nursing clinicals and glorified cna work

  1. 0 Im in clinical rotation and it seems like all I do is glorified cna work...I dont pay thousands of dollars for school to do cna work (Ive been a cna for over 6 years now) ...I want to learn core nursing skills so my question to you all is,is all clinicial rotations like this?
    The nurses I work with dont do cna work so why are we the students expected to do the cna work? Cant all the ADL's be delegated to the cna? (sorry if i sound negative but I really want to know the answer so I know what to expect.
    Thanks
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  3. Visit  kkanady profile page

    About kkanady

    Joined May '13; Posts: 2.

    41 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  staffordrn12 profile page
    5
    In my first semester of Med Surg I did mostly what you classified as CNA work. I was ok with it because I think it's important to have all levels of experience to be a well rounded nurse. You can use the time you are performing ADL's to do your psychosocial assessment as well as your physical assessment which you will need in order to prepare your weekly worksheet/care plan. You might end up working on a unit that does not hire CNAs or Techs so this type of work might be part of your daily routine.

    On another note if you feel you are not getting enough out of your clinicals ask the nurse you are assigned to if you can follow him/her around so you can help with certain procedures.
    GrnTea, LTCNS, Hygiene Queen, and 2 others like this.
  5. Visit  loriangel14 profile page
    30
    Learning how to properly provide personal care to patients IS a core skill for nursing.Any nurse worth her salt will not be afraid to roll up her sleeves and provide care when necessary.Assuming that you don't need to do so as a nurse is incorrect.I still bathe, toilet,clean up, feed patients and answer call bells as a nurse. Even the charge nurse on floor does this.ADLs are our responsibility ultimately.You can delegate to an aide but do not assume that because you are a nurse you are "above" wiping butts.You will learn and practice more skills in clinical but everyone starts with the basics.Plus if you end up somewhere with no aides you WILL be doing it yourself.Don't assume that because you are a nurse you don't have to do patient care.
    Last edit by loriangel14 on May 23, '13
    TheSquire, Collegegal28, KelRN215, and 27 others like this.
  6. Visit  ChristineN profile page
    11
    How do you expect to properly delegate tasks if you don't know how to perform the tasks yourself? While it is great you have been a CNA for six years many of your classmates have not and so the nursing instructors have to teach to assume that students have no basic patient care knowledge. Since you know the tasks you could see if you would also be able to delve into your patient's chart more and start reading up on histories and notes. Second semester should bring more "nursing" skills.
    TheSquire, KelRN215, LTCNS, and 8 others like this.
  7. Visit  Skips profile page
    8
    CNA work IS nursing work!

    And we are expected to do all nursing cares (even basic ones) at clinical with our patients.
    KelRN215, LTCNS, Hygiene Queen, and 5 others like this.
  8. Visit  BostonFNP profile page
    8
    I know this will be unpopular but I am going to say it anyways....

    1. All patient-care is important, regardless of your nursing level from student to DNP.

    2. After 1st clinical you should be given more opportunities than ADLs. You have a limited time on the wards and it should be increasingly geared toward your ultimate role as you progress in school, with your final semester including managing delegation. This is how you role transition. Nurses that consider you a CNA as a SN do you a disservice.

    3. Take EVERY opportunity to learn and practice. This means doing ADL work. You are in a unique opportunity to spend a max amount of time with patients and see them in a vulnerable position. Respect it and use it according to the nursing process.

