I did the work of a graveyard CNA last night on my Alzheimer's unit. There was no CNA to cover, so I volunteered to stay another 8 hours. I found out everything that my CNAs should have done, and didn't do. I also found out how hard they work. I know that they work the whole time they are there, and don't always get a break, and the facility quibbles with them over getting out as scheduled. The work that they do is emotionally, and physically exhausting. I have been screamed at, hit, cussed, invited to bed, and barely avoided having my fingers smashed by an angry resident. I feared for my safety during those moments. I moved lots of heavy people, and changed lots and lots of Attends, sometimes with the Rsdt. fighting me. My body hurts all over.
I saw things that made me upset. Bruises that had not been reported. Teeth that had been left in, and not cleaned, with one resident's mouth bleeding. Heels not floated. Heel boots left off. Things that I just trusted that the CNAs would do. Things that I sign on the MAR as done. I don't have time to check on all of these things. I barely have time to initial the little box so that I can hurry and initial the next little box...You people know how it is.
My CNAs need to take care of these things, and I need to make them. Not because my job is on the line, but because it is the right thing to do. The question is, "How?" How do you fo the work without time to do it, and staff to do it? How?
I could tell them, "Ok, these are your residents, these things are what you have to do for them. Do a round with me before you leave, and prove to me that you have done these things before you clock out." That would be the thing to do, right? I know it is in my heart. But then, things will take longer for me, and longer for them, and administration will be all over us about the time.
I am a fairly new nurse, and I want to be the best I can be. I want my unit to shine as an example of excellent care. Please give me ideas, fellow nurses. CNAs, I'd like to hear from you too. What do you think I should do?
You asked for advice, so here's my opinion. Don't refer to them as " your "CNA's. It's just disrespectful to them. They are the patient's cna's, and even if they are working under your supervision and direction, they are not "yours". If they hear you talking like this, It would be highly likely that they will resent you. Ask them to round w/ you and "prove" they are doing the required tasks? Umm, no. You will create even more resentment, and no one will want to work with or take direction from you. I think you need to examine your own attitude and learn how to delegate effectively.
This is just my opinion and advice. I hope you don't take this as an attack. I am trying to help you as a new nurse.
Last edit by oslogirl on Jun 23, '09