proceeds to let her have it about the fact that she has the CNA instructing students and that's not their job. The CNA went to the coordinator and complained about us!!!!! I couldn't believe it! Come to find out the old nurse and the old CNA are in cahoots with each other because before my instructor came along, the students answered all the lights on the floor and did all of the aide work but my instructor said we are not there to learn to be aides or to do their job. Our priority is assessing and treating the patients. So now the students are target practice basically. I can't wait to leave this hospital.:angryfire
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   GingerSue
    - realities of the workplace
  4. by   3kids
    No offense, but I would have to side with the CNA on this one. If it is the instructors job to instruct then she should have done so, not the CNA. The CNA is not going to be paid more for her passing on her knowledge to students. Yes, I am a student, but I also have worked in the hospital setting, and know what it's like to have to teach people who will be making more money than me how to do a procedure. The object of clinicals is to get clinical experience, but who should be dictating what you learn is ultimately the instructor.
  5. by   babbz
    i agree, but cna's and nursing students are professionals. we should know how to approach each other. "i'm sorry, i don't have time right now" "thank you, but i would rather do that later, after my break." professionalism is part of what sets us apart and shows we were well rounded when learning what nursing is all about.
  6. by   AprilRNhere
    I'm sorry- but I also agree with the CNA. When I was an aide...even when in RN school...I wouldn't have taught an unfamiliar procedure to a nursing student.
  7. by   caliotter3
    I also agree with the CNA. It was your instructor's duty to teach you the procedure. If the instructor could not do this, then she should have had you ask the assigned nurse, not the CNA. At my school, we did not routinely do procedures in clinical that had not been covered in our skills classes. We were also told that the patient's assigned nurse was our alternate resource person if our instructor was otherwise busy or unavailable.
  8. by   vamedic4
    All due respect here, but I have to agree with others on this one...the CNA doesn't have to show you anything, it's not her job. Rather, it is your instructors department to show you what to do, and how to do it.
    I'm certain the CNA didn't intend to be mean spirited about things, but you have to understand where she's coming from. As you stated in your post "it was her patient anyway". Yes, it probably was, just like the other 25 patients she was probably assigned. Do you really think she has the time or the inclination to give you a hand? I guarantee you that's the reason she let you know it was her break time in the first place.

    Try to remember this: when you're a student, try your best to work with the staff on the floor, regardless of their level of training. It will help you in the long run to make things run smoothly. You may not have meant anything by your inquisition "isn't this your job?" But that, to me, is more of a slap in the face...try to refrain from doing that unless you truly want to piss someone off. I'm certain she knows what her job is and how to do it. She was up front with you and you fought with her on it.

    vamedic4
  9. by   justme1972
    Quote from 3kids
    No offense, but I would have to side with the CNA on this one. If it is the instructors job to instruct then she should have done so, not the CNA. The CNA is not going to be paid more for her passing on her knowledge to students. Yes, I am a student, but I also have worked in the hospital setting, and know what it's like to have to teach people who will be making more money than me how to do a procedure. The object of clinicals is to get clinical experience, but who should be dictating what you learn is ultimately the instructor.
    I actually agree with this as well. The CNA did handle the situation poorly and unprofessionally. I think a better response would have been, "I would love to help you, but since you are a nursing student, I would feel more comfortable if your instructor helped you."

    We just covered elimination not too long ago, and I can think of alot of medical reasons why a CNA should NOT have been the one to show you that procedure because of the Knowing How vs Knowing Why.
  10. by   Alternator81
    I do not agree with the CNA. What a bad attitude!! The "not my job" attitude just irritates the heck out of me!

    The school pays alot of money for us to be there. There is one instructor and usually at least 10 students. At least at my clinical sites, the RNs and CNA's are expected to help educated us. When the hospital has a lift I am unfamiliar with, or I am having a problems getting a brief on, or I can't get the bed to work (argg..), the first person I grab in a CNA, not my instructor!
  11. by   sleepyndopey
    Quote from Alternator81
    I do not agree with the CNA. What a bad attitude!! The "not my job" attitude just irritates the heck out of me!

    The school pays alot of money for us to be there. There is one instructor and usually at least 10 students. At least at my clinical sites, the RNs and CNA's are expected to help educated us. When the hospital has a lift I am unfamiliar with, or I am having a problems getting a brief on, or I can't get the bed to work (argg..), the first person I grab in a CNA, not my instructor!

    CNAs have it tough enough. Why should they have to disrupt their work flow to "instruct" nursing students? Although this particular CNA could have been nicer in her response, I agree with her. Having a student follow you is a pain in the butt. I'm sorry, it just is. They don't get paid enough for that. It is not their responsibility.
  12. by   MB37
    I don't think the CNA was in the wrong either - and I haven't even worked as one. My school assigns us to a floor and a preceptor, and our instructors are not with us, but my resource person is my nurse. I should never have my first exposure to a skill like that on the floor - I should have been checked off on it on a dummy in lab, and I have my printouts with instructions on skills I haven't gotten a chance to do in my clipboard. Now, I have asked CNAs for help with a couple things that I haven't done on a real person yet, but I phrase it more like, "Hi, are you ____? And you're assigned to bed ___? Whenever you get around to giving him that enema/doing his accucheck/bathing him/whatever could you try to find me first? I'd love to give you a hand so I can get some practice. I should be in the room next door. Thank you so much, I really appreciate it." It usually works really well. I've never demanded that a CNA quit doing their very busy job or leave their hard earned break because I don't know how to do a procedure - We may have to learn to delegate to them, but not when it's skills that we need them to teach us. Plus, once I've helped them do something once - say, the one that showed me how to do accuchecks - she started asking me each week if I wanted to do some with her to get more practice. Less work for her, more practice for me. We all win.
  13. by   TexasPediRN
    Quote from Alternator81
    I do not agree with the CNA. What a bad attitude!! The "not my job" attitude just irritates the heck out of me!

    The school pays alot of money for us to be there. There is one instructor and usually at least 10 students. At least at my clinical sites, the RNs and CNA's are expected to help educated us. When the hospital has a lift I am unfamiliar with, or I am having a problems getting a brief on, or I can't get the bed to work (argg..), the first person I grab in a CNA, not my instructor!
    Alterator81 -

    There is a huge difference between asking a CNA to help you change a resident or fix a bed and asking a CNA to show you how to administer an enema (a medication).

    Thats a big nono. The instructor needed to be the one to show the OP how to administer a medication.

    As far as the school paying money for you to be there? Thats true, but they are not paying for the nurses and CNA's salaries. They are paying your instructors salary, and the instructor is there to do just that - instruct. She cant expect others to teach you when its the job she was hired to do.
  14. by   eldragon
    I also agree with the CNA. She has been doing that work for 20 years, how many nursing students do you think she has seen over that period of time?

    And I have no idea what the instructor is thinking if she says nursing students aren't there to do CNA work or answer call lights. That's the basics of nursing care, too! Alot of what goes on in the hospital is un-specialized, but it makes the patient feel more comfortable, and that in itself is a skill.

    I am finishing up an LPN program, and I have 4 more days to go until graduation. Yesterday was my first preceptorship day (12 hours) and for the first time, there was a difference between what I was doing, and what the CNA's were doing. I helped them when I had free time, but it wasn't required that I do the dirty work, so to speak. I did do my share of cleaning up after a bowel-incontinent patient, because she had a dressing change on her coccyx. Never in a million years would I have asked a CNA to do that, I did it.

    So whether you are a CNA, LPN, ADN or BSN, or more....the focus is still on patient care, and we all need to do our part, all the time.

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