    I can honestly say I wish I had the same amount of time and same access to patients as I did as a SN and a SNP.
  9. Visit  Twinmom06 profile page
    3
    having just graduated I will say that I learned a LOT from fundamentals - from therapeutic communication while helping someone to the toilet, to recognizing skin breakdown while repositioning someone...as your fundamentals progress you'll get into passing meds, spiking IV bags and finally before graduation setting pumps to suctioning and trach care...

    not everyone in your class has been a CNA - and quite frankly you won't make a heck of a lot of friends with an attitude like that. As SN's you learn to rely on each other because if you don't know the answer or how to do something, someone else does...
    TheSquire, Hygiene Queen, and Fiona59 like this.
  10. Visit  SunshineDaisy profile page
    2
    We, too, did a lot of CNA type work in our clinicals. I know I appreciated it, because I had never done any of it. Bed bah? Nope. Made a hospital bed? Nope. Helped ambulate patients? Nope. Our first semester was basically teaching us to be a CNA. In fact we could sit for the boards after we passed that semester to be a CNA if we wanted. Each semester progressed our learning. In med surge we learned to do IV's, Foleys, NG tubes, central line dressing changes, all that fun stuff. Each semester was new skills and finally our final semester we were in critical care and got to do everything. At the hospital I did my critical care clinical they had no CNA's. The nurses do everything! So, I was very thankful for my first semester and learning how to do that work. Could I have figured it out if I didn't have the previous knowledge? Yes, but it would have taken longer and I would have been slower.
    Lossea and Hygiene Queen like this.
  11. Visit  DeLanaHarvickWannabe profile page
    10
    When you're working as a nurse, what will you do when you DON'T have a CNA? Not all departments staff them. Or, they're stretched very thin. And no matter what, even though a CNA's tasks are his or her JOB, they fall under a NURSE'S responsibility.
    TheSquire, KelRN215, LTCNS, and 7 others like this.
  12. Visit  Bouncyball profile page
    0
    What semester are you in? In my first semester clinicals I did CNA work as well. I also passed meds. In the rest of the semesters we did less ADL's.
  13. Visit  April2152 profile page
    0
    I'm not sure if you mentioned if you were in your first semester or not but in my first semester we did a lot of CNA work and as we learned skills at lab, we did more in clinicals.

    I know it can be frustrating especially since you know a lot of those skills but I found that I was able to get to know my patient better because I got to spend more time with them and practice my therapeutic communication.

    Now that I'm in adult med surg, they have told us we aren't doing as much CNA stuff such as bed making and bathing. Essentially they treat everyone as if they are starting fresh and build on fundamentals and in order to delegate you need to be able to do it yourself.

    Don't worry you will get to the point of doing skills on the clinical floor that you will be very unfamiliar with then you may want to do something less challenging like making a bed!

    This too shall pass but until then enjoy surpassing the expectations of your clinical instructor because you do know all of this stuff!
  14. Visit  weirdscience profile page
    7
    Dude...I am THRILLED if I have the opportunity to bathe a patient now that I'm on the floor. 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted time with one patient? Priceless.
    GrnTea, Hygiene Queen, MBARNBSN, and 4 others like this.
  15. Visit  nursel56 profile page
    3
    Quote from kkanady
    Im in clinical rotation and it seems like all I do is glorified cna work...I dont pay thousands of dollars for school to do cna work (Ive been a cna for over 6 years now) ...I want to learn core nursing skills so my question to you all is,is all clinicial rotations like this?
    The nurses I work with dont do cna work so why are we the students expected to do the cna work? Cant all the ADL's be delegated to the cna? (sorry if i sound negative but I really want to know the answer so I know what to expect.
    Thanks
    It's very possible that you may work at a facility or in a unit with no CNAs. If you are a CNA and you are calling what you do now at clinicals "glorified" you can expect to do more complex skills as you progress. The reality is that clinical groups can't sort people according to past experience and thus treat all as if at square one. Many programs are now requiring nursing students to become CNAs prior to starting, so it really is integral to the process.

    People often talk about the positive aspects of doing the ADLs, but I've seen what can happen when a patient needs those things (turning, repositioning, feeding, etc) and the nurse is the only caregiver who was never taught how to do them. It is not good.

    It seems to be fairly common that students graduate without having inserted an NG tube or Foley in school, and often they panic, but in almost every case your new job will have skills you will need to do with someone else the first time. I started in peds so exactly none of my clinical skills carried over!
    KelRN215, GrnTea, and Hygiene Queen like this.


